The 1990s were relatively peaceful years…
…for the nude sunbathers. Rowley moved to Las Vegas, and another Little Beach regular, Tom Collins, took over as “Mayor of Little Beach.”
Dick Hyers, the former exchequer, said the beach today exists in a harmonious confluence of groups that include new-styled hippies, gays, tourists and “your average Joe Blows, 35 and up, married with children, taxpayers and business owners.”
On Sundays, the hippies throw a large sunset celebration featuring a circle of drums and other instruments. The dancing continues into the night.
The Friends of Little Beach/Maui SunSeekers is still going strong, with members enjoying holiday potlucks in addition to socializing on the beach. Dick Hyers has moved on, and now Dave Swanson heads up the group.
Hundreds of visitors return year after year to a place known internationally as one of the top nude beaches in the world. There’s a group of 10 to 20 couples from all over North America, for example, who meet on the beach every February.
The beauty of Little Beach is the complete lack of social barriers. With no clothes to indicate social status, there is nothing to separate rich industrialists or high-powered surgeons from waiters or cab drivers. They’re all just as naked.
After a decade of tranquility, however, conflict over the practice of nude sunbathing has emerged again. Native Hawaiian representatives on a committee convened by the state to make recommendations on a master plan for Makena State Park have been pushing for limits.