‘We reside in Ascot – we make 1000’s promoting parking, drinks and flip flops’

Royal Ascot has proved to be a lucrative opportunity for savvy locals flogging various goods to racegoers.

The famous horse racing event, which kicks off today, Tuesday, June 18, is a huge boost to the local economy, as celebrities, royals and every day Joes roll into the Berkshire town.

This creates business opportunities for astute entrepreneurial residents who flog the likes of parking spaces, drinks and shoes to the flood of punters.

READ MORE: How to name your racehorse: New generator offers quirky names ahead of Royal Ascot

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Tim, who lives next to the racecourse entrance, said last year his neighbours made a staggering £4,000 out of water and flip flops.

The event draws thousands
The event draws thousands

The 62-year-old said:“Not bad for a week’s work if you ask me.

“I’ve thought about making some money myself and I considered renting the house out before. When I got quoted, it was a fantastic amount of money.

“But I don’t want it getting wrecked.”

Tim admitted that while sometimes he goes to the races, he also has gone on holiday when they are on.

Ascot Racecourse
The throng of punters have proved to be lucrative for residents living near to the racecourse

He said: “It’s hectic and you do get the things people hear about – like drunk people coming into the garden to try take a p*ss. It’s definitely worse on Ladies’ Day.

“You also have to be careful about what you leave outside as one year our garden deck chairs got stolen.

“But it’s only one week a year and it makes so much money for the area. I understand that it’s good for people’s jobs.”

Jon Grimes, who also lives near to the racecourse, loves Royal Ascot. He says it’s a “wonderful” part of living in the area.

Local resident Brian Greatorex
Brian rents out his driveway when the races come around

“I absolutely love it. It’s wonderful. It’s one of the reasons you live here, right?,” he said.

He recalled that his children used to sell homemade refreshments from the front garden when they were younger.

The 52-year-old said: “People around here get involved – our kids used to sell lemonade and brownies out the front of the house so they’d make some good pocket money.

Other people sell refreshments and comfortable footwear as people come and go
Other people sell refreshments and comfortable footwear as people come and go

“They’re a bit too old to have the ‘cute’ factor to do that now but it was fun when they did and I know others do similar things.”

Fellow Ascot resident Brian Greatorex, 68, turns his driveway into a carpark for the week when he can.

He said: “The official car parks cost £45 – so if you offer your driveway for £30…

“We’ve had five cars a day in here before so you can make good money. Bookies are regular customers.”

Olga Klocek, assistant manager at Fego Cafe on Ascot High Street, said: “We’re very busy during the races which is good for business.

Fego Cafe assistant manager Olga Klocek revealed what it's like
Fego Cafe assistant manager Olga Klocek revealed what it’s like

“People come in and get breakfast or brunch before they start the day.

“We make sure we get more staff in – and we shorten the menu so it’s easier for the chefs. But we do add a few cocktails to the menu as that’s a bit of fun.”

Fortunately, Olga and her team have generally had good experiences with customers – despite stories of rowdy and drunken behaviour.

She said: “We don’t really see the really drunk people as we’re more a morning than an evening place. In my experience, the customers have always been very nice.

“It’s actually a fun day. You feel stressed the day before trying to get everything ready but on the day it’s exciting. Work goes quicker when you’re busy.”

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