Better to sell “profitable” Marriott hotel before new hotels are finished- Jagdeo

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 March 2023, 20:41 by Denis Chabrol

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday justified government’s decision to sell the Marriott Hotel now, saying that it would be better to sell that “profitable” facility now before it faces competition from seven hotels that are being constructed.

“Now, it will be best to sell the Marriott off. You could probably maximise the price that you could get when it’s profitable and before the seven new hotels that are privately built that are international brands come on the market. It is the period; you maximise the period in which you can sell,” he told a news conference at Freedom House, the headquarters of the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC).

He recounted that the Guyana government had opted to build the 197-room Marriott Hotel to trigger investment in that tourism sub-sector in the absence of private investors.

According to the Vice President, some of the earnings would be used to repay the remainder of a US$15.3 million loan from Republic Bank and the rest would go to the Treasury. “It’s a business decision. Governments have to be run like a business. It’s not a cake-shop operation…We can take the same money and trigger two, three new projects that add to the capital stock,” he added.

Atlantic Hotel Inc; a special purpose government-0wned company, earlier this week said it received expressions of interest from local, regional and international players to buy the hotel. Among the requirements are being financially capable based on net worth of a minimum US$250 million, audited financial statements for the last three financial years, and a letter of financial capability from a recognised financial institution.

Marriott, which opened its doors in April 2015,  currently accounts for 500 direct and indirect jobs.

Mr Jagdeo said there was “no particular supreme benefit” for government to continue owning the hotel which was built by China’s Shanghai Construction Group and leased to Marriott.

The seven new hotels that are under construction are the 150-room Four Points under Marriott at New Access Road, Houston, Greater Georgetown; Hyatt Place at Providence, East Bank Demerara with 125 rooms; a 15o-room AC Marriott at Ogle, East Coast Demerara; Pasha Global at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown with 200 rooms; Best Western at Liliendaal seafront, Greater Georgetown with 120 rooms; 40 rooms by  Kings Hotel and 60 room by Herdmanston Lodge, Queenstown, Georgetown.  Those are in addition to 150 rooms by Aiden Hotel, and Sleepin Hotel on Brickdam with 195 rooms as well as the Marriott Courtyard at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri.