Willy Wonka Eyes Kihei for New 'Chocolate Beach' Attraction


WONKA MAGIC!: Swimming pools like this in Sugar Beach have inspired the concept for a chocolate-themed amusement park in Kihei.

Yet another massive flooding event in Kihei has inspired a major chocolate manufacturer to propose an amusement park concept for the South Maui community similar to Legoland.

"C'mon, look around! It's like all you see is soft, smooth, milky chocolate!" said Christopher Kokoleka, vice president of marketing for Wonka Chocolate, Inc.

Kokoleka just happened to be visiting the island the past week, and witnessed what now is considered annual scheduled flooding in Kihei.

"This place is amazing!" he marveled. "The visuals are tremendous ~ swimming pools filled with watery chocolate, gutters oozing with cocoa, beaches covered with chocolate chips. Millions will come! Who doesn't like chocolate?"

Chocolate Beach is a proposed amusement park that would feature real swimming pools filled with light brown-colored water ~ so swimmers could emulate the obnoxious girl from the movie who fell into the chocolate-flowing river.

The pools would be linked by canals, also open for swimming, designed to mimic streets in Kihei during big storms.

Kokoleka said the idea is a no-brainer.

"I was told this happens every year in Kihei, and that no government agency seems to have the energy to get off their duffs and fix the flooding problem once and for all," he said. "That's sad news for Kihei residents, but wonderful news for us and all the lovers of chocolate around the world!"

Maui County officials were cool to the concept when contacted Monday.

"I'm not sure how we could squeeze a single new car onto South Kihei Road, with all the resorts, condo complexes, and the new roundabout basically shutting traffic down through town now," said Zach Kaahele, a planner with the county's public works department.

"I mean, Kihei folks are pretty pissed off as it is about the traffic," he said. "They won't care if they get some delicious free chocolate out of the deal. They might chocolate-and-feather anyone who proposes something like this."

At press time, locations for the new tourist attraction has not been determined. Kokoleka invites the Kihei community to offer suggestions.

"We especially like the north Kihei and Sugar Beach area," he said. "It just looks like no one has ever thought about what those natural channels might do when it rains a lot."

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