General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Does Larry Ellison totally own the Hawaii island he purchased as his own country?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (19783points) November 16th, 2020

Did he fully purchase the island from the USA? Or does the USA still own the land?

I mean is it like the Louisiana purchase for all rights? Or does the USA still control the island?

I think that $500— $900 millions is too low for an island.

What other interesting details can you share?

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12 Answers

jca2's avatar

Haha @snowberry, we shared simultaneously! Same article too :)

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@jca2 @snowberry It doesn’t say if he owns his own country or if Lanai is independent or not?

Is it possible to make a total purchase of land to start one’s own country? That would, I hope, be more expensive than ~$350 millions.

What is the lowest price that one can reasonably pay a government for total ownership of a single acer of land anywhere?

snowberry's avatar

It’s all about the borders. If that island were actually not under the jurisdiction of the US government, it would be international news. Everyone would be talking about it. The US government would not tolerate such a thing.

elbanditoroso's avatar

He may own the land (he does), but the US has sovereignty over the territory. Ellison can’t make treaties or start wars. And Ellison has to pay US taxes.

It’s just like a big real estate purchase..

SEKA's avatar

According to CNBC he bought 98% of the island back in 2012. That leads me to believe that he doesn’t have his own country and he’s planning on developing the island. He bought almost all of the island at one time because it was cheaper than buying it piece by piece later on. He purchased 90,000 acres and paid $300 million 8 years ago. There’s a town of 3,200 people and 2 hotels on his part of the property. I’ve found nothing that indicates that he’s started his own country

As a bonus point, Bill Gates got married on this island but I don’t know which part of the island where the ceremony happened

jca2's avatar

@SEKA: If you look at the article that I linked and @snowberry linked (same article, coincidentally), it describes what the plan is for the land.

I’m guessing that when it says he bought 98% of the land on the island, the other 2% is the airport.

gondwanalon's avatar

Hawaii is part of the USA. Not even a multi billionaire can change that.

I don’t have anything interesting to share. But turning Lanai into another Honolulu is disgusting and sickening to me.

zenvelo's avatar

He didn’t buy it from the United States, he bought it from the owners of Dole Pineapple.

Lanai was in private hands before Hawaii became a US territory.

You can take a snorkeling/scuba dive day trip from Lahaina, Maui to the western end of the island, it is great for diving. I did that 30 years ago while on a honeymoon.

The “other 2%” is owned by the State of Hawaii or homes of private citizens.

LostInParadise's avatar

According to the Wikipedia article, Lanai is part of Maui county. Here is a second article. Check the section on how Lanai is governed.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 “Is it possible to make a total purchase of land to start one’s own country?”

Maybe in the past, but those days are long gone. Yeah, he owns most of the real estate on the island, but that does not give him sovereignty over the island. It is still very much under the jurisdiction of the United States, the State of Hawaii and the County of Maui and subject to all applicable laws and civil codes thereof.

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