SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS 10)— On Saturday, Governor Cuomo announced there will be no fans allowed to gather at horse racing tracks in New York State.
Some local businesses owners say if spectators are not allowed at the Saratoga Racecourse this summer, their businesses will be negatively impacted.
“I think it will definitely effect the amount of customers that are here,” stated Eugene Bizzaro, owner of Saratoga Gelato. “We would get a certain time of the day people pouring from the track, and we noticed it when there was 2 dark days. We noticed a little difference in it.”
He said he hopes those who are local will still come out and support the businesses here in Saratoga, especially since his busiest time is during the warmer months.
“A lot of people out here, seasonal business owners usually have a credit line,” Bizzarro explained. “They take that credit line in the winter, fall somewhere in there and they spend it down through the winter on rent, utilities and everything else because business isn’t here. And as soon as business opens back up and people start coming in March and April, we start paying down the credit line.”
Bizzarro said he wouldn’t be surprised if Saratoga taxes increase because of the lack of revenue.
Earl Howard, the vice president of the restaurant group that owns Wheatfield’s also stated that the lack of spectators at the track would have a negative impact on Saratoga’s economy as a whole.
“Hopefully we will be able to capitalize on the delivery and take out components, but it’s new for all of us, I think here in terms of having to go through this experience,” said Howard.” It’s going to be a challenge certainly. I think we will have some of the opportunity to seize some traffic that comes through here, but it’s not going to be anything near what we used to be doing in the past.”
With online orders and take out only, businesses have had to already change the way they operate because of COVID -19.
“we are looking forward to people getting comfortable and coming to see us and taking our product out,” stated Howard.