With a number of branded hotels expected to built in Guyana in the next few years, the Government appears to be setting the stage to make an exit from the hotel business.
The Government through its holding company, NICIL, has advertised the sale of the Marriott Georgetown Hotel.
In a Pre-Qualification Notice published in the local newspapers, NICIL said it is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from persons and or companies interested in purchasing its shares in Atlantic Hotel Inc. (AHI) for the acquisition of the Guyana Marriott Hotel.
The move by the Government comes seven years after former Auditor General Anand Goolsarran urged the then APNU+AFC Administration to sell the hotel, which was built under the previous PPP government with the use of taxpayers’ money.
In his October 2015 report on the forensic audit and review of the construction and operations of the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Mr Goolsarran flagged key aspects of the project, which was initiated under the Bharrat Jagdeo Administration in 2009.
The former Auditor General said the Bharrat Jagdeo Administration decided to proceed with the construction of the hotel without involvement of the National Assembly – a move, which he described as “unfortunate,” given the significant amount of State resources used to develop the ‘five-star’ facility.
He said evidence suggested that Cabinet took the decision to proceed with the project in the absence of a feasibility study to determine the project’s economic and long-term viability.
Initially, the cost to construct the hotel was estimated at US$33.2 Million, excluding the outfitting costs of US$10.4 Million. Those figures ballooned into more than US$95 million.
Applicants hoping to be pre-qualified for the sale of the hotel must provide Audited Financial Statements for the past three years, and must have a minimum net worth of approximately US$250M as well as a letter of financial capability from a recognized financial institution.
The Deadline for submission is January 10, 2023.