Holiday Inn of Aruba
The Holiday Inn Hotel & Casino is located near the northwestern
Aruba. Its structure has not significantly changed for more than 30 years.
Clifford Jones and Jake Kozloff opened this casino and their initials "C.J.
J.K." can be seen on the first chips from this casino. The classic logo
of the Divi-Divi tree with the Ewing mold on the casino chips can be seen
with a PRC #HOL-5E.1, their initials can be seen in the lower area
of the round center inlay. These chips were in use from 1969 to 1972. They
also used the Christy & Jones, shinny Hat & Cane mold on their roulette
chips. These chips had the letters "CJ" on the top and "JK" in the bottom
of the chip and the table, either 'A', 'B' or 'C' in the center which represented
individual roulette tables. The colors used were teal green, red, yellow and
off white. There were no periods in-between the letters, code PRC #HOL-C&J.2
& .3 & .4 Roul, figure 1.
In 1972 the King International Casino opened in the Holiday Inn and
a similar logo of the Divi-Divi tree was found in these chips however the
words 'King International Casino' were added with the same Ewing mold, PRC
Incidentally, the $25.00 (PRC # 25E.1, figure 2) and the $100.00 chip
(PRC #100 E.1, figure 3) have differences for those purists who collect
variations. The second issue has a darker and bolder tree outlines and the
$25.00 chip has a lighter green color in its clay composition, PRC #KIN-225E.2,
The next series of chips that were issued were the Hat & Cane by Paul-son.
A nice series of $20.00, $25.00 and $100.00 Baccarat chips with the Hat &
Cane mold were in play for a limited number of years, PRC #KIN-20H.1, KIN-25H.2,
KIN-100H.3 (figures 5, 6, 7).
During this same time period, on October 14, 1985, they issued the first
and only series of
$25.00 and $100.00 credit chips manufactured by the Bud Jones Company.
These chips had the dice and card suits on the rim with a metal inlay, the
$25.00, PRC #KIN-25B.1, figure 8.
In 1986, the King International Casino first introduced the table card game
of Caribbean Stud. It is so popular that today it is played in virtually every
casino in the United States, the Caribbean, and most cruise ships. The original
special token used for the progressive jackpot. It was made of a lightweight
metal with the words 'Caribbean Stud' and an opened treasure chest on side
and '10, J, Q, K, A' surrounded by two palm trees and a rising sun.
King sold this casino and the name changed to Grand Holiday Casino.
Their chips are the beautiful Chipcos, PRC #GHC-1C.1, with the 'palm
tree and Royal Flush in hearts' as the logo, figure 9.
In their poker room, they have live Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold'em poker.
They are using the $1.00 chips from the Scandinavian Dawn cruise ship, PRC
#GHC-1SCD.3, the $5.00 Grand Holiday Casino Doubloon Chipco, PRC #GHC-5C.2
(figure 10), and the resurrected $20.00 King International baccarat chip,
PRC #KIN-20H.1 in the $10.00-$20.00 Texas Hold'em poker game, figure
On January 1, 1998 the GHC issued its first new low denomination tokens with
the same logo that is on their Chipcos, name a plam tree with the words 'Grand
Holiday Casino'. There is 5 cent, code #GHC-.05.1 is a non-denominational,
bronze-type token whose size is in between a US penny and US nickel, and 25
cent steel-type token, PRC #GHC-.25.1. Both of these tokens have the
added words 'Located in the Holiday Inn' near the bottom of the logo. These
tokens were probably introduced for better inventory control.
On September 1, 1998 the Grand Holiday Casino became defunct and the new
casino is called Excelsior Casino. Presently the Excelsior is the only casino
in Aruba that has a daily functioning poker room with (2) Texas Hold'em
and (4) Seven Card Stud tables. The Stellaris Casino also has a poker
room, but only opens it sporadically.
In almost 30 years of operation, the Holiday Inn had four different names
of owners or operators yet the name of the hotel, The Holiday Inn, stayed
'Til next time, Ralph.
The above Pollack's Reference Code (PRC) numbers are referenced
in "Casino Chip & Tokens of the Dutch Caribbean, Aruba Bonaire, Curacao
& St. Maarten" by Ralph P. Pollack, which was published in 1998.