The Athens Group developed the 800-acre Hualalai Resort master-planned community on the Kona/Kohala coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Hualalai Resort is anchored by an award-winning, five-star, 243-room Four Seasons resort hotel, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf course, an 18-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course and the Hualalai Sports Club and Spa. This development also includes a mix of luxury residential properties including luxury villas, town homes and custom homes.
In 1992, Kajima Corporation of Japan retained The Athens Group to be the developer of this oceanfront property mostly comprised of an ancient volcanic lava flow. Athens redesigned all aspects of the project, which had been partially constructed and then stopped by a previous owner. After developing a new master plan and obtaining approval of the new direction from Kajima, The Athens Group demolished the partially constructed mid-rise guestroom tower of the original hotel and built a new low-rise resort community in order to replicate a true Hawaiian lifestyle experience. The new master plan also involved re-routing of the partially constructed golf course to significantly enhance the value of the surrounding residential areas. Hualalai Resort opened in late 1996. Since opening, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has substantially exceeded projected rate, occupancy and revenue expectations and has become the top hotel in the State of Hawaii in REVPAR performance. Since the resort's opening in 1996, residential sales have exceeded $1 billion.
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai has been recognized in various magazines as the top resort and spa in the State of Hawaii. In October of 1999, it received the prestigious Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence. The ULI Award for Excellence jury stated, "Hualalai has influenced resort developers worldwide. Against an historic setting, it provides residents and vacationers with a natural environment that maintains an ecological balance. The resort is leading a cyclical change in Hawaii's resort economy, and is elevating even higher the standards of the entire market." In spring 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Four Seasons Resort Hualalai a recipient of its annual awards for environmental responsibility, one of just 30 awards nationwide.