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What's it like in Hawaii???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Vibe Ray, Nov 16, 2000.

  1. Vibe Ray

    Vibe Ray LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 785

    Hey guys, anyone from Hawaii or been there? How is the Lawn-Maintainence/Landscaping business over there???Tell me all about it. Any comments would be highly appreciated! Thanx
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    There is one guy on here, I know of, from Hawaii. He's in Maui. He posted about an uneven deck on his tractor, and that was the last I heard from him. Could you just imagine being there and taking care of maybe 5 or six of those lavish hotels on a full service basis?
  3. Vibe Ray

    Vibe Ray LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 785

    Yes, Runner I emailed him earlier today and am waiting for reply.
  4. I've been operating a small lawn care service on Oahu since 1985 and still hacking it! The business has always been good to excellant and I've managed to do well on a part-time basis. There are alot of landscapers/maintenance companies and alot of scrubs who have very little business savvy, so one has to 'KEEP THE PRICES HIGH'. Learn all you can about southern turfgrasses and consider using a good reel-mower for top drawer accounts. You will also need to think in terms of tropical plants rather than the customary mainland USA themes. If you start out with some good advertising in the local newspaper you will get some good accounts after some weeding out. Which brings me to certification. You will always have the advantage if your pesticide certifide with the state of Hawaii but the laws here are very lax on pesticide use and rarely enforced. That can change if too many srubs get careless with the roundup. 98% of the companies here used WB rather than ZTR.Hope this helps a little. Aloha,
  5. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,075

    I Honeymooned on Oahu, the guys who prune the palms need to "shimmy" up them like a monkey. Coolest thing I had seen! The weather was awesome.
  6. You should see it when they swing from one tree to another instead of climbing down! Just like Tarzan. I saw one Samoan dude do that once. I think he is still in the business. One of my best friends fell from 75 footer! He does carpentry now.
  7. Vibe Ray

    Vibe Ray LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 785

    WOW! Out of 1,760 members, only two are from Hawaii??? Is that all?
  8. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    VR, I've spent a lot of time in Hawaii and we considered moving there 6 years ago when our youngest was born. We spent a month, 1/2 on Kauai and 1/2 on Maui and decided it's a great place to visit, but living there is another matter. BTW, at that time, I had a step-sister and her husband who had quit their mainland jobs and moved to Maui--they live on the mainland again after 2 years in paradise.

    I strongly suggest you book a vacation and instead of hitting the beaches spend your time talking to 'locals' and asking a lot of questions before you make any move. There are always good deals to get there, especially in the off-season, at least from here on the left coast.

    Without sounding too down on the living situation let me tell you that you will find 1] an extremely high cost of living, 2] a very tight job market, 3] low wages for unskilled or semi-skilled workers {which you will be considered} 4] a close, knit, insular community with a real divide between the tourists, the locals and the haoles (how-lees) meaning whites, mainly those who live on the island, 5] after a few months on whichever of the very small islands (even the Big Island of Hawaii) you choose, you will experience a severe case of 'cabin fever' and need to go somewhere with room to move.

    Without having studied the particular lanwn care situation, I'm sure you will find that most of the landscape/lawn care is provided by locals, many if not most, working with family or long-time friends and doing business with the same. I'm not saying it can't be done but from all the people I've talked to and those I've know in the past [I went to college with many Hawaiian locals who come over here for college] I can tell you that it is difficult and a long road to become a part of the community and to be accepted by the locals. Many of those who go there and try (and I don't know of any lawn-care people, more like the retail and those catering to tourists) either blend into the haole community or leave after a few years.

    Go visit and enjoy yourself, but remember what the bumper sticker you're likely to see says - "Just another Shi**y Day in Paradise." Please understand, I mean no offense to our Hawaiian friends, I'm just trying to let this fellow know that he really needs to look before he leaps. It's a wonderful place to visit, but living there is an entirely different matter. Good luck,
  9. All that Zif mentioned is true and should be considered to the letter! After spending most of my life here I almost forget or say I'm immune to what a Malahini (new comer) has to go through to assimilate and 'be accepted' into the Hawaiian scene. That being said, if one is trully determined and has a humble approach to living in a community with so many cultures meeting together they will succeed. Knowing all that at the outset is crucial to relocating in Hawaii. And the market here for lawn care is good, but you will need to have enough cash reserve to hold you until business is established which could be several months in a community with a high cost of living. Aloha.

    Be kind to the people on your way up, because they will be the same people you meet on your way down.
  10. Mr.Ziffel

    Mr.Ziffel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 291

    Paradise Yard, thank you for understanding the spirit of my post. I thought for a while about whether or not I should say anything but I do have a long-standing connection with Hawaii [my mother was at Pearl Harbor as a young girl] and really do love it. I just know how difficult it can be for someone with no connections because I know how hard it is for someone who has been there for a while.

    I'm really glad to see your post and probably should have emphasized that once someone gets there, if they're fortunate they'll be able to experience the Aloha spirit of the Islands demonstrated by folks like you which make the islands such a special place.

    We're coming back next June--I can't wait.

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