Second in size in the Hawaiian chain, Maui is one of Polynesia’s principal “high islands,” dominated by the massive shoulders of 10,023-foot Haleakala and mile-length Puu Kukui, “Candlenut Mountain,” volcanoes.  Named for the trickster demigod of Polynesian lore, Maui defers only to Oahu in visitor popularity and economic vigor.

“Fast-growing” applies to all of Maui as the twenty-first century nears.  With cool upland vistas and miles of sunny leeward beachfront, Maui in the 1960s and 1970s catapulted out of dormancy to become one of the world’s choicest resort investments.  Property values started soaring 40 percent a year, and the island soon boasted of more millionaires per capita than the French Riviera.

While the boomtown mentality unleashed by this real estate frenzy has taken a toll on Maui’s reputation as “the best” island is still under populated in comparison with Oahu.  It probably will continue, however, to absorb the lion’s share of the State’s new growth.

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