Utulei is a village in Maoputasi County in the Eastern District of Tutuila, the main island of American Samoa. Utulei is the legislative capital of American Samoa, and is located east of Pago Pago. It is home to most hotels and most historic buildings in Pago Pago, including the 1904 Courthouse. The Executive Office Building is located here, just next to Feleti Barstow Library and paved roads that wind up to the former cablecar terminal on Solo Hill. Lee Auditorium, which was built in 1962, is also located in Utulei. American Samoa’s television studios, known as Michael J. Kirwan Educational Television Center, and the Rainmaker Hotel, are also found in Utulei. Utulei Terminal offers great views of Rainmaker Mountain.
Utulei is also home to Tauese PF Sunia Ocean Center, which is the visitor center for the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa. It is home to informative exhibits on region’s ecosystems and reefs.
Some Pago Pago-based hotels are located in Utulei, including Sadies by the Sea. Feleti Barstow Library is the central public library for American Samoa, and is located across from the Office of Tourism just behind Samoana High School. It has the largest selection of literature in American Samoa. The library was established from 1998-2000 with funds from the Community Development Block Grant, a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Utulei Beach Park is one of few public parks in Pago Pago or on Tutuila Island as a whole. It was built by the U.S. Navy in the 1940s by filling in a marshy area by the Pago Pago Harbor. The park is now home to a grassy area with scattered trees and picnic sites. Two historic naval buildings are found by the park. These were originally constructed in the 1940s and are two of four original structures built here by the Navy. The Pago Pago Yacht Club and the ASG Tourism Office are located here today. The park is used for recreational activities such as volleyball and picnicking. The beach is used for canoe racing, kayaking, and wind surfing. It is a common gathering place for social activities and events.
It created a controversy when the Governor approved a beachfront McDonald's restaurant on Utulei Beach in 2006. Utulei Beach is a designated park area and has received substantial funding from the National Park Service. The governor said he approved the restaurant to boost activity in an area which is practically dead in the evenings.
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