Atlantis Resorts is reportedly in the process of finalizing a deal to build a massive, $2 billion resort in Ko Olina, Hawaii, according to Hawaii News Now (HNN). If true, the project, plans of which were originally divulged in 2005, could become the most expensive resort ever constructed.
A detail that caused debate back in 2005, and slowed the project's development considerably, was the question of whether or not to include a casino. Some backers wanted gambling to be a part of the resort while others were against the idea.
It is reported that this new resort would be similar to Atlantis, The Palm, located in Dubai. The Hawaiian entry into the Atlantis Resorts catalog would feature an interactive aquarium meant to resemble the ocean as closely as possible, hotel rooms with a view of the aquarium, an area to swim with dolphins, and a shark habitat. In addition to hotel rooms, there are also plans for condo and timeshare units.
When the project was announced at a press conference in 2005 by Ko Olina Developer Jeff Stone, who is Chairman, President, and CEO of The Resort Group, he said of the aquarium, “This aquarium will look as the ocean looks. It'll look as the sea looks today. You'll be able to view it underneath. You'll be able to interact with it, actually swim through it, and you'll be able to learn from it in a natural setting.”
While it is being labeled as a "$2 billion resort," the price tag is expected to exceed that amount if and when the project gets under way.
The proposed resort is still without a timetable, as it still has to go through multiple permitting and regulatory processes before construction can actually begin.