How did it all start? And why?
Lake Mainstay Resort birthed in the early 1980s amidst a major foreign currency shortage. In those days, the then People’s National Congress (PNC) Government under President Forbes Burnham had imposed a tight restriction on persons travelling out of Guyana with foreign currencies.
Incidentally, many senior Government functionaries in the Cabinet and the Judiciary, used to spend their vacation overseas. With the foreign currency restriction, their ability to vacation abroad was severely restricted, and an alternative had to be found.
President Burnham came up with the idea of creating a resort second to none and equal to any beyond these shorts. Thus, the resort was built and an airstrip was constructed nearby. The resort was also intended to be a place where the President holds his Cabinet meetings in scenic and serene ambience, arriving in and descending from a helicopter.
Unfortunately, President Burnham was called to the Great Beyond months before his splendid creation was commissioned. With his death, Lake Mainstay Resort was never officially opened by the PNC Government, and his successor, President Desmond Hoyte, quickly set aside the tight restriction on foreign currency possession while implementing a raft of measures which opened up and breathed new life into the economy. No longer constrained by a tight foreign currency restriction, many senior Government functionaries opted to vacation abroad, and the beautiful paradise was left in a state of abandonment. The resort was used for some time since 1988 with training activities for the Guyana National Service. Thereafter, it was left abandoned and termites and the weather along with tropical forest vegetation destroyed all wooden materials on the luxurious buildings along with vandalism of all Electrical, plumbing fittings etc.
The new PPP/C Government in 1992 promised to place emphasis on tourism, and bids were open to private individuals/entrepreneurs to restore and manage the vacation site.
In 1997, five businessmen collaborated and won the bid to rehab the then defunct facility. They proceeded to repossess the buildings and compound back from the forest and started renovating the 40 plus buildings etc. at a cost of approximately US$3 M dollars. The resort was finally officially opened on December 4, 1999 by H.E. Bharrat Jagdeo.
From 1999 to date the resort is challenged to sustain itself due to many factors. However, Management is committed to keep its doors opened to the public and overcome all of the many difficult challenges which will allow Lake Mainstay Resort to blossom to its full potential and make it the number one (#1) vacation spot in Guyana.