Underwater resort planned off Maui

"We've explored only three or four percent of our oceans," muses Oklahoma-based hotel developer Joseph Cala. "We know more about outer space." For four years, Cala has dreamed of creating a worldwide chain of underwater resorts. The first of these resorts, just off the coast of Kaanapali, Maui, is slated to open in late 2002 or early 2003.

Guests will travel by submarine some 300 yards into the ocean to reach the 50,000-square-foot complex, which will house 20 suites, a lounge and restaurant, gaming rooms, and an "aquatic observatory and research center." The six-story, glass-bottomed resort will sit in 40 to 60 feet of water, with the top level raised above the surface in order to take in oxygen; the roof will accommodate a giant saltwater swimming pool, a 50-foot diving board, and sunbathing decks. Guests will have access to scuba equipment and a two-person submarine. A six-person suite is expected to cost $600 per night, including all meals and drinks. For further information, call Cala Corp. at 405/235-4960.