Guyanese businessman, Robert Badal, celebrated the grand opening for the US$100 million Pegasus Hotel Suites and Corporate Centre in Kingston, Georgetown on Wednesday evening.
Guyana’s hospitality sector has benefited from major investment interest and injections. But this project is unique in that it represents major expansion of an iconic hotel brand that has been in Guyana for decades.
The Pegasus Hotel brand has been serving Guyana since 1969, Badal noted, addressing the ceremony. He said the older hotel, which decorates the Kingston skyline alongside the new facilities, has been serving as an iconic beacon for navigation and a symbol of development.
He said the new facility consists of “two magnificent buildings comprising 100 executive suites on this 12-storey Atlantic tower, and 180,000 square feet of Grade A corporate offices and restaurants on the adjacent 7-storey podium tower, all surrounded by well-manicured lawns.”
The development brings the room inventory of the Pegasus brand to 230, with accommodation at all price levels.
Badal said the government’s development agenda has created a wave of optimism in Guyana, with prospective investors piling in to scope out opportunities.
This new development, he said, is unrivaled in the region, bringing a new dimension to the hospitality sector, and blending well with the reality of Guyana’s evolving business environment.
The businessmen noted that some have quipped that this new hotel was erected as a response to Guyana’s new oil bonanza, and responded, “We are happy that oil is here and we’ll have the spinoff effects… [but] this project was conceived long before we found oil.”
He said he had prudently questioned the viability of the project, but eventually settled on making the facility the best it could possibly be. And in doing so, Badal took credit for inspiring a new trend where, every month, a new hotel is announced.
The China Harbour-appointed Project Manager, Gordon Cheng Chong Fu, said the company faced a challenge with the supply of skilled labour during construction and had resorted to importing skilled labour from China. Added to this challenge, he said they faced difficulty getting supplies and parts into the country, likely due to supply chain constraints brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the difficulties, Gordon noted that China Harbour received unwavering support from Badal, the Chairman of the Pegasus Hotel. With this cooperation, Gordon said the company was able to build high-standard facilities to serve the people of Guyana and the international business and tourist community.
General Manager, Carlos Montenegro, said the project fell behind schedule because of the pandemic, but was recently brought to fruition as a “very modern, very beautiful” erection. He explained that the suites, the corporate business centre, the new Fusion Restaurant, underground parking, and other amenities are almost entirely manned by locals.
“With 99% of manpower being from Guyana, we can succeed,” Montenegro said.
The many hotels that are slated to be constructed in Guyana may not be nearly enough to accommodate the influx of tourists and expats to Guyana. Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond shared with a Saudi delegation during a recent meeting that the government has developed a concept note for 500 total hotels, signaling that the current development of the hospitality sector is still in the early innings of the government’s agenda.
Just this week alone, four hotel projects advanced. Prior to the grand opening of the Pegasus Hotel Suites and Corporate Centre, the President addressed the sod-turning ceremony of the Pasha Global and Blue Bridge Inc. Hotel on Monday. Then, on Tuesday, he addressed the sod-turning ceremony for the construction of the Four Points by Sheraton-Marriott Hotel. Following the Pegasus opening, the President is expected to address the sod-turning ceremony of the AC Marriott Hotel.