It’s that time of the week again to read up on some fresh Aruba local news.

If this is you’re first time reading news articles on my blog, welcome.

I know it is hard to find Aruba local news online in English. I also know how much it means to you to feel connected to Aruba, by reading my news articles. 

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Aruba Local News 

This week a lot happened in Aruba.

So here’s some Aruba local news that you can relate too that stood out this week.

Let’s start by congratulating…

A New General Manager At Hilton Aruba

The Hilton Aruba announced the arrival of a new general manager.

The new manager is Hans-Georg Roehrbein. 

Before his new position in Aruba, he was general manager of the Marriott Hotel in Egypt. He supervised over a 1000 rooms, a dozen F&B outlets and 1600 employees.

He started his career as sous chef at the Marriott hotel in Miami and now has over 30 years of experience in the hotel industry.

I would like to wish him much success leading the Hilton Aruba.

80/20 Rule For CITGO

The reopening of Aruba’s refinery is in full swing.

A lot of locals and politicians want to ensure that the people of Aruba get most of the jobs in the refinery.

The minister of Labor, Paul Croes, stated and promised that 80% of the employees at CITGO will be locals.

He also said the unemployment rate is going to drop about 2% because of the reopening of Aruba’s refinery. 

The government is planning to work closely with high schools and universities in Aruba.

This will help students get into the economic and energy sector so they can get a job in the refinery. It’s a 25 year contract between CITGO and Aruba, so a good move to invest in Aruba’s youth and future leaders.

Finally Claimed Jackpot Lottery 3.1 Million

Many people have speculated why anyone hasn’t claimed the biggest Aruba lottery jackpot yet.

The reason no one claimed it for so long is because the winner went to a lawyer before they claimed the prize.

I guess the process itself was a long one since they won it, but they finally claimed it.

The winner wanted to stay anonymous, so the lawyer, Chris Lejuez was authorized to claim the check.

A remarkable fact is that the winning ticket was received as a free ticket they had won.

They only added 2 guilders to win the jackpot.

I’m glad someone finally claimed it.

I was beginning to think that they lost the ticket somehow taking so long to claim it.

Protest Against Car Insurance Payments

This week truck drivers protested by blocking the road in front of the parliament.

They were protesting against the government for forcing everyone to pay their car insurance in one time payment in 2017.

Previously you could of paid your car insurance quarterly. Now, there’s a new law that is going to change the rules.

The drivers parked their trucks in the middle of the streets in front of the parliament.

You couldn’t go near the downtown area ( or LG smith boulevard).

The truck drivers are protesting against Minister of Finance, Angel Bermudez, to stop the situation.

What’s going to happen to Bushiri hotel?

Minister of Infrastructure, Benny Zievinger, wants to bring down the remaining structure of Bushiri Hotel.

It’s an ugly site down the road in LG Smith Boulevard. It’s going to be a long process, before the government can bring down the building.

In the meantime there’s already offers to buy the land to build another hotel. There’s also interest in the private sector to build a malls or other commercial projects.

Child Breaks Hand at Bushiribana Gold Mill

This week a terrible accident happened at Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruin that could’ve been easily prevented.

A person who was there, told the police a family reached with ATV’s at the gold mill.

Afterwards the mother and father went to the coastline to see the beach.

They left their child at the gold mine without supervision.

The child decided to climb on the rocks, but the hard wind caused the child to a fall. 

The poor kid suffered a broken hand.

The police and paramedics responded quick after they were notified about the accident. They brought the kid to the hospital to get further treatment.

The parents are wrong for this one though, how could you leave the child alone?

If you’re travelling with kids in Aruba, keep them safe.

Aura Casino Is a Closed Case

There seems to be an agreement made between the new owners of Aura Casino (Island Gaming) and the ex employees.

In total there are 44 employees that were fired by their previous employers.

However, only 26 of them will continue to work at the hotel. 

The owners, Island Gaming, reduced the size of the casino during renovation by more than half of its original size.

It was impossible to take all 44 employees back, they only took back 26 people.

From the rest of the employees 15 chose a package (4 months of pay).

However, 3 of the employees opted not to accept anything the company offered.

They are still in process in the court about a possible solution.

I guess this case is finally coming to an end after months.

Faster Service in Aruba’s Airport

The CEO of Aruba’s airport, James Fazio, explained that they are going to eliminate one of the two points of control in the USA Hall.

The main concern is the baggage area.

The plan is to remove the baggage reclaim area which will automatically take out the need to control for a second time.

So eventually you will check in your luggage, go to the immigration department, continue to passenger screening on to the US pre clearance (in the crying room) 🙁

Smoking Going To Be Banned in Casino

The government is creating a law that will ban smoking in the casino.

The smoking ban is going to take a while to take full effect. Because all the casinos have to adapt their establishments to comfort both smokers and non-smokers.

For example the casino at the Hyatt is already making plans to create a room where you can smoke.

It’s going to take about a year for this smoking ban to become reality.

Do you like to smoke in the casino?

What are your thoughts on the smoking ban…

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53 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hate spoking in casino especially cigars. Have left at times because of it & both my husband & I like to gamble & visit Aruba usually 2 to 3 times a year.

  2. Art M Dubois
    Art M Dubois says:

    Thanks again, Angelo, for sharing the Aruba news with us! Very much appreciated! Great to hear that the refinery will actually re-open! Aruba will once again have an industry providing well-paid and needed jobs!
    No Smoking in the casinos is further good news! While the poker rooms have been No Smoking for years, the rest of the casinos allowed smoking. There should be No Smoking in all public areas in all establishments.

  3. Laraine
    Laraine says:

    It’s wonderful that the casinos will be smoke free! I hate going back to my timeshare stinking like someone’s cigarette and always feel bad for the employees who have do deal with it all the time.

  4. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Smoking a good cigar with a drink with gambling is a major perk when in aruba, if i could not smoke a cigar in the casino’s i may not play as much.

  5. Ron petera
    Ron petera says:

    No smoking in the casinos will be greatly appreciated. All casinos in Maryland are non-smoking and there has been NO loss of attendance or revenue. It will make your/our stay in a casino last longer (until the gambling money runs out) and your clothes won’t stink of cigarette smoke.

  6. Bianca
    Bianca says:

    Thanks Angelo! Appreciate the updates. I’m happy to hear aboout re-opening of the refinery which equals jobs. Additionally, delighted to hear there plans to demolish the old Bushiri Hotel(an eyesore now). Hopefully, another hotel or eatery will take its place. I have fond memories of the old hotel. Have a wonderful week.

  7. Rhonda Kjargaard
    Rhonda Kjargaard says:

    Thank you so much for the timely updates, Angelo! My husband and I really appreciate them. You do an excellent job of summarizing the main points of the news! Again, thank you kindly!

  8. Sam
    Sam says:

    What happened to the plan to have a beach and shopping area where the Bushiri and the container port was for the cruise ships? I know I am sick of buses dumping bus loads of passengers into our resort beaches which we are paying dearly for.(I know the beaches are public but not the chickis & lounge chairs)

  9. Rosemarie Sheehan
    Rosemarie Sheehan says:

    I understand about wanting a non smoking area in the casinos. However, being a smoker, if you make all the casinos non smoking, I will not be gambling as much, and I do so enjoy gambling in Aruba. Please be reasonable and compromise.

  10. Esther Fernandez
    Esther Fernandez says:

    Thank you for doing such a great job of keeping Aruba lovers up to date on what is happening on our favorite vacation spot. We are returning in a few days for our 37 consecutive year and counting the hours. Question: Where is the Aura Casino, I just cannot place it? Thank you again.

  11. Byron Woodruff
    Byron Woodruff says:

    I love this news letter. Makes me miss Aruba so much, esp during these winter months.
    Happy to hear about the refinery opening back up. Can’t wait to visit and see how lively that will make the other side of the island. Any idea what that side was like when the refinery was going last time?

  12. Danielle
    Danielle says:

    Thank you for your update on the local news. Great info and I love to keep in touch w Aruba life while we are not there.

    Casinos – smoking ban- I am all for it. Smoke stinks !!

  13. Art M Dubois
    Art M Dubois says:

    If you really need to smoke that cigar, why not respect the air around others? Step outside, smoke that stogies then step back inside the casino and enjoy the fresh air inside!

  14. Art M Dubois
    Art M Dubois says:

    In Ontario, Canada, all casinos are smoke-free. Attendance and revenue are both higher since smoking was banned. Aruba will probably experience a similar reaction

  15. Peggy
    Peggy says:

    So glad the casinos are going to be smoke free!!! People can step outside and smoke if they wish. It will be so much healthier for everybody! If you decide on “smoking rooms” they need to be completely enclosed. We spend a lot of time in the casinos during our four weeks in Aruba every year, but hate the smoke! Casinos might even gain business…..we know a lot of people who avoid the casinos because of the smoke!

  16. Karyn Hynd
    Karyn Hynd says:

    Definitely happy about the no smoking in casinos! I understand if people want a separate area to smoke, but as it is, we cut our casino time because the smoke literally makes me ill. Thank you for all the news updates!

  17. J Campbell
    J Campbell says:

    First and foremost, I feel for the employees who have to be exposed to this day in and day out for many hours at a time where a tourist is in a casino for a relatively short time overall in comparison to workers. Also if the smoke is to prevalent in a certain space we can move or leave, the dealers and staff cannot.


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