After much preparation the day has finally arrived and the Holiday Inn got to throw the BIG party in honor of its 50th birthday.
The party set itself apart by being short on speeches and long on festivities. In the absence of a resort general manager the Regional Director of Sales, Fernando Rosado, thanked a long list of very-deserving individuals, including repeat guests, who have been coming back to Aruba to the Holiday Inn for thirty- forty- and fifty years, he also warmly thanked loyal employees and got off stage to allow the band to do what it does best. NBO was an excellent musical choice, the dance floor filled up instantly, and kept jumping throughout.
Then 8:30pm fireworks painted the clear night-sky in incredible colors.
Compliments on the understated yet impactful décor. The pool deck was beautifully lit, and set up with high tops emblazoned with the 50th anniversary logo.
Kudos: Out of environmental considerations guests were given a commemorative cup at the entrance, beer or wine, according to their preference, eliminating the challenge of discarded single-use plastic cups!
The MinTour mingled and posed, he wasn’t asked to speak, and did not really prepare to, he explained, but was very visible in photos, making himself accessible for selfies and group shots.
I understand that GM Kevin Anderson just left the week before. He served the hotel in Aruba for five years and his desire to relocate and embark on a new phase of his career overshadowed his desire to stay for the much-anticipated party. The new GM a handsome Italian will come on board in December.
Best feature? All resort guests were invited. Yes, the invite included them all, and all employees, and a small contingent of dignitaries including the Aruba Tourism Authority’s CEO, Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes and the AHATA CEO Tisa LaSorte.
That was a great mix!
Our Holiday Inn has maintained a steady presence here for five decades, same name, same logo, while other hotels rebranded over time, and the chain standing for “America, Motherhood & Apple Pie,” remained a constant on our tourism landscape.
According to Luigi Wix, with 590 room, the resort now has the most diverse array of offers, that means a mix of all inclusive, and EP, in a great number of categories, in many markets, with something for everyone, maintaining a sold 3 star PLUS rating, and an enviable average daily rate, in comparison to the chain’s other regional properties, many of them in countries in South America where turmoil hit hard.
The Holiday Inn in Aruba maintain a 30% return visitor rate and keeps upgrading and improving says Harmen Gieske, who oversees a great number of restaurants, some of them he says, are Best Kept Secrets, including a daily pop-up, and a spectacular weekly Carnival show with a real brass band!
Congratulations to my friends at the resort Marketing & PR Director Eva Ruiz, Associate Director of Sales Luigi Wix, and Director of Food & Beverage Harmen Gieske, Danny Fernandes, Catering & Sales Manager and Rene Croes, Sales Assistant.
Hadrey Gallery at the Holiday Inn lobby remains on view depicting images from with three photo installation, two featuring nostalgic images of the resort over the years and one wall featuring professionally taken photographs of the resort’s loyal veteran employees, including Irma Romney, who has been working uninterruptedly for 46 years.