Posted on Apr 18, 2024 in Main, News Releases, slider, State Parks


April 18, 2024


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(HANAPĒPĒ, KAUA‘I) – Seven lucky Kaua‘i residents are the excited new lease-holders of state-owned cabins in Kōkeʻe and Waimea Canyon State Parks. One-hundred-twenty-three others went home empty-handed after Thursday’s high-interest auction to lease out the rarely available cabins.

Approximately 100 recreation residence cabins are leased to private individuals, huis, and organizations in the contiguous pair of mountaintop state parks. A long line formed more than an hour before the doors opened to an overflow crowd. For the seven cabins up for leasing this time around, the bidding was spirited with final bids all coming in significantly higher than expected, with six of the seven lots setting records for cabin auction prices. Three additional high bids more than doubled the highest price received at the last auction in 2011.

“I am grateful that we will be getting these neglected cabins into the hands of good stewards,” said DLNR Division of State Parks (DSP) Assistant Administrator Alan Carpenter. “But honestly, I was a little disheartened that this is the current price of entry into this storied cabin community. I hope this will be proven in the future to be an anomaly based on the immense pent-up demand, but I’ll say this – it proved how incredibly cherished these parklands are for Kauaʻi residents,” Carpenter added.

As a photo of each cabin and the upset minimum bid was displayed on a screen, the audience watched as bidders held up numbered cards to try and outbid one another. Occasional outbursts of applause erupted after the auctioneer’s hammer fell, signaling a winning bid.

The Kōkeʻe Leaseholders Association (KLA) helped manage the event. The historic Kōkeʻe recreation residence community began in the mountains of Kaua‘i in 1918. It was created for the protection of forest resources and the watershed, but also for recreational pursuits and public access.

Chipper Wichman, KLA president said, “The unique historic community that has evolved up in Kōke‘e over the last 100 years is part of Hawai‘i’s heritage and is not replicated anywhere else in the state. While the auction has successfully transitioned these abandoned and dilapidated structures over to members of the community that will repair them and care for them, it also showed that the process of an auction is pushing these cabins well beyond what the vast majority of our community members can ever afford. KLA is committed to working with DLNR leadership and our elected officials to come up with a better system for managing this unique community and ensuring that our local families can continue to afford to have a cabin up on the mountain.”

Opening bid amounts ranged from $4,500 to $9,500. Winning bid amounts ranged from $15,500 to $41,000 for annual rental.

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(All images/video courtesy: DLNR)


HD video – Kōkeʻe cabins auction (April 19, 2024):



Photographs – Kōkeʻe cabins auction (April 19, 2024):



Media Contact:

Dan Dennison

Communications Director

[email protected]