Rainmaker Hotel

Coordinates: 14°17′23″S 170°40′48″W / 14.2897°S 170.6800°W / -14.2897; -170.6800
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Rainmaker Hotel
In 2007
General information
LocationUtule'i, Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Other information
Number of rooms250

Rainmaker Hotel was a 250-room luxury hotel in Utulei, Pago Pago, American Samoa.[1] It was the only proper hotel in American Samoa and was operated by the government. The hotel was at its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was known as the Pacific's Intercontinental Hotel.[2]

The hotel was dedicated in November 1965. The four-day hotel opening celebrations began with a flag-raising at the Governor's Office on Flag Day, followed by a royal ‘ava ceremony conducted at the Fagatogo malae by Taumafaalofi and Aumaga of Nu'uuli. The parade that followed was the longest in history. Several members of the U.S. Congress attended and the Air Force Band played music. Senator Alan Bible was the featured Flag Day speaker and the Department of the Interior sent its top officials. Governor John A. Burns came from Hawai'i with General Harris of the Air Force and Admiral Fabik of the Coast Guard. Prime Minister Mata'afa headed the Western Samoan delegation.[3]

In 1980, an air disaster occurred when a US Navy plane hit the cables of the Mt. Alava aerial tramway and crashed into the hotel, killing the six servicemen aboard and two tourists who were staying at the hotel.[4] The hotel manager reportedly refused that a memorial be erected inside the hotel grounds.[4]

The hotel hosted most of the Miss Island Queen Pageant competitions between 1987 and 2001.

In May 2002 the hotel was ordered to pay a US$400,000 overdue power bill to the American Samoa Power Authority.[5] In march 2003 the ASPA cut off its power for a night after failing to receive payment.[6]

In 2004 the government agreed to lease part of the hotel to businessman Tom Drabble.[7] In August 2004 the American Samoan Senate rejected a government bail-out plan.[8]

In 2014 it was announced that the derelict hotel would be demolished.[9] It was demolished in 2015 after sitting deserted for over a decade.[10]


On February 21, 1964, it was reported in the Wall Street Journal that the Area Redevelopment Administration (ARA) had announced a million-dollar loan toward constructing a hotel in Pago Pago. The ARA stated in the article that “only tourism… offers a sound basis on which to restructure the economy.” It was anticipated that tourists would be arriving in increased numbers due to new scheduled flights. The paper notes that “if Samoa were independent… it would doubtless be getting a far costlier restructuring.”[11]


  1. ^ The New Pacific magazine. New Pacific Pub. 1 January 1981. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  2. ^ Pacific magazine. PacificBasin Communications. 2007. p. 126. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  3. ^ Sunia, Fofo I.F. (2009). A History of American Samoa. Amerika Samoa Humanities Council. Page 282. ISBN 9781573062992.
  4. ^ a b Stanley, David (6 October 1999). Tonga-Samoa Handbook. David Stanley. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-56691-174-0. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  5. ^ "State-owned hotel in American Samoa ordered to pay huge overdue bill". RNZ. 31 May 2002. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Troubled hotel in American Samoa loses electricity again". RNZ. 5 March 2003. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  7. ^ "American Samoa government to lease part of Rainmaker Hotel". RNZ. 17 June 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  8. ^ "American Samoa Senate opposed to hotel bail out plan". RNZ. 23 August 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  9. ^ "Rainmaker Hotel will soon be completely demolished". Samoa News. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-11-22. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  10. ^ "American Samoa hotel project gets two offers". RNZ. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2022.
  11. ^ ”Restructuring in Pago Pago." Wall Street Journal (Feb. 21, 1964). Page 8.

14°17′23″S 170°40′48″W / 14.2897°S 170.6800°W / -14.2897; -170.6800