How Larry Ellison plans to modernize the island
Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle Corporation, is one of the richest men in the world. His fortune is estimated at 41 billion dollars. In 2012, Larry purchased an island in Hawaii called Lanai for about $300 million. The billionaire’s goal is to create the ideal place of the future.
The island has a population of 3,100 people living on 265 square kilometers. The acquisition of a homeland is not new to them – the island has been owned by one rich person or another since 1860. Before Ellison, Lanai was owned by David Murdoch, who acquired the land in 1985.
The island is a piece of land where time seems to have stopped. There are rarely any traffic lights or even a paved roadway, and the buildings blend harmoniously into the pristine landscape. The island presents itself to travelers in a way that was typical of old Hawaii before active progress.
The locals lead an unhurried way of life, they like to exchange news in the morning in cozy cafes, the beaches of Lanai are clean, huge turtles stroll without fear there. With a new host, however, such an idyll could change. Larry Ellison has decided to make the island a model settlement of the future, and is already beginning to implement these ideas. Work is underway to install a new desalination system, which will increase the volume of fresh water to 37 million liters, the current figure is 9 million liters. The hotels are being renovated, and another luxury hotel is under construction.
In the future, Ellison intends to modernize the university campus and increase the area of the island’s main city, Lanai City. The latter looks as if time has stood still in it since the 1930s.
In addition to the land itself, Larry bought the local carrier Island Air, and is making improvements to airports and runways. The millionaire’s plans include installing solar power plants and increasing the number of electric cars. Ellison wants about 6,000 people to live on the island, almost twice as many as they do now.
Not all local people support the modernization of the American rich man. They fear that such innovations will radically change the appearance of the island and it will lose its charm. However, metamorphosis is inevitable. The Lanai economy is in a terrible state. The previous owner developed the tourism sector of the island, while neglecting the main segment – pineapple plantations. As a result, tourism has not blossomed here, and cultivation has come to naught.
Larry Ellison sees Lana’i as a challenge to himself. He wants to turn it into a modern developed place with a sustainable economy. Whether the island’s unique nature can withstand such changes is still questionable.