Lanai Island, Hawaii
The smallest inhabited island in the Hawaiian Island chain, was once a pineapple plantation for Castle & Cooke’s Dole Foods. All that changed in 1985 when David Murdock bought the island and took over Castle & Cooke. Murdock built luxury hotels and golf courses and made it a beautiful tourist destination. In fact, Mr. & Mrs. Microsoft – Bill & Melinda got married there.
During the past year, since the economic downturn, tourism to the island has dropped dramatically. What’s Murdock’s new money-making idea for the island? Windmills. He is planning to spend $750 million to put up 200 wind turbines next to Polihua Beach – a beautiful stretch of white sand. The windmill-generated electricity will be sent to Honolulu through underwater cables.
Windmills are a great tax shelter and get generous tax benefits from state and federal governments. While most of the wind devices do produce electricity, all of them generate tax benefits of some sort even when they do not produce power. They’re not just wind farms. They’re tax farms. Murdock is doing his part to make Hawaii ‘green.’ His next windmill farm is planned for Nantucket Sound.
Watch Elvis sing ‘Rock a Hula’ from the movie Blue Hawaii: