Sod was turned yesterday, February 19, for the first of two Hilton hotels that will be built in Guyana.
The hotel project, valued at some US$100 million, will be located south-east of the Eugene F. Correia International Airport and is being led by Guyanese businessman Edmon Braithwaite and backed by the Caribbean Marketing Enterprise Incorporated (CMEI).
Finance Minister Winston Jordan, at the symbolic service, said “This hotel will add to the portfolios of our green economy with the use of solar energy and its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, by way of a solar farm and green space allocation.”
“Guyana is open of business. Locals and foreigners alike are our partners for development. Therefore, my office and that of Go-Invest will always be open to assist you.”– Finance Minister Winston Jordan
Jordan also said that it will not only provide employment, but also build the country’s tourism capacity and encourage development of a new community near Ogle.
Once completed, the hotel will include a miniature golf course, clubhouse, entertainment centre, swimming pool and solar farm. Additionally, the hotel is expected to have between 120 and 130 rooms.
Speaking at the ceremony, the United States-based Braithwaite said ““It was all Guyanese who put this together. Today represents a momentous occasion…Each, and every one of you, must understand that whatever commitments we make here, are incredibly serious commitments and we commit to you that we will do everything we could to lift our people up.”
For his part, the minister said “Guyana is open of business. Locals and foreigners alike are our partners for development. Therefore, my office and that of Go-Invest will always be open to assist you. We want to hear about your investment ideas and solutions… The tourism and hospitality sector is a key area in our government’s ambitious drive for economic diversification so we will continue to harness and promote its potential.”
CEO of Energy Real Estate Solutions, and Braithwaite’s business partner, Mike Elliot, said “It is our vision that this site will be a focal point for the Ogle area and to master plan a well-designed mixed-use commercial project. Currently, we anticipate two internationally flagged hotels with associated amenities.”
The sod-turning ceremony follows another which took place last week for the construction of a US$75 million, 150-room AC Marriott Hotel in the area.
Guyana’s economy will see a major upturn this year following the start of oil production in the country on December 20, 2019. The International Monetary Fund last year projected that the country’s economy will grow some 86 per cent in 2020.