–authorities urge, as sod turned for multimillion-dollar Hyatt Hotel at Providence
WITH Guyana slated for massive growth and development as a result of its burgeoning oil and gas sector and other productive sectors, local authorities have urged existing and potential stakeholders to look at investment opportunities outside of Georgetown, so as to ensure that advancement is widespread.
This was advice of Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond and Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, who both spoke at a ceremonial sod-turning exercise for a US$32.2 million Hyatt Place Hotel at Providence, East Bank Demerara, on Wednesday.
The spanking new 125-room four-star Hyatt Place Georgetown Hotel, being developed along Red Road, Providence, just between Qualfon Guyana and Texila American University, is expected to add to the transformation of the East Bank of Demerara corridor.
“The fact that we have encouraged and facilitated the construction of major internationally branded hotels here outside of Georgetown is no accident. It is a natural and logical outcome of the philosophy of our government that economic development and growth must be inclusive and equitable,” Walrond said.
She added: “Major developments are not for the capital city alone. We wish to see major developments in every region of the country and within these regions development must be widespread and across the board.”
Walrond reminded that the Hyatt Place Hotel joins the US$20 million Marriott-branded hotel being constructed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA); that was another project being developed outside of Central Georgetown.
Additionally, the project also supplements the US$15 million Aiden Hotel, under the Best Western Hotel & Resorts network, being erected at Robb and Oronoque streets, Georgetown, for which the sod was turned in July, 2021.
Dr. Singh said that the locality surrounding the site for the construction of the Hyatt-branded hotel was once sugarcane fields, and it was a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government which opened vast new areas of land to facilitate development.
He reminded that the now thriving Eccles Housing area, and Eccles Industrial Site were once non-existent; and this was also the case with the Providence locality, and Diamond area, which now house thousands of residents, and services.
“We are now on the homestretch, approaching the tape, approaching the culmination of what has been a long journey born out of tremendous vision for the future,” Dr. Singh said, while speaking of the strategic location of the Hyatt Place Hotel.
He highlighted that the hotel was a “stone’s throw” away from established housing schemes; the Texila America University, an international university; Qualfon Guyana, a business process outsourcing establishment; the Massy Stores; the Amazonia Mall and Guyana’s National Stadium, among other developments.
ABUNDANCE OF ACTIVITIES
“We are literally a few minutes’ drive from major shore base development, and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments to supply services to the sector,” Dr. Singh said, referring to recent major developments which have flocked the East Bank Demerara corridor.
The hotel development is being pursued by SIR Investments Guyana Inc., a subsidiary of Universal Investments Limited, a company registered in 1976 in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The Hyatt Place Georgetown is its first investment outside of Trinidad and Tobago.
Situated on three acres 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.
Construction of the facility is expected to commence shortly, as the franchise agreement has been executed, a project manager, architectural and other services contracted, and financial arrangements approved, Imtiaz Ahamad, one of the proprietors, disclosed.
The project has a 36-month timeline and is expected to be completed in 2024. During construction, some 300 Guyanese from the surrounding communities of the project site will be employed, and some 70 to 80 are expected to be employed upon completion of the facility.
“You can remember I said this today [Wednesday]; without a doubt, there will be opportunities for local partnerships, partnerships which will result in huge dividends for the country and the people of Guyana,” Ahamad said.
He added: “The construction of the Hyatt Place Hotel shows our confidence in the economy, the tourism sector and of course business in Guyana. We are so pleased to participate in further growth and development in this country; we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”
Also present at the engagement were Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Information, Kwame McCoy; Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment, Dr. Peter Ramsaroop and Foreign Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Robert Persaud.