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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington State's Exotic Investment Opens In Tahiti


A new luxury resort has opened on a Tahitian island once owned by Marlon Brando and it could soon start to pay a dividend to Washington state’s retired public employees.

That’s because the Washington State Investment Boardis a majority owner of the company that owns the resort.

The Brando is a $4,000 per night resort that made CNBC’s list of “Hot travel trends for the uber rich.”

The New York Times describes it as a 35-villa luxury resort and scientific research lab with a near-zero carbon footprint. Washington state investment officer Steve Draper has not only visited, he got to stay the night. But it was all business.

“I had high expectations and our partner exceeded those expectations in the finished product,” Draper said.

The Brando was originally slated to open in 2012, but there were some delays. Draper said he expects the resort will begin to produce a return on investment within the next few years.

“The early news is very, very positive and the reviews are very good and our confidence level is very high that this will be a good outcome,” he said.

Real estate is currently about 12 percent of Washington’s investment portfolio.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."