Lahaina Inn History
The story of the Lahaina Inn begins in 1938 when it was originally built by Tomezo Masuda as a general merchandise store. Known as The Maui Trading Company it became a popular gathering place for men stationed in Maui during World War II.
After 11 years in business, Masuda sold the building to the Tabata family. In the early 1960s the Tabata's business failed and the building was sold at public auction. Purchased by George Izaki, he sub-divided the ground level of the building into four separate units, changed the upper level of the building into a hotel and added balconies to all the hotel rooms.
In the mid-1960s a fire broke out in the building and destroyed the lower level business spaces and the upstairs hotel rooms. Only the original storefront facade escaped serious damage. After the fire, the hotel was re-built to house 19 rooms and 3 baths on the second floor and it was named the Lahainaluna Hotel. The hotel fell into a state of disrepair in the 1970s and only a bar remained at ground level.
Finally, in 1986 the building was restored by Rick Ralston who had a passion for collecting, restoring and refurbishing things from the past. Ralston envisioned a turn of the century inn filled with antiques from his own collection. Due to the extensive research in period restoration that was needed, the renovation process lasted for more than two years. During this time, the original 19 rooms were reduced to 12, each decorated in period styles with private baths, more windows and private lanais. Modern conveniences were added including central air conditioning and telephones. The newly completed hotel re-opened in December of 1989 and Ralston named it the Lahaina Hotel. Finally, in 1994 the hotel was re-named the Lahaina Inn which it remains today.