Hotel investor lauds smooth process, says no red tape here

Guyanese-owned and operated investment company Arimu Investments Incorporated has lauded the smooth regulatory process, when it comes to getting business done in Guyana.

In a recent interview with DPI, company Director of Investments and Chief Executive Officer Geraldo Alphonso said he has had a slew of successful meetings with the CEO of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and several government ministers on the US$15 – 20 million hotel his company is investing in.

Director of Investments and Chief Executive Officer of Arimu Investments Incorporated, Geraldo Alphonso

The hotel, the Aiden Hotel and Suites, is one of the chain hotels of Best Western International Incorporated. The franchise licenses over 4,000 hotels globally. 

The Aiden Hotel will be a nine-storey, unique structure with 141 guest rooms and VIP and presidential suites located on Robb and Oronoque Streets, Georgetown. Construction of the hotel began in March 2021, and engineers are looking to have it fully completed in the first quarter of 2023. Notably, all of the on-the-ground labour is being fully-supported by Guyanese.

The firm responsible for the architecture is a company from the United States, while both engineers for the projects are of American and Guyanese nationalities. 

“So far, everything has been good,” Alphonso stated, “The hotel is the perfect suite; it would be economical for investors and we are going to boast economic rooms as well for the average traveller.”

The director highlighted that the boom Guyana is witnessing is the perfect time for the country, and encouraged local investors to get on board.

“There is no better time to invest than now. This is no longer little Guyana. Everything is changing,” he related.

As part of long-term investments, the director said that the Arimu Group had already initiated plans to expand its investment in the hospitability sector with the construction of new hotels.

“Our group has signed a SureStay Plus Hotel. We are looking to develop the second hotel at a location that is not yet disclosed. Plans are in place for expansion. We’re at a study right now to ascertain where we should erect the new hotel,” the Director shared.

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and his government are keen on promoting Guyana as the investment destination. Locally too, the President has been encouraging the private sector to get involved and expand their business.

“We have a responsibility as Guyanese to promote the development of Guyana. I am not asking anyone to promote the development of a government or political party. We have responsibilities as patriots, as Guyanese to positively position our country for every opportunity. We have the chance to do so. We have Guyanese sacrificing and making life changing investments to create jobs, to create better communities, but yet, some in the society would seek to even be critical of that,” the President had iterated at the sod turning of a new mall in Leonora, West Coast Demerara.

Dr Ali noted that the major transformative projects earmarked for the region will lead to the opening up of new lands; the creation of new industries; the expansion of agriculture and the creation of industrial estates which will ultimately lead to the creation of thousands of jobs.

He had acknowledged that in order for Guyanese to move aggressively on these opportunities, in the quickest possible time, Government must provide the enabling environment.

“Government must provide the supportive mechanism and machinery. We must provide infrastructure. We must ensure that the human resource asset is not only there, but the human resource asset is adequately trained to meet the requirements to benefit from the output of the economic transformation.”

At the time, President Ali had also announced new opportunities on the horizon for Region Three including the expansion of banking facilities, the housing sector, investments in agro-processing and in the hospitality sector.