–140-room facility located next to CJIA targets 2023 opening
By Navendra Seoraj
AHEAD of Guyana’s potential economic ascension and anticipated rise in arrival rates, Cardinal Investments Inc. has positioned itself to absorb the imminent opportunities by completing the final agreements with Marriott International for the construction of a US$20 million Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, next to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
Cardinal Investments Inc., a company owned by Roy and Denise Bassoo, “sealed the deal” on Wednesday, when the company signed four agreements with representative of Marriott International, Eduardo Reple.
The agreements signed by the stakeholders are the hotel management agreement; the licence and royalty agreement; the international services agreement; and the technical services agreement.
According to information shared with this publication, this final process clears the way for the construction of the 140-room facility, which, when completed, will be the second Marriott hotel brand in Guyana. The six-storey hotel will be a one-minute drive from the entrance of the CJIA and is expected to accommodate airline crews and staff, business personnel, diplomats, and other travellers.
Speaking at a recent ceremony to commemorate the completion of the technical process between Cardinal Investments and Marriott International, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill said the development of this hotel is a “Kairos [opportune]moment” opportune]in Guyana’s hospitality sector.
Minister Edghill was quoted in a statement issued by the company as saying: “Development has an expiry date and so we must take advantage of the opportunities presented to us right now… investments made by the private sector spearhead development and when businesses thrive the country as a whole can also reap the rewards.”
Speaking specifically about the Courtyard hotel, Edghill said this facility will satisfy the need for accommodation next to the CJIA, especially in light of growing business opportunities in Guyana.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana office for Investment (Go-Invest), Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, said too that he is excited for this project since it will be the first major “airport hotel” in Guyana.
This development, he said, will facilitate the ease of doing business for investors and establish convenient accommodations for tourists.
“The project is fully supported by the Government of Guyana and this is the second Marriott International hotel in Guyana since its inception under the previous PPP/C administration and will continue to provide outstanding hotelier services under a reputable and longstanding developer, Bassoo Building and Civil Engineering Contractors,” Dr. Ramsaroop said.
Chief Development Officer at Marriott International Caribbean and Latin America, Laurent de Kousemaeker, believes that the project will not only give business travellers and other visitors additional options for accommodation in Guyana, but it will also improve the image of the airport and the surrounding area. Construction of the facility is anticipated to be completed by 2023.
Cardinal Investments Inc. is a special-purpose company created by Roy and Denise Bassoo to design and construct the 140-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel on 2.5 acres of land leased from the government.
According to the company, funds for the project will be sourced, in part, through syndicated financing led by Republic Bank.
Republic Bank has arranged over US$100 million in financing for other real estate projects in Guyana including Movietowne, the Pegasus Corporate Offices and Suites and the Georgetown Marriott hotel.
It was reported that close to US$1 billion (G$215B) will soon be injected into Guyana’s economy in the form of world-class hotels which will be constructed across the country to cater for the anticipated increase in visitors, who are being attracted by the nation’s burgeoning oil and gas sector and its spill-off benefits.
A business-friendly climate supplemented by the anticipated economic ascension is being credited for the attraction of major players in the hotel industry such as, Sheraton, The Element, Delta Marriott, Best Western Hotels and Resorts, the H-Tower Luxury Hotel, the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, the Radisson Hotels, and the Hilton Hotels and Resorts, among others. According to a study by Oxford Economics, hotel operations and guest spending, support eight million jobs across the US alone. The same study found that a typical hotel with 100 occupied rooms per night supports 230 local jobs every year. And the nation’s hotel and lodging industry brings other important benefits to local communities.
These businesses are a cornerstone for local economic activity, providing increased tax revenue, capital investment, tourism-related development and promotion, civic leadership, charitable contributions and sponsorship. These benefits are also expected to accrue to Guyana, as the country continues to function as an investment magnet.