Paddling The Outrigger: Inspiration and Insights from The Journey of a Lifetime

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ISBN: 9781573066556

REVIEWS for Paddling the Outrigger:

“What a great read! Richard Kelley and I share many of the same convictions about the increasingly important role Travel & Tourism plays in strengthening global peace, understanding and economic growth. Richard has a great mind and is a wonderful storyteller, as this book makes abundantly clear.”

– J. Willard “Bill” Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman of the Board, Marriott International

Paddling the Outrigger reads like a screenplay for a documentary film. Thanks to the Kelley family’s vision and values, Outrigger is an iconic brand that perfected the art of kama‘āina hospitality. Beyond its delightful stories, this book sheds light on the challenges that confront Hawai‘i’s visitor industry and stifle its economy...inspirational."

– John De Fries, President and CEO, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority; former Executive Director, Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association

“A behind-the-scenes journey that goes back in time as well as around one of the world’s top travel destinations...a feast for lovers of both travel and history."

– Melinda Bush, CEO, Hospitality Resources Worldwide


Interior Book Preview:



Dr. Richard R. Kelley, fondly known as 'Doc' to friends and business associates, led Hawai‘i’s most iconic hotel company, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, for over four and a half decades. In Paddling the Outrigger, he compellingly recounts his family’s experiences as hospitality pioneers, operating a family run business in the Hawai‘i of "days gone by” to its place as an iconic hotel brand in one of the worldʻs most coveted vacation destinations. In frank observations, Kelley shares the philosophy of a successful entrepreneur and businessman, conducting business in Hawai‘i and globally, living and working in the most beautiful island archipelago on Earth.

Readers interested in old Waikīkī will relish stories of some of the characters who inhabited its history and the life changing recollections of a boy eyewitness to Japan’s 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Students of hospitality will appreciate Kelleyʻs storytelling, his inside perspective on the development and inner workings of Hawai`s visitor industry and its continuing relevance for a range of readers from guests to employees to CEOʻs. As Outrigger evolved, Kelley traveled the world, shaping a perspective on business, the economy, government, education and health care that he uniquely applied through the lens of ʻaloha.ʻ In a series of ʻSaturday Briefingsʻ readers will get a feel for the broad range of experiences and responsibilities one encounters in the hospitality industry: “where you never know where the day will take you.”

Paddling the Outrigger transcends the story of a company and its people to illuminate a way of doing business (Ke`Ano Wa`a - The Outrigger Way) in an atmosphere of mutual respect that is pervasive in the cultures of Hawai‘i and across the Pacific and Indian oceans. The world has something to learn from it.


by Dr. Richard R. Kelley


paperback   |   312 pages   |   8" x 10.25"   |   color