Eastbourne vs Brighton

A lot of passionate speakers talked of the advantages of Brighton, in particular the vibrant atmosphere and exciting nightlife. The counter argument was made that Eastbourne is cheaper, parking and driving easier and the atmosphere more suited to a different group of our members.

What was not pointed out (I think) was that the Summer Meeting at Brighton had been in decline for a number of years and was not sustainable at the Metropole, we had looked for other venues there but found nothing suitable that was affordable, and so we had the choice of relocating or discontinuing the event. At that time we did an extensive survey of those who had formerly played at Brighton but then stopped, to find out the reasons for this and found the following reasons repeatedly cited:

  • Hotels and restaurants too expensive
  • Parking and driving difficult
  • Unpleasant atmosphere on the seafront at the end of evening sessions

One further request that was made was that even if the Summer Meeting could not return there, perhaps we could consider holding another event there instead. This is now being considered.

Comments

  • When I started to play, Brighton was fine.

    There were plenty of cheap hotels located in roads where street parking was free.

    That is no longer the case and probably hasn't been for a number of years.

  • In another thread someone says Eastbourne restaurants aren't that special
    I disagree
    Dem Shish a new Turkish restaurant was way better than the Turkish just along from the London venue (which is actually pretty good). La Locanda del Duca is top class. The fish and chips near the venue is great. And Rosetto (or something like that was also good)
    In 10 days I ran out of nights to eat where I wanted as often as I wanted

    Peter Bushby Suffolk

  • The Green Almond is one of the best vegetarian restaurants I have eaten in, though sadly about to stop opening evenings.
  • I find Eastbourne dull and suspect I am not alone. That does not matter too much as I am only there to play bridge, but it does not have the same added attraction that Brighton did and I imagine eventually the sameness will be a factor that puts me off entering either event one year. I appreciate that moving back to Brighton is not the answer, but could the EBU consider the possibility of the Summer meeting 'going on tour' to a different seaside venue (that is easily accessible by train) each year? I appreciate that it will depend on suitable playing accommodation being available (as the venue at Eastbourne is good), but I would have thought that there would be a few other towns with something to offer. To identify a long-list of possibilities to investigate, you could set out roughly what you need in terms of size and then invite suggestions from the membership who would have local knowledge within their own area.

  • I enjoyed Eastbourne this year although I have a couple of confessions to make. The first one was when I called the director to report a psyche by the player on my left. The second time (against the same players) I called the director was because the player on my left paused and then asked pointed questions about my opening bid of 2Hs before passing. The player on my right then took a long time before passing when a bid might have been in order. I don't know the experience level of the player on my left but the one on my right is a very experienced player. Nevertheless the calling of the director seemed to cause some unpleasantness and I might have done better by ignoring these peccadilloes.
    On a more positive note if we change to another location couldn't we get some sort of deal from the local authority for, say, a free parking permit? There may be other deals that can be arranged - a percentage off restaurant bills for example - after all we are boosting business in the town where we are playing.
    I don't know if this is any use but X-IMPs and NGS handicapped events are becoming popular at our club.

  • @AlanB said:
    On a more positive note if we change to another location couldn't we get some sort of deal from the local authority for, say, a free parking permit? There may be other deals that can be arranged - a percentage off restaurant bills for example - after all we are boosting business in the town where we are playing.

    We get those in Eastbourne: parking is at reduced rates in nearby car parks; we have a reduces hire rate for the venue since it is owned by the council; some nearby restaurants give discount to bridge players.

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @AlanB said:
    On a more positive note if we change to another location couldn't we get some sort of deal from the local authority for, say, a free parking permit? There may be other deals that can be arranged - a percentage off restaurant bills for example - after all we are boosting business in the town where we are playing.

    We get those in Eastbourne: parking is at reduced rates in nearby car parks; we have a reduces hire rate for the venue since it is owned by the council; some nearby restaurants give discount to bridge players.

    I don't know if there's a charge for entrance to the pier but what about deckchairs, museum entrance fee, discounts for shows, discounts at bars etc..? Could be worth a try.

  • I used to enjoy the Summer Congress in Brighton (which had an exciting holiday element to it) but have no desire, as yet, to make the trek to Eastbourne, which is dull, despite some good points. It would be interesting to know if participation trends for Eastbourne correlate to those of other national (EBU) events or not (if not, suggesting something Eastbourne specific).

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