Aruwai Resort – the 15 billion fantasy island in #guyana

a few days ago i asked a question which coincidentally many guyanese had on their minds. where did a gold miner find 15 billion to build a resort?

well who de hell tell me seh suh!?
the condemnation and attacks were swift and poured in from all corners. 99% were emotionally driven rubbish we need not repeat or justify with answer. none. and i say none of the hundreds contained a full, partial or alternative version of how this investment was possible by said gold miner.

one of the persons declared without numbers of course that the owner, strangely aka vulture, at one time paid more in gold royalties than omai. am supposed to take that at face value and smile. on the shallowest of surfaces this could just might lead some to gloat, see! see!
but here goes

the asian logging giant barama as far as i know has NEVER declared a profit in guyana in almost two decades. they control over a million acres of forest. at the same time, many small holdings in guyana were remitting dollars to the tax man. this is not the most perfect example, but could we fairly conclude these lil shops and holdings doing well and better than barama because they’ve paid more in taxes? 

One would be accused of being a fool if one were to.

i’ve also pointed out that republic bank – 2.399 billion; gbti – 2.178 billion; scotia bank – 2.14 billion, demerara bank – 1.67 billion and citizens banks – 981 million. So the leading legal cash accumulators in guyana combined declared profits for 2014 is less than half about 3/5 the stated cost of this resort. is this remotely possible? or believable? Demerara bank entire loan portfolio for 2014 was 22 billion.

to put 15 billion (75 millio US$) in more perspective, banks dih after tax profits for 2014 was 2.2 billion. Demera Distillers Limited after tax profit was 1.5 billion. If numbers are to be believed, Aruwai construction costs is ten times DDL and almost 7 times that of banks dih profits for 2014! Think about that for a hot minute.

because we are a society that has fallen into lust with smoke, mirrors and shadows, businessmen can do anything. Build, buy, expand, sell without disclosing any info publicly.

I first saw the 15 billion headline in guyana times on dec 13 in an article by devina samaroo. Title 15B Resort Opens in the Mazaruni River. The only other place the 15B makes an appearance is in paragraph 2.

…the 15 billion Aruwai resort white h2o (water) was officially opened on…

there was no attempt to explain on what 15 billion was spent. does it include buying the island? we dont know. and no mention was made regarding source if funding. a basic thing in functional societies when you announce these large projects. one is left to specilate that the proprietor used cash profits from his gold business or some other unknown source. with excess cash laying around and a lil push from former prime minister sam hinds, mr baboolall decided to diversify his holdings.
i can also say that this development applied for a planning permit from the relevant authorities AFTER it was finished. but we shall skip that part.

inews also used 15 billion in a story on December 13 and made a passing mention of it again in paragraph 2
15B aruwai white h2o resort officially opened by jomo paul
glowing tributes and a brief info on the resort followed.

an article from stabroek news in nov 2014 said, bartica miner pumping millions into local island. It opens

ChunilAll baboolall may be one of Bartica’s most accomplished gold miners but he is also among those who are accutely aware of the vicissitudes of the industry and of the need to guard against the imponderables that are characteristic of its behaviour, like the current fall in the gold price.

As is often the case in the vast wilderness of guyana’s churnalism we see a lot of words before us. meaningless words. We are left to speculate on said accomplishments as none are mentioned. And no mention of special traits the individual is blessed with that allow him to guard against imponderables.

Paragraph 2

Baboolall’s mining operation remains his mainstream enterprise, but these days much of his attention is focussed on what is believed to be Bartica’s most ambitious diversification project.

we in guyana, myself included, have a torrid affair with this thing called inglish english
let’s take a look at mainstream enterprise
it’s thrown out there without fanfare or ceremony and the writer swiftly moves on
again leaving poor reader alone with thoughts and speculation. and what of his lesser than main streams?
on the other hand, this may have been written for those familiar with the exploits of mr baboolall and bartica imponderables

paragraph 3
we learn that baboolall has homes in bartica & georgetown and is working on a “multi million dollar, upmarket, showpiece resort”

on dec 13 2015, deep in stabroek news article

He praised his family for their support and at the same time called for government support

hold on
what type of govt support one would need after confidently investing 15 billion into something?
i suppose a jolt in the arm of the much dead tourism industry. which begs the question, why would one go from a dying industry, gold, to an almost dead one, tourism? and then cry out for govt support

other guyana news outlets carrying the 15 billion fairy tale are, which reproduced newssource article and the guyana chronicle.

i say all of this to say this
the 15 billion price tag has been well publicised in print and online mediand am sure radio and tv as well. all these places are staffed by journalist and churnalists covering the spectrum. somebody at aruwai had to have whispered that 15 billion to the media people. to date no one and i mean no one has disputed the price tag.

let’s continue

the original question remains, where did baboolall get this 15 billion? since gold is his business at a minimum his gra, nis and gold board receipts should reflect positively on his golden achievements.

the gold board has said 80% of gold mined in guyana is not declared. at a minimum you would think someone at guyana revenue authority would do a cursory check of the records given the massive scale of this investment by a local. one would think.

the minerals of this country belong to the people. all the people. we should all do our bit to ensure the laws of this country are being followed.
many claim to want change and progress, but like the sunday preacher chasing choir girls during the week or the minibus drivers and conductors cavorting school girls
the devil just wont let them

one more putting things in perspective example
75 million divided by 50 rooms = 1.25 million us$ per room construction costs
take a look at this chart. info on the company behind this is below.


let’s use the last line Luxury Hotels & Resorts. based on this extensive survey of the US hotel market, a luxury hotel/resort costs approx. 428,00 to 942,700 per room.

Aruwai has 50 rooms. Using the upper limit of the US market, 942,700 x 50 rooms = 47,135,000. Which is 27,865,000 short of 75 million us$. The same bizarre trend holds true for the Guyana Marriott.

I am not schooled enough in money laundering to explain why someone would declare astronomical construction costs on a private project. On govt projects the excess is just creamed off the top. In this instance, assuming money laundering is at play this is just plain ole bizarre. Generally in money laindering a ridiculously low start up cost is declared followed by stupendous profits.


Aruwai Resort is also building an 8 story hotel with a rotating restaurant on sheriff street. The construction price is listed at $2!
i contacted the contracting company over a week ago to verify if that’s $2, $2 million, $2 billion or any other 2 and in what currency.
no one replied
it’s fair to assume that an 8 story hotel on sheriff st with an american contractor will cost a pretty penny or two.

we cant or wont take any credit. But two days after the original question, a most curious article appeared in kaieteur with a few gems & rare earth minerals. Guyana get 15 billion all inclusive resortTake this beauty

He noted that it will take some 12 years before he sees full return on his investment which was made through his company – Aruwai Enterprise Inc – and secured through loans from local banks.

get out your calculators and marble slates
to recover 75 million over 12 years 
75000000 / 12 = 6250000 (1.25 billion guyana $ annually)

earlier i mentioned that ddl net profit for 2014 was 1.5 billion. is it remotely conceivable for a 50 room resort complex in region 7 to generate 1.25 billion gross revenues?

based on all the information available about aruwai publicly, this might be our first fantasy island. All 15 billion of it.

you can call me names
cuss up
moan & complain
you can wish death upon me
and dust off your weapons of war
am fixin to sign my name

i will not be suffocated by your ignorance

run tell dat

HVS is the world’s leading consulting and services organization focused on the hotel, mixed-use, shared ownership, gaming, and leisure industries. Established in 1980, the company performs 4500+ assignments each year for hotel and real estate owners, operators, and developers worldwide. HVS principals are regarded as the leading experts in their respective regions of the globe. Through a network of more than 30 offices and 450 professionals, HVS provides an unparalleled range of complementary services for the hospitality industry.


7 thoughts on “Aruwai Resort – the 15 billion fantasy island in #guyana

  1. Would take a little while for an old gal like me to really process all that is written, but to sum up my own views on the matter – I smell a rat in this transaction.

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