Saratoga Springs bounces back after COVID slump

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Fans are glad to be back at the Saratoga Race Track at full capacity. The city and area businesses have been gearing up to welcome back tourists for track season.

Rain or shine there’s a lot going on in the Spa City this summer! Both locals and tourists are enjoying their time at the track. “You can’t let the weather stop you, you know. That’s exactly why we have umbrellas,” says Shawn Harris from Albany.

Fans are saddled up for this year’s track season, whether it was traveling 20 miles or 200 miles to get to Saratoga Springs. “[This was] a nice weekend getaway,” says Eesha Nagpal from New Jersey.

The track has already brought an economic boom to the rest of the area. “Advanced booking has been really good this summer. We have already seen in June and July an uptick in occupancy, in rate, revenue for available rooms so we’re feeling pretty good about the summer,” says Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. “We expect our rates to be up 10% over where they were in 2019,” says Kevin Tuohy, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs.

When the New York Racing Association announced the track will reopen at 100% capacity, hotels like the Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs noticed an influx in booking.

“Folks are booking way ahead of time even earlier than they had in prior years. The demand for travel right now far exceeds anything that we have seen in the past. People are booking way, way in advance,” says Touhy.

Tourists are enjoying the track, the town, and the rest of their stay however many just want nicer weather… “It’s exciting for Saratoga, the energy is back,” says Kevin Tuohy.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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