The Kimball family managed the hotel through tumultuous times – the depression era in the 1930s and the second World War. Through it all, Halekūlani always lived up to its name as a “house befitting heaven.”
As tourism in Waikīkī grew in the 1950s and 60s, it was clear to Kimball that the property needed to expand beyond its 190 rooms. Without the capital to finance the expansion, the Kimball family sold the property in 1962 after managing it for forty-five years.
Richard Kimball’s contributions to Hawai‘i tourism went far beyond the management of Halekūlani. After selling Halekūlani, Richard and his brother George remained in the visitor industry, building the Waiohai hotel on Kaua‘i. In his public life, Robert served in the Territorial Legislature from 1936 to 1944, chaired the territory’s Parks Board for many years, and was instrumental in reorganizing the Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau in the post War years.