Atlantic Hotels Inc. (AHI) has advertised for casino, restaurant and nightclub operators to manage an entertainment mega complex to be part of the Marriott-branded hotel which has come in for heavy opposition from various sections of the society.
Construction of the long-stalled US$51M Marriott Hotel should have started at the beginning of the year however government was up to some months ago still seeking one or more participants who will collectively own 67 percent of the project’s equity amounting to US$8M.
In an advertisement placed in the state-owned Guyana Chronicle today, AHI said it is seeking expressions of interest from reputable organisations to outfit, operate and maintain, either individually or collectively, an entertainment complex annexed to the Marriott Hotel Georgetown, Guyana. AHI is the special purposes company set up by the government for the Marriott project.
The advertisement said that the entertainment complex, which will be located on the western portion of the hotel site at Block Alpha, Kingston, Georgetown, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Demerara River, is expected to comprise three components which are: a specialty restaurant of 777 square metres, a nightclub with 595 square metres and a casino with 1,372 square metres.
AHI said that these three components will share a common entrance, staircase, lobby area and main mechanical room with segregated internal access and utilities to be installed and maintained by the selected operators. AHI is interested in receiving EOIs from either persons or companies, either individually or as part of a joint venture consortium. Preference will be given to submissions by companies which are established in their field of interest, the advertisement said.
The advertisement said too that in selecting the operators, AHI may consult with Republic Bank Limited or Marriott International Inc and others.
AHI said it is looking for operators who have already established themselves as a brand regionally or internationally and can demonstrate extensive knowledge of their particular field, operations and local laws and regulations. “Operators, who desire to operate either one of more of the components above, will be assessed on different criteria depending on the component of interest submitted,” the advertisement said. “Generally AHI is looking for operators who share a common desire to promote and encourage development, with innovative and fresh concepts, in the tourism and hospitality sector,” AHI said in the advertisement.
“Irrespective of the component of interest, all submissions will also be examined in the following areas: managerial and human resource capacity and plan of interested persons to run the desired component of the entertainment complex; financial capability and commitment/credibility of the interested persons to independently complete the outfitting and conduct the operations of the desired component with commencement being timed to the opening of hotel operations,” the company said.
It said too that the company is also looking for persons with the ability to comply and or improve all the operational requirements of local laws and operational standards consistent with a first class international hotel and entertainment complex including inter alia the provision of comprehensive staff training and management development programme to safeguard employment and standards.
AHI said that interested persons must register with AHI paying a registration fee of US$50 or $10,000 upon which they will receive a Confidentiality Undertaking to be executed and returned to AHI upon registration; a letter of authority to visit the hotel site; an information memorandum containing all pertinent information to the entertainment complex and the intended structure of the relationship with AHI; a request for proposals which shall also include the guidelines for the submission of the EOI; and a copy of the advertisement.
As an indicator, all EOIs must contain a Concept Design Proposal – including interior design concepts in PowerPoint and or visual presentation – for the outfitting and operation of the desired component; proof of financial capability including but not limited to, in the case of a company, the last two years or audited financial statements of the company or each member of the consortium. In the case of a person AHI would require a bank reference on financial capability or financing.
The company said persons must also submit background information and a five-year business plan including employment, training and financing considerations.
AHI was incorporated on September 10, 2009 as a public private partnership to engage in development of the hospitality sector, including the construction, ownership and operation of a five-star international hotel.
Collectively, the total common equity of AHI will total US$12M and the government via NICIL will be a minority partner owning 33% of AHI’s equity amounting to US$4M. Overall, government will provide 1/3 of the project funding with the balance in subordinate loan stock. Republic Bank will provide US$27M of senior debt to the project.
Opposition parties in the National Assembly have severely criticised the Government for proposing to use taxpayer dollars as part of the equity for the hotel’s construction. Other observers have slammed the proposals made in terms of the cost of construction and the financing arrangement inclusive of senior debt and syndicated loans to some of the investors.