The new ‘Ivan Johnson Snr floor’ at the Takutu Hotel in Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) was officially declared open on Friday, in honour of the late Ivan Johnson, founder and owner of the hotel, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI).
Johnson was described in the DPI release as one of the early pioneers of the Rupununi, dating back to the 1940s when he left his home in Berbice and journeyed through the cattle trail to create a livelihood in the Rupununi.
Johnson and his now deceased business partner, Arthur Bobb, started their business in the early 1960s and in 1969 opened the Takutu Guest House in time to accommodate the first Safari Expedition to the Rupununi, DPI said.
The new wing was opened in time for the annual Rupununi Rodeo, which usually sees a large influx of locals and overseas visitors in the area.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock said that the new addition signals the confidence that persons have in the region.
“This is a signal that things are happening here in the Rupununi, and that the rodeo is getting bigger and better.”
Prior to 2006, the owners of the Takutu Hotel entertained the patrons and other visitors to the Easter rodeo event with an evening of music and a candlelight dinner,
DPI said. Over the past years, the hotel has added a number of other activities to entertain its guests and other persons.