Hope to Hanalei - This event is to support the Hanalei businesses because of the recent floods. First and foremost, The Hanalei Merchant Hop is a game. Participants check in at the Kauai North Shore Lions Club tent on the Hanalei Center lawn. Once registered, players are assigned a number and then told to go shopping.For every receipt players bring back to the Lions’ tent, they get a raffle ticket placed into a drawing with their number on it. Winners in the raffle drawings get gift cards to places like BarAcuda and Calypso Café, Hanalei Gourmet and Hanalei Surf Shop. In total, the Kauai North Shore Lions Club is investing $1,000 into gift cards for the event."The idea is to get people out going to different merchants and buying things,” LaFratta said. “We want them (Merchant Hop players) to share the love. 

Record-breaking rains hammered Kauai’s North Shore over the weekend of April 15, flooding businesses and homes in Hanalei. Landslides shut down access to Wainiha and Haena. A one-lane emergency access road was finally cleared April 28. However, public traffic is still shut down on Kuhio Highway past Hanalei. Many of the people who normally work at Hanalei’s businesses are trapped in Wainiha and Haena. North Shore Lions member Richard Teixeira said the goal is to prevent them from coming back to closed doors due to a low volume of business once the road reopens. “It is very important to help sustain a healthy commercial environment for the good of everyone,” Teixeira said.

The game applies to any kind of merchandise bought at Hanalei business including food and drink at restaurants, clothing and gear, and gifts and art. The Hanalei Merchant Hop game starts at noon Sunday and will run through 7 p.m.  Players don’t have to be present to collect prizes for the raffle, but participants must register with the Lions at their tent before beginning the game to play. This was a last-minute idea to get some life into this town and help some merchants out.