The Hotel Tower has been sold and is now owned by the recently formed company, Canal Hospitality Inc.
According to General Manager of the hotel Nicola Pierre the hotel was purchased by the company “a month ago”. She said that she was unable to provide any other details in relation to the sale.
Stabroek News was able to ascertain that Canal Hospitality Inc has as its directors US-based businessman James Manbahal, and Guyanese Varendra Shiwratan and Bharti Persaud Misir.
Sources told this newspaper that since the change in ownership, efforts are being made to renovate the hotel to make it more marketable.
Hotel Tower Ltd went into receivership to the Bank of Nova Scotia on April 12, 1999 and while under receivership paid $3.5 million monthly to the bank.
The hotel had run into difficulties in the 1990s when it invested too heavily with the aim of becoming a five-star hotel.
The investment decision was taken when the economy was booming, but the momentum was not maintained and the occupancy level fell in the face of political turmoil. As a result, the lack of returns did not allow for money to be reinvested because it was diverted to paying crippling debt.
On September 2, 2002 this newspaper reported that the hotel had moved from a loss-making situation to making operational profits, and that it had doubled its available rooms by over 100 per cent, from 30 rooms in 1999 to around 62 rooms at that time.
The managers had sought to raise the sum of $250 million to lift the hotel out of receivership.
In mid-2003, the Bank of Nova Scotia ceased its receivership hold on Hotel Tower Limited in an equity transaction which saw businessmen RL Singh, Amarnauth Muneshwer and Ashoka Singh of Canada as the new majority shareholders of the company.