Business Matters: Golf carts are the bread and butter of Nohokai Production Services

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tucked away at the bottom of Waikele Gulch, where all the caves are, Curtis Colin has a one of a kind business — golf carts, off-road vehicles, sales service, and repair.

Curtis is the owner of Nohokai Production Services.

“It’s a unique operation, which is kind of cool because it sits underground. I have a real man cave,” said Colin.

While the bulk of his business involves golf carts, his bunkers are home to all types of vehicles.

“Off-road 4×4 ATV is that we utilize for Hawaii Five-0, Magnum PI, any big movie production to come to town is the biggest. We have the largest inventory,” he said.

But the golf carts are his bread and butter.

Today, 30 carts have grown to hundreds and hundreds — every color and every style.

“I think the largest number we’ve ever had come home in one year is over 900. We sell them and we service them as well we try to get the sales out as quickly as possible.”

The carts come from different golf courses around the state. From your average course that switches out their fleet every five to seven years or so to the luxury resort courses who often trade out their entire fleet every couple years. And when they do, Curtis is the guy who takes them, refurbishes them, and then sells them to a variety of customers.

“There’s a lot of people out there who need golf carts. Primarily we do public schools, private schools, all the security firms all the shopping centers and airports. So we have the contracts for all of that.”

“There’s a lot of military contracts out there. We do a lot of repairs for them as well as their transportation. We do a lot for our consumer side which is security firms. There’s a lot of military contracts out there. We do a lot of the repairs for them as well as their transportation.”

And that’s another big part of his business.

When the Sony Open happens, or the tournaments on Maui and the Big Island, Curtis will often deliver upwards of 150 additional carts to the courses.

“It’s always moving in those tournaments that time of the year. January, it’s one on top of the other so we’re actually going back to back on everything. The guys are moving quit. We’re jumping flights and living out of suitcases for at least the whole month.”

And while business is good now, he says that’s not always the case. The key he says is knowing how to adjust.

“Perseverance,” he said. “I think a lot of the times when things get tough, we need to pull back here and there. I like to think of my crew and myself are not a large crew probably work twice as hard as most people and I think that’s the difference for us. There are times when you have to adapt. And I think we’ve done that.”

And looking ahead he says his recipe for success is very much like the product that he’s dealing with. It’s a matter of keeping everything rolling — starting with his team.

“Going forward, I think the secret to success is great, great employees. Taking care of your employees, teaching your employees, and making sure they understand what the value is and, of course, knowing your value.”