Ascot (England), June 18: (Reuters): Credit crunch? What credit crunch?
Britains trend-setting social season kicked off at Royal Ascot this week with champagne flowing freely in the corporate hospitality tents. And the news is equally positive from the next two stops on a hectic networking calendar for big business — Wimbledon and the Henley rowing regatta are both boasting buoyant business. For executives eager to court customers, Ascot offers the perfect setting — Queen Elizabeth hosting five days top-class horse racing against a backdrop of high society parading in all its fashionable finery.
Revenue is up by 10 per cent and attendees are up by eight per cent, said Ascots director of sales and marketing Gary England. But times could get tougher. We have probably avoided the credit crunch by the skin of our teeth this year, he told Reuters at Britains most stylish race meeting which attracts almost 300,000 people a year. From a corporate perspective, Royal Ascot is one of the key events of the summer season. Companies may be cutting back on a number of events but not the core ones, England said.
But, amid talk of mass redundancies in Londons financial district, conspicuous consumption by hedge fund managers ostentatiously splashing the cash is being avoided. England reported record sales this year for Saturday, last of five days at the Royal Ascot meeting.Fund managers won't be taking time off in the week but are still coming at the weekend.