The current financial crisis can also have a positive effect. To organise a party on the upscale premises of castles and historical buildings today costs significantly less than a year ago. For example, Prague’s Žofín Palace is offering a discount of up to 40% on space rentals, and it is not unusual now to get a discount of 20% in some other places.
“Nowadays, when everyone’s budget is limited, we are, of course, willing to offer a discount for the rental of our premises. Because of the crisis we even introduced the so-called “last minute” offer and unbooked terms are offered with a 40% discount,” said Jiří Vaníček, Žofín’s manager for external affairs, adding that the discounted price for the rental of the whole palace is CZK 250,000 per one day.
Other lucrative premises are also significantly cheaper today. “We’ve been noticing that operators of these buildings are now much more willing to negotiate about the price. It always depends on each specific event and individual negotiations, but premises like Národní dům in Smíchov or the Municipal House are now lowering their prices by as much as 20%,” said Monika Urbanová from Vyšehrad 2000 Group, which provides gastronomy services as well as rentals of prestigious buildings.
The reason is simple. Companies have been cutting their budgets and no longer have money for organizing sumptuous events that were common a year ago.
While earlier companies had to fight for free terms on the calendars of attractive premises, today dozens of unbooked terms are available.
“We’ve recorded a decrease in the influx of our clientele,” said Jindřich Šenk from the Municipal House adding that now it is possible to negotiate an individual price in this Art Noveau building. “Some events are planned long time in advance and so our clients know already now that for example for an event schedule for the end of the year they will not have a budget approved beforehand,” Šenk said. Moreover, individual discounts will be soon replaced with a new service package that will officially introduce discounts for rental. “We’re now waiting for the package to be approved by the board of directors,” Šenk said.
No discounts in the case of the Prague Castle
Nevertheless, even at the time of crisis there are certain places that will not lower their prices. “These are places where they trust their trademark and where discounts are not possible. Such as the Prague Castle for example,” Monika Urbanová from Vyšehrad 2000 Group said. The price for one evening in the Rožumberský palác at the Castle is therefore still for CZK 150,000-190,000.
The less famous castles and chateus, including those outside of Prague, do not want to hear about holding events there for less money.
Smaller chateaus for less money
“We have to earn money to be able to pay for our operation. We had to react to the crisis already in November and so we launched a special offer that lasted for four months where we were offering 20%-40% discounts for rentals of the castle’s congress hall and for accommodation,” said the Loučeň chateau’s manager Jiří Senohrádek.
The special offer has already ended, but even today it is possible to negotiate discounts up to 15% in Loučeň. The usual price for a corporate event in the cogress hall of the chateau’s hotel Maxmilián is CZK 1,753 per person.