Saturday, November 02, 2013

Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay
View Larger Map

A cool thing about the island of Oahu is that the Honolulu city bus system serves essentially the entire island, so you can get out of town and go sightseeing for the price of a bus pass. So one day I caught the #55 bus, which loops around much of the windward side of the island. The bus runs about every 45 minutes during the day, so I picked out a few spots I might want to get off and look around and take some photos. At the far northern tip of the island is the Turtle Bay Resort, which I had a vague idea I'd heard of before. There was a bus stop right in the main parking lot, so I put it down on my list as a maybe. When we got there, it was raining steadily, and I was kind of settled in on the bus and thinking mostly about lunch, and I couldn't see much from the bus except for golf courses. As a non-golfer, that didn't look too promising, so I stayed on the bus and snapped a few quick camera phone photos out the windows. Still, I try to appeal to a broad audience here, and I imagine there may be a few golfers among this humble blog's Gentle Reader(s). So on their (theoretical) behalf I figured I'd go ahead and post my subpar photos of these very famous golf courses. I'm even going to grit my teeth and not make the usual stale wisecracks where I pretend to confuse golf with mini-golf. So, here ya go.

Turtle Bay

This is pretty much the only resort on the north shore of Oahu, and one of only a handful outside of Waikiki. It turns out the place had a rather unusual origin. It was the brainchild of Del Webb, a real estate developer who, among other things, built Las Vegas's Flamingo Hotel for Bugsy Siegel. In fact the resort was originally supposed to include Hawaii's first casino, which may explain the location way out here in the middle of nowhere. The resort's main building (which somehow didn't make it into any of these photos) even has the classic three-armed hotel floor plan seen all over Vegas. A ballot measure that would have legalized the casino failed, though, and as far as I know it hasn't been back on the ballot since then. To this day, Hawaii is one of only two states (the other being Utah) with no legal gambling of any kind: No casinos (Indian or otherwise), no horse racing, and no state lottery. Even church bingo is illegal. Possibly as a result, Las Vegas has been nicknamed the "Ninth Island", and the California Hotel in downtown Vegas markets itself almost exclusively to visitors from Hawaii. I can't help but wonder what the north end of Oahu would look like today if that ballot measure had passed.

Turtle Bay Turtle Bay

No comments :