The Escape Plan – October 2011

2011 Precoa Incentive Travel Newsletter

“After all, Hawaii is the best land. (O Hawaii no ka aina maikai)”

-Hawaiian Proverb

While Maui is deservedly famous for its modern resorts and luxurious vacation amenities, it also has a proud and fascinating history that stretches back to the arrival of the first Polynesian settlers in the fifth century A.D. Some of the most unique stories from the past have occurred in the same northwest corner of the island that our Escape To Paradise-Maui guests will call home for week in April of 2012.

In this issue of The Escape Plan we’ll provide some background on the area surrounding the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, including the story behind one of Maui’s most famous and crowd-pleasing reenactments – the daily cliff diving ceremony off Black Rock.

Northwest Maui is the place where history truly comes alive and it’s just another part of an experience you’ll never forget at Escape To Paradise-Maui!

THE royal playground of hawaii

Royal Playground Lahaina

The connection between the past and present is strong in Maui and in no place is this more evident than Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina – where your Escape To Paradise experience begins.

The island of Maui was unified under the same royal family in 1550 and Kaanapali Beach – that same stretch of golden brown sand that lies in front of the Sheraton Maui Resort – was their vacation playground and a place of great spiritual significance (read about the cliff diving ceremony in the section below).

In 1820, after legendary King Kamehameha I unified the Hawaiian islands, the town of Lahaina became the capital of the Kingdom and remained so for more than two decades. King Kamehameha III built his royal palace – Moku’ula – on a tiny, moated island, surrounded by a 17-acre, spring-fed wetland pond that was rumored to be the home of Kihawahine – a powerful lizard goddess.

For much of the 19th century, Lahaina was the center of the global whaling industry. Up to 1,500 sailors from as many as 400 ships took leave in Lahaina, including Herman Melville, who immortalized the era in his classic novel Moby Dick.

Today Lahaina is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can still get a feel for old Lahaina as you stroll down lively Front Street and visit historic stops like the U.S. Seamen’s Hospital, Hale Paaho (Lahaina Prison), the Pioneer Inn, and other sites on the Lahaina Historic Trail. Approximately 55 acres of old Lahaina have been set aside as historic districts.

Click the links below for more information on the history of Northwest Maui:

the Cliff diving ceremony at black rock

Pu’u Keka’a or Black Rock is one of the most famous locations in Maui and the site of the Sheraton Maui’s exclusive cliff diving ceremony. This dark lava rock promontory, located on the northern tip of Kaanapali Beach, is revered as a sacred spot known as ka leina a ka ‘uhane – “the place where a soul leaps into eternity.”

Maui’s legendary King Kahekili (ruled circa 1766-1793) excelled in the game of lele kawa or cliff jumping. He was known to have jumped into the sea from heights of 300 to 400 feet. Kahekili gained respect from many warriors for his leaps from Black Rock, as most were frightened of the spirits who lived in the area.

These days, every evening at sunset, a young diver gracefully ascends Black Rock to reenact the great king’s feats, lighting torches along the way to honor the souls of the departed. Upon reaching the summit he offers his torch to the ocean below, casts his flower lei into the sea, and finally takes the breathtaking dive from Black Rock into the rolling surf below.

It’s just one of the features that makes the Sheraton Maui Resort and Kaanapali Beach one of the most unique and memorable locations on the island.

who’s qualified for escape to paradise - MAUI?

We’re eight months into the 2011 incentive qualifying period and the list of qualifiers for Escape To Paradise - Maui has surged to 34 all-star agents. Our qualifying group continues to grow by leaps and bounds as 11 more agents surpassed the elite 1 million-point mark last month.

We’d like to extend a BIG congratulations – or Ho'omaika'i 'ana as they say in Hawaii – to our September qualifiers: Lance Acree, Juanita Caesar, Shirley Croft, Angilena Davis-Lindsey, Beth Dominguez, Shirley Ann Johnson, Ronald Nelson, Robert Riege, Josie Schwab, Maggie Tuico, and Connie Wills.

The qualifying list looks like it’s going to get even longer in the coming months with another large group of agents poised to punch their tickets to Maui. As of Oct. 1, there were 17 agents knocking on the door with 900,000+ points, eight more over the 800,000 mark, and 21 others who have passed 700,000 points. Overall, there are an additional 50 Precoa agents currently on pace to qualify for Escape to Paradise and we want to see every one of them in Maui!

precoa counselor SPOTLIGHT – Roosevelt Curren

Name: Roosevelt Curren

Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.

Firm: Wade Funeral Home (St. Louis, Mo.)

Industry Background: One of the company’s most experienced agents, he started his career selling life insurance in 1972 and transitioned to the preneed industry with Precoa in 2007.

Roosevelt On The Preneed Industry: “Everyday is a challenge and you meet somebody new each day on the job. You’d be surprised at all the different things people want to preplan for their services, but one of the biggest challenges is working with them to balance their wishes with their budget. It’s like working a puzzle with each family to get as much of their ideal funeral to fit together with a price they’re comfortable with.”

Roosevelt On Precoa’s Product: “It was a welcome and easy transition for me to the preneed industry, and that was really because of our product. What we offer people makes sense economically and it’s something that everyone can purchase to take care of their families, regardless of any pre-existing health conditions. Everyone is able to get coverage if they want it, which, especially in the communities I serve, is a big advantage.”

Roosevelt’s Advice For New Counselors: “Work every day, work it just like a regular job, and focus on your referrals – they are the lifeblood of your career. Nothing is as effective as your satisfied customers telling their friends and family how you helped them and recommending your services.”

Roosevelt On Precoa Incentive Travel Trips: “These are vacations that you probably could never afford on your own. They’re something that every person dreams of. It’s been a blessing to have the opportunities to experience these kind of trips. They’re educational too because you get to see how other people in your field do things and you share information with each other.

Once you go the first time, it’s very hard for you to imagine missing another one. You remember that show Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous with Robin Leach? Well these trips are your chance to be Robin Leach for a week and they’re wonderful. I would never cash out on one of these trips because they experience is just too valuable.”

A regular on the incentive travel trips, Roosevelt surpassed the 1 million-point mark in August and is looking forward to Escape To Paradise - Maui next spring.

Award Points Needed to Qualify:

Counselors must earn a minimum of 1,000,000 points to qualify for the trip. Additional points can be used for room upgrades, extra nights, excursions, etc. Perk Points carried over from previous years can be used for upgrades and excursions once the counselors or manager has already qualified based on 2011 sales.

(Visit escape.precoa.com to get all the details on how you can qualify for Escape to Paradise)