By Kurt Campbell
With all final agreements signed between Cardinal Investment Inc. – a company owned by Guyanese Roy and Denise Bassoo – and Marriott International, Guyana will soon be home to a second hotel under the Marriott brand.
The Courtyard by Marriott with 140 rooms will be constructed on 2.5 acres of land that was leased from the government, at Timehri, East Bank Demerara in close proximity to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
The construction of the superstructure is expected to last for 24 months with an opening date pegged for early 2023. The honoured guest at Friday’s sod turning event was President Irfaan Ali.
The President said he was happy that the Bassoo family, who will be spearheading the investment, has bought into the transformational vision of the People’s Progressive Party Government.
“The most important thing for our country is a vision, a vision that is alive, but critical to that vision is the creation of ownership. We can have the best vision but no one wants to be associated with the vision… so it remains a vision. And here is an example of a vision announced and ownership taken,” Dr. Ali said.
Roy Bassoo, an Executive of Cardinal Investment Inc., has promised to have the project fully complete and functional long before its 2023 due date. The King Jin group will lead the construction with part financing provided by Republic Bank.
Mr. Basso was thankful to all those who supported his venture, including the man who designed the building. He was particularly pleased with what he described as the government’s business-friendly attitude. This, he said, was most encouraging.
Marriott International and the United States Embassy in Georgetown was happy that another brand of the hotel was being built in Guyana through the collaboration of an indigenous business-oriented family and international players.
U.S Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch said the construction of the hotel was both welcomed and needed.
She was particularly happy that it was a U.S branded hotel and regarded it as a “win-win” for both the United States of America and Guyana.
“The world and Guyana is opening up as we transition into a post COVID era where demand for travel and hospitality services is skyrocketing. This new hotel will create good jobs for Guyanese, training them on the skill necessary for the world at a world-class hospitality company,” the Ambassador added.
The hotel is seen as a dream made real and is projected to cost US$20 Million.
In December 2020, GO-Invest executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project, in line with incentives being granted for all new projects. That same month it was announced that R. Bassoo and Sons had entered into initial agreements with Marriott International and the Government of Guyana to design and build the hotel.
These agreements follow the company’s response to the government’s request for proposal (RFP) and include a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Marriott International, a completed market study by Hotel Valuation Services (HVS), one of the foremost hotel valuation firms and a conceptual design by Urbahn Architects (New York’s 2019 Design Firm of the Year).