Hick’s Ville Hotel was commissioned on November 7 at 79 West Ruimveldt Housing Scheme by President Bharrat Jagdeo.
General Manager Orin Hickerson told Stabroek News that his family has been running Vegetarian Gardens, a food business, for the last 15 years and grabbed an opportunity to diversify.
“We saw the opportunity to go into the hotel business and we wanted to more or less upgrade West Ruimveldt, take it to the next level so we went for it. But we see promise and think that it’s something that can work because we’ve got the support from government, Go-Invest and the Tourism Ministry. At some point it will kick in and so we thought why not now,” he said.
Situated off the regular tourist path one might think the choice of location could be detrimental to the success of this venture but Hickerson is banking on the location being the selling point for the hotel.
“It’s an area that you can get the actual true Guyanese feeling. It’s not like you’re just stuck in the city and you’re just seeing the great things and the hustle and the bustle. You can get to experience the true Guyanese culture by being in such a neighbourhood,” Hickerson stated.
He added that Georgetown was growing and in order for it to expand the outer areas have to be developed.
“They can’t remain one way, they have to improve and somebody has to take the initiative and go step by step,” he declared.
Hickerson chose not to disclose the sum invested only saying it was “sizeable” and he acknowledged the support received from the government primarily through Go-Invest with duty-free concessions on building materials and fittings. The hotel, which employs 12, is marketed as the only “vegetarian destination” in Guyana.
“So for anyone coming to Guyana and looking for something healthy we cater to full vegetarian food. You also have a great view of the Demerara from the top of the six-story building,” the general manager enthused.
As to added services Hickerson said there are other plans yet to come on stream.
“We’re going to do some outsourcing like working along with resorts and such but we’ve not laid down the plan. We’re going to have a recreation facility which we’ll build in the neighbourhood with a gym and basketball court and these things that the people staying at the hotel can use as well,” he explained.
The hotel has 20 rooms including four suites outfitted with kitchenettes for long term overseas visitors while each room is equipped with air conditioning, flat screen televisions and wireless internet.