By Malisa Playter Harry
The Classic International Hotel and Suites, an HNS Property Development Investment, opened with much class and elegance at Number 79 Village, Corriverton, Berbice on Thursday. The hotel is said to be one of Berbice’s biggest investments which will see the first ever Wind Turbine Electrical System being put to use with an expected 250KVA of energy coming out from it.
This major investment comes at a time when the government is seeking to have a greener economy with more emphasis being placed on alternative energy sources. The billion-dollar five-star investment is said to be a major boost to Berbice and the country.
Proprietor of the Hotel and Suites, Haresh Narine Sugrim, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Tractor and Equipment Company (GUYTRAC) kept walking on the path of success and did not stop, but charged on to make major investments.
The Crabwood Creek-born businessman and former student of the Skeldon Line Path Secondary School said that because of his dedication and love for his place of birth he felt the need to invest. “I born and grow here; I live in Crabwood Creek and with this new government in power I was assured that this country will boom and I believe in business in Corriverton.”
The business tycoon said that it was just another normal day while with some of his colleagues in business that the idea crystallized.
“Without any plan, without any drawing I did it myself. I bought the property and from the following month I started construction. I dreamt the name one night and it was left at that,” Sugrim said. According to the businessman, the aesthetics and design of the interior and exterior of the four-storey building was also a choice of his. It is his belief that with such an investment, the Tourism industry will see a major boost with an expected influx of Surinamese to the Region.
“You will have more business now. Surinamese will have a comfortable hotel and Guyanese coming from Georgetown have somewhere close to Suriname to come on the weekends and so, they have a hotel”.
Sugrim said that it is his aim to have the hotel fully powered by the Wind Turbine, but posited that there has been some difficulty in gaining the approval from the Government to have it up and running.
“It is already bought. The government wants us to go green and clean; we are the first persons to get a wind turbine. Over a year now we are not getting any response or approval to have it running.” He stated that with this alternative energy in effect the cost for services at the hotel will automatically drop. Residents in the area are also expected to benefit from the initiative.
“We plan to expand once the wind turbine gets approved. We can give to poor people around, free electricity. The Technical Institute will also benefit with it being the first in Guyana”.
Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin during his address at the opening stated that if the country is expected to have visitors then suitable accommodation must be provided. “I am pleased to see that Corriverton now has a brand new hotel.”
He stated that with the increase in visitors to Guyana from other countries, 2016 was deemed as a “record year” for Tourism in the country.
“When we speak of the potential for tourism we are speaking of something very real that is happening in our country but there will be challenges.”
Guyana and its citizens have not yet grasped the reality that it is a major tourism hub. “We have not integrated ourselves into the international tourism industry in a way that it would sit on the map as a serious Tourism destination.
“We have not raised the level of awareness within Guyana of the benefits of Tourism and its potential for job creation and revenue generation and foreign earnings, we only have to look around the Caribbean to the jobs that the thriving tourism industry can create”.
He urged that in keeping with a successful tourism industry, the environment has to be well kept. “We also have to become more service-oriented, our national visitors expect better service, if people are spending hard earned money to come and visit us then we need to treat them well and give them the service they deserve.”
Newly elected Mayor of Corriverton, Mr. Jaichand, told the gathering that with the hotel in operation “the nagging problem of being jobless” will be reduced.
“Its impact on the prosperity of the town cannot be underestimated as it shines like a beacon of hope for people worried about the prevailing economic uncertainties. Corriverton was always hungry for a super structure like the Classic.
“Every city and country has a mark and identity, just as the Classic will be the township’s identity”. He congratulated Mr. Sugrim on his investment and urged all stakeholders to emulate the businessman, “leave your footprint on the soil of this remarkable town”.
The Classic International Hotel & Suites has 28 rooms with double and single beds. It also has four presidential suites. There is a conference hall, three bars, fully computerized with wifi, an elevator, toilet and bath, a restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool.
The Proprietor , Mr. Sugrim, stated that plans are also afoot to have an extension of 32 more rooms and an addition of two Yacht’s that will provide Yacht services for persons looking to tour the Corentyne waters.
There is also a spacious parking lot that sits a stone’s throw away from the Corentyne River. The staff of 44 was provided with a month of training to better equip them in the area of customer service, but the businessman will be looking to keep his hotel at international standards with the addition of two managers expected from abroad. Construction of the facility began in 2014.
The hotel has already been booked for two days by the Civil Aviation Authority.
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