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Price rises for Cheltenham Festivals race week go "too far"

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Jo Dimond-Brown

Jo Dimond-Brown

Comments (8)

HIKES in hotel prices during Cheltenham race week could risk putting people off visiting the town, a publican has warned.

More than 200,000 people flood into the town for the annual festival, which takes place next month, giving businesses a much-needed shot in the arm.

Hotels are usually packed throughout the week and many residents even give up their spare rooms to run bed and breakfasts to earn extra cash.

With accommodation at a premium, hotels ramp up their prices – sometimes by more than 300 per cent.

But Jo Dimond-Brown, landlord of the Fiery Angel pub, in Hewlett Road, said hotels and other businesses were in danger of pushing racegoers too far. "People have had enough of being fleeced," he said.

"We're in real danger of putting people off coming to the town.

"I have always made a point of keeping my prices the same and we get the same people coming back to us year-on-year.

"But the same can't be said for the rest of the town, where hotels and bars seem intent on putting their prices up to make as much money as they can.

"It's gone too far and I have heard people saying they have had enough."

With this year's race week fast approaching, on March 12, hotels have already set out an aggressive pricing structure to maximise their earnings.

At the Hotel Du Vin in Parabola Road the cheapest available double room on the Friday of race week is £385 compared to £85 for this Friday – a hike of £300.

Meanwhile, at the Big Sleep Hotel, in Wellington Street, the equivalent booking goes up from £75 to £265.

Staff at both venues said their prices were consistent with the trend across the town and they had already had lots of bookings for race week.

Kat Rack from Hotel du Vin said: "We keep a close eye on the prices of hotel rooms in Cheltenham and our prices fluctuate accordingly.

"Whilst it may seem expensive during race week to some people, it is consistent with the rest of the town."

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  • late83  |  February 07 2013, 4:09PM

    While there are people out there who are prepared to pay these amounts of money, the hotels will charge it! You wouldnt sell your car for £1,000 if you knew somebody else would pay £5,000 would you!! Simple

    Rate   3
  • GlosAnarchy  |  February 07 2013, 3:36PM

    This is common practice everywhere, Edinburgh during the festival is the same and you get this at any big sporting event. Airlines also up the price when there is an event. £152 return but £87 the next week!

    Rate 0
  • Cinco5  |  February 06 2013, 9:03PM

    Supply and demand is one thing, greed is another. It would be a pity if price hikes in some hotels caused Cheltenham to have a widespread reputation for ripping-off visitors to the town. This could affect tourism all year round and not just on race week.

    Rate 0
  • Reportage  |  February 06 2013, 11:41AM

    Um let's see... The Fiery Angel - oh yes that's the Pub leadding the way in tourism being ranked #145 of 199 restaurants in Cheltenham.

    Rate   4
  • Grahambarker  |  February 06 2013, 11:38AM

    The pulican us right - sort of - he does keep the sameish prices every year - His Gold Cup Prices, and they are different and above what you can get in the middle of January on a cold Sunday evening. Supply and demand Jo - supply and demand - the simple rules of the business sector in which you opertae - I'm sorry you did not understand.

    Rate   -2
  • Alfredo_  |  February 06 2013, 11:30AM

    No one's being fleeced. The prices are displayed before the purchase is made. If you're happy with the price, then you're not being fleeced.

    Rate   2
  • raidermanuk  |  February 06 2013, 10:19AM

    In other words they will fleece you if they can.

    Rate   10
  • Alfredo_  |  February 06 2013, 9:33AM

    Simple economics: supply & demand.

    Rate   7