Kona Locals Ask Ironman Visitors for Respect

September 27, 2022

The relationship between Kona and Ironman is a complicated one. Certainly, tourism is a large part of the island’s economy, and during the COVID pandemic, a decline in travel meant a loss for most residents. Many businesses closed, and hotels and restaurants operated at a fraction of their capacity. When local authorities issued shutdown orders, Hawaii unemployment levels rose to those not seen since the Great Depression, topping out at 25 percent. But even though tourism has resumed, the island still hasn’t fully recovered. Many restaurants and hotels are understaffed, as are grocery stores and gas stations. Triathlete