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Cheltenham racecourse

Cheltenham: hospitality bookings for festival down 20 per cent on 2008

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Cheltenham delight despite fall in bookings

CHELTENHAM managing director Edward Gillespie has expressed delight that a significant fall in hospitality bookings for the festival had not been worse, given the current economic worries.

And though advance ticket sales are also down on last year he is confident that crowds will ultimately hold up for the biggest jumps meeting of the year.

Gillespie is taking steps to reduce capacity in hospitality areas as bookings are currently down 20 per cent on 2008 but said: "We are very pleased. If somebody offered me now 80 per cent of last year's levels of hospitality I would be inclined to take it. We would be fools to think that hospitality would be as buoyant in March 2009 as it was in March 2008.

"At all our major race meetings this season we have been behind on advance bookings but have got to where we wanted to in terms of attendance through more walk-up sales."

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