Russ talks all things Festival

So its almost that time of year again. A time when all eyes turn to Cheltenham, well to be more precise, to a very specific part of Cheltenham,  namely the Racecourse.

The Cheltenham Festival is almost upon us and as we all know it brings 1000’s of racing fans from all over the globe to our county, a party atmosphere will prevail for 4 days and there will be a real sense of Cheltenham being THE place to be seen in and around. All of which is fabulous news for local businesses who will be rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of all those visitors coming here to have a flutter, and then spend their winnings in celebration in our bars, clubs and restaurants.

So, good news if you’re a publican, or own a restaurant…or a B+B. For some though, the Festival can be a nightmare, particularly if you happen to live on the Racecourses doorstep.

For the residents of Cheltenham all those extra visitors means extra cars and that can mean that for some, the journey to and from home becomes even more of a chore than it usually is. It could even mean that the restaurant that could usually find you a table if you just popped in has suddenly become so busy that you feel like an uninvited guest at somebody elses party.

In short, if racing isn’t you’re thing, the Festival can seem a bit of an inconvenience, something that has to be endured rather than embraced.

However, there are some that have also seen that the Festival does throw open some fairly unique opportunities, and if you are prepared to put yourself out a bit there's a good chance that you too could be a big winner without even putting a single penny down on a horse. And in these tough times, a bit of private enterprise actually makes a bit of sense.

If you’re lucky enough to live right by the racecourse and you’ve got a spare room in the house, now is the time to make it pay for the space it takes up, sling out the junk, throw in a bed and I guarantee that if the price is right you’ll find a willing lodger or two more than happy to accept your hospitality. A friend of mine did this for a couple of years and still keeps in touch with a few of his festival guests….in fact one of his guests lives by Wimbledon, so now whenever the tournament is on he never struggles to find a place to stay!

Some people even go further, if the inconvenience of the Festival really is too much to bear why not make the absolute best of the situation and flee the county, take off somewhere for a few days and avoid all the hassle…But before you go remember, I’m sure someone would happily offer you a good price to park on your driveway while you’re not going to be using it ?