Geek Trivia

Free Ice Machines Are A Fixture In Hotels Across America Thanks To Which Hotel?

The Holiday Inn
The Hilton
The Gramercy Park Hotel
The Ritz
Which Video Game Had The Highest Per-Copy Cost?

Answer: The Holiday Inn

It’s just the way of the hotel universe: tens of thousands of hotels the world over have little cubbies off to the side, usually by the elevator, with a vending machine or two, maybe a laundry facility of sorts, but most definitely and without question, an ice machine.

Why ice machines? Sure it’s convenient if you want some ice but why exactly is the loud, humming, ice-churning-machine so ubiquitous in American hotels? If you love living like a king with infinite free ice, you can thank Kemmons Wilson, the founder of the now nation-wide Holiday Inn hotel chain.

Wilson hated that while traveling he was charged for ice via room service. He and millions of other Americans had gotten a taste for iced beverages and he considered it unbecoming of a hotel to charge for what he considered such a basic amenity. When he expanded the original Holiday Inn into a franchise of hotels, he ensured that ice machines, free for the use of hotel guests, were a fixture in Holiday Inns far and wide.