Mule tour company evicted from Molokai’s Kalaupapa peninsula
HONOLULU (AP) — The owner of land along an isolated Molokai peninsula has evicted the company that had been operating mule rides on the Kalaupapa Trail.
R.W. Meyer Ltd. announced Saturday that Kalaupapa Rare Adventures has been evicted due to failed lease negotiations. There was no immediate response to phone or email messages left Saturday with the mule ride tour company, the Maui News reported.
Guided mule rides have taken visitors down the 26 jagged switchbacks on the cliffside to the isolated peninsula since the early 1970s. R.W. Meyer President Paul Meyer said his family-owned company has received several inquiries from other tour companies about entering into a lease agreement to continue the mule rides.
“This is not about greed or stopping a business from operating mule rides or tours to Kalaupapa to share the history of Molokai,” Meyer said. “This is about good business practices and fulfilling our responsibility to our shareholders and the 900 living descendants of R.W. Meyer. Every day that Kalaupapa Rare Adventures operates without a lease agreement, we are put at risk, and they have refused to make any attempts to pay rent or even respond to our requests to negotiate a new lease.”
The Meyer company said lease negotiations failed in 2016 when Kalaupapa Adventures’ management was taken over by Marlene, Beatrice and Eldon “Sale” Sproat.
The company said that since then, Kalaupapa Adventures made multiple court attempts to challenge R.W. Meyer’s land ownership and sovereignty claims. In July 2017, a federal magistrate issued a finding that Kalaupapa Adventures had failed to show it has rights to the land.
The eviction notice was served March 20.