–expected to create 300 jobs, increase economic activities in Providence
THE East Bank Demerara corridor is slated for further transformation with the intended establishment of a spanking new four-star hotel along Red Road at Providence, just between Qualfon Guyana and Texila American University.
The 125-room Hyatt Place Hotel, according to a project summary issued on Tuesday, is estimated to cost some US$32.2 million (almost G$6.8 billion).
With a projected 36-month timeline, construction of the hotel is expected to commence shortly after today’s sod-turning ceremony, and is projected to be up and running by 2024.
The hotel will be targeting the needs of Guyana’s middle to upper-class corporate clientele and value-conscious business and leisure travellers.
Situated on a five-acre parcel of land, the hotel is poised to feature standard amenities such as different guest room options that are friendly to persons with disabilities; guest laundry and room services; meeting rooms, a restaurant, bar and social lounge, as well as a fitness centre and pool.
The project, from its designing stages right up to the pre-opening arrangements, will provide employment for approximately 300 persons, 95 per cent of whom will be Guyanese nations.
After the construction phase, the hotel will provide up to 80 permanent jobs for Guyanese, along with a number of part-time opportunities.
The developer of this project is SIR Investments Guyana Incorporated, which is a subsidiary of Universal Investments Limited, a company registered in 1976 in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Universal Investments Limited (UIL), according to the summary, is owned by the Ahamad family and is an investment holding company with subsidiaries in the automotive, financial and real estate sectors in Trinidad.
“UIL’s main operating subsidiaries are Southern Sales & Service Company Limited which is the local dealer for the Audi, Kia, Mazda and Isuzu Brands, and Caribbean Finance Company Limited, a prominent finance company in Trinidad. Through investments in Guardian Holdings Limited and Agostini’s Limited, the company also has a presence in the insurance, retail and pharmaceutical sectors in Trinidad and Tobago,” the project summary outlined.
The need for more accommodation facilities has existed for years, prompting the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic government to pursue the establishment of the Marriott Hotel at Kingstown, Georgetown.
Although highly criticised and pegged as a “white elephant” by the then Parliamentary Opposition, the hotel constantly boasts of a “fully-booked” status; this will remain the case until January 2022.
Even amid a global pandemic, Guyana’s stellar reputation as a growing investment hub continues to attract thousands from near and far.
And with the country preparing to host a number of world leaders along with their technical teams and private sector representatives, the need for more state-of-the-art accommodation facilities will increase exponentially.
Within just a month of being in office, the Dr. Irfaan Ali-led government issued Expressions of Interest for internationally branded hotels to be built in the country, and many have since answered the call.
Only recently, the Guyana Chronicle reported the story of a Guyanese developer who plans to build a 150-room hotel in the Houston area, strategically positioned along the new four-lane Mandela-Eccles road which is being constructed.
Foreseeing the economic opportunities that will come from the completion of the road, Caribbean Green Building Inc., a Guyanese company with American ties, has already drafted its construction plans, promising the new hotel will have the backing of a globally-renowned brand.
While not naming the hotel chain, the local company, in its project scope submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, related: “We are going to introduce elevated amenities like the Bistro Bar (a fast, casual restaurant) and collaborative lobby spaces; a sophisticated yet comfortable environment with an enduring, classic sensibility.”
According to the project scope, in addition to luxurious rooms and other standard hotel features, the developer also plans to offer an arrival experience which includes an optional porte cochère – a covered entrance which is large enough for vehicles to pass through– and enhanced lighting.
Added to that, sod-turning exercises have already been had for a number of new, additional hotels, with two earmarked for the environs of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
The aim, according to local authorities, is to have at least 2,000 hotel rooms available for visitors and to accompany the anticipated growth in the local economy. President Ali had said that moving forward and embracing this potential growth and development would require transition, not just physically, but also in the way people act, think, celebrate Guyana and conduct business.
Guyana, with its new-found oil wealth and thriving productive sectors, is on the cusp of economic transformation and has already received the title of “investment capital” of the Region and possibly the world.