Activists delay rebirth of Hawaii hotel with Elvis ties

Image License Photo: The Estate of Elvis Presley, LLC
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HONOLULU (AP) - Native Hawaiian activists are protesting the rebuilding of a Kauai hotel with a Hollywood connection.

Developers want to reopen the Coco Palms, where Elvis Presley's character got married in the 1961 film "Blue Hawaii." The resort has been closed since a hurricane tore through in 1992.

Two men claim they descend from Kauai's last Hawaiian ruler and own the property. They and others have been camped out at the resort near an ancient Hawaiian fishpond. They say the area is sacred.

Developers plan to set aside land at Coco Palms for a community nonprofit that will offer lessons in Hawaiian culture, including hula, lei making and Hawaiian language. They have requested help with the protesters from state sheriffs.

It's the latest example of Native Hawaiian activists taking a stand on cultural issues. Other examples include a giant telescope project that was interrupted by protests and legal battles.

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