By Nadia Guyadeen
The Princess Group of companies, which recently took over the Buddy’s International Hotel, is investing millions of dollars to provide Guyana with its very first casino.
This recent investment comes at the time when the world is in crisis and jobs are being lost. However, the opening of this casino is seen by the Princess Group as an employment opportunity for Guyanese among other benefits.
Operations Manager of the hotel, Oguz Tayanc, says that they are investing at least US$2M into the building of a casino to be located in the now Princess Buddy’s International Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara.
He also stated that the hotel will be employing some 150 Guyanese to work in the casino. According to him, only top management persons are going to be foreigners.
Tayanc says that he believes that their group can offer something different stating that their hotel chain is internationally recognized and they are hoping that this will attract tourists.
The Princess Group of Companies is an international company with hotels and casinos all around the world.
Minister of Tourism, Manniram Prashad, in an invited comment yesterday said that Government fully supports the building of the casino.
He added that it will be good for tourism in Guyana and will pave the way for more visitors.
Even though Guyana’s legislation does not provide for locals to gamble in the casino, Minister Prashad said that he is fully confident that the management of the hotel will keep the hotel booked.
According to him, this is a very good sign since this is the first time that there is the presence of an internationally recognised hotel chain operating in Guyana.
Tayanc, in a previous interview, told this newspaper that the government has already granted management the casino license and construction of the gambling facilities has commenced.
According to him, this should be completed in two to four months.
“We are working on making Guyana a tourist destination. We’re doing some renovations on the hotel and hopefully we will be bringing tourists to Guyana,” Tayanc stated.
In addition to the casino, Tayanc said that management plans to include entertainment centres in the Buddy’s Princess Hotel premises and construction for this facility will commence in six months.
Tayanc, who is in charge of operations for the Caribbean and South America, said the company has hotels in 12 different countries and 11 of their hotels hold five-star ratings.
In May, Chief Executive Officer of the Princess Group of Companies, Sudi Özkan, was reported as saying that he had bought Buddy’s International Hotel for the sum of US$15 million and planned to invest US$10 million to upgrade it to a five-star hotel.
According to reports, the hotel currently holds a two-star rating.
The hotel was reportedly built at a cost of US$13 million with several mortgages and a loan from the Guyana Government, part of which has been repaid in cash with an outstanding balance which was to have been wiped clean through room nights granted to the government.
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