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Brighton and Hove hoteliers suffer Olympics slump
The 2012 Olympic Games has failed to provide a golden opportunity for business, according to hoteliers and B&B owners.
Seafront hotel managers in Brighton and Hove have reported a ten per cent drop in revenues year-on-year.
They say that people have delayed weddings and that firms have postponed meetings because of the sporting spectacle.
Simon Quarrell, general manager at the Thistle Hotel in King’s Road, said he was looking to the important conference and events market to bring an autumn upswing.
He said: “There has been a definite decline in occupancy due to the Games. The event has had a negative effect on our business. International visitor numbers are down 17% year on year.
“Of course the poor weather has not helped but a lot of repeat business has not come this summer because of the Games. There is a lot of availability at the hotel this week. In September, we have the Liberal Democrats coming and also the TUC so we are looking to conference bookings to turn things around.”
Victoria Ryznar, sales manager at the fashionable Hotel du Vin in Ship Street, said that the anticipated lift in sales from the Games had not materialised.
She said: “We are disappointed. We have seen far fewer weddings this year and we think people have put them off. Corporate travel has also been stopped because of the Games.”
He said: “Early August is always a little soft. We will be looking for a boost in the last two weeks of the month – coincidentally when the Games are over.”
Dan Leonard, owner at the Gust and City bed and breakfast hotel in Broad Street, said the combination of poor weather, the Olympic Games and the economic climate had made this a challenging year.
He said: “This time last year we were filling up without trying. We definitely need an Indian summer to extend our season.”
Carla Rollin, business development manager at the Brighton Hilton Metropole in King’s Road, said she was hoping for a sunny August bank holiday to lift business.
She said: “The Olympic Games have had a negative effect on group tour business because flights to the UK have been too expensive.”
But elsewhere in the city, the Olympic effect has taken hold.
Elly Trimingham, at Yellowave beach sports venue in Madeira Drive, says that the phone has not stopped ringing since the games started.
She said: “The weather has been a letdown but the Olympics have caused a real boost. We are fully booked on week evenings from 6pm to 10pm.”
At Brighton’s Big Screen near the West Pier , 1,300 visitors and Brighton and Hove residents attended a free launch party to celebrate the start of the Olympic Games.
Organiser Bill Murray, from Murray Media, said: “We are really pleased with the response and feedback we have been getting from the first week.”
Staff at The Visitor Information Centre in Pavilion Buildings said it has seen a 25% increase in footfall. The centre has reported an increase in train ticket sales to London.