Maunaloa was established by 1923 by Libby, McNeill and Libby as a base of operations for their pineapple enterprise. It remained a plantation town with a small commercial core and worker housing until 1975 when Dole, which bought out Libby in 1972, shut down pineapple production at Maunaloa. Following the purchase of Molokai Ranch by Singapore-based Brierly Investments in 1986, the town underwent a $32 million revamping between 1994 and 1999. Worker housing was replaced by more modern dwellings on smaller lots, and the commercial core received a visitor industry– oriented facelift with new structures, including a Kentucky Fried Chicken, the first national fast food outlet on the island.
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