Giftland Group awaiting approval for new land at Ogle to build Radisson Blu Hotel

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Giftland Chairman Roy Beepat

Four years after securing an agreement to construct a Radisson Blu Hotel in Guyana, the project is to take off with the Giftland Group now awaiting a new plot of land from the Government after being made to relocate from the initial Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown site.

Back in November 2020, Chairman of the Giftland Group, Roy Beepat, had announced plans to construct the US$100 million hotel. Initially, the plan was to build the hotel next to the Giftland Mall, where the parking lot is located.

However, Beepat told this publication on Wednesday that they were unable to secure the necessary approval to use that location.

“Actually, they didn’t allow [the hotel to be constructed at the site next to the mall] so they said they’ll give us another piece of land. But we’re not certain about the size or when we’ll get it… So, we’re waiting on the Government to approve the lease,” he noted.

According to Beepat, the new location would be somewhere at Ogle on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).

The businessman explained that his company was awaiting Government’s approval of the lease for the new plot of land before taking the next step forward.

“As of this time, we’re back to the drawing board, because, as you know, it has been four and a half years now that we’ve been waiting for the approval. So, once the Government has given us the go-ahead, we could move on that information but not before,” the Giftland Group Chairman posited.

Beepat went on to outline that the agreement with the Radisson brand may have to be renewed given the time that has elapsed since they initially secured the deal.

“[It would be] just a matter of renewal of the agreement… once we get the lease then, we could probably look at where we’re going,” the businessman said.

Radisson Hotels is an international chain headquartered in the United States. A division of the Radisson Hotel Group, it operates the brands Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Radisson Collection, Country Inn & Suites, and Park Inn by Radisson among others.

The hotel that was planned for Guyana will span 12 floors with adequate space for hundreds of rooms, banquet and conference halls, parking, and popular restaurant brands such as Red Lobster and Olive Garden. In addition, it will feature high-end gyms, business and presidential suites, helicopter pads, and even an internationally-branded casino.

At the time of the hotel announcement back in 2020, Beepat had told this publication that once all the necessary approvals were obtained from Government, they would look into financing the project.

“Actively, we cannot finance a US$100 million project. What I can say is that there are hundreds of companies out there…and once we get our paperwork done, financing is absolutely no problem… The hotel is really forward-thinking in terms of what we don’t have and what we need,” Beepat had stated.

In keeping with Guyana’s push to increase the number of hotel rooms that can accommodate visitors to the country, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has been intent on creating an enabling environment for new hotels with the aim of adding some 2000 hotel rooms to the local stock over the coming years.

To this end, the Government, through its Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), had launched an Expression of Interest (EoI) in 2021 for hotel developers. Consequently, Guyana is to see the construction of at least eight new hotels over the next few years, including globally-recognised hotel brands, such as the Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Radisson and Best Western.

Back in February, President Dr Irfaan Ali disclosed that in the next four years, an influx of new investments in the hospitality sector was expected with some 15 hotels to come on stream.

“We are building 10 new hotels in the country. We will need a lot of human resources that we don’t have in the hospitality sector. We foresee that in the next four years, we will have at least 14 or 15 new hotels. And that is outside of the eco-tourism facilities that we’re going to push for investment,” the Head of State had noted during the XII Annual Consultation with Caribbean Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) held in Georgetown.