SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Thousands of racing fans were back in the stands for the 152nd running Travers Stake. It was a welcome sight for the business community following a season with no trackgoers in 2020.
Local business owners say it was definitely the biggest weekend of sales in the summer season. Hotel reservations were through the roof, and people from all over brought life back to the Spa City.
“People are just happy to be out especially to be able to go shopping and having a good time,” said Sabine Rodgers, owner of Saratoga Saddlery. Rodgers says that despite some staffing shortages, she has been saddling up for this busy weekend. “We were able to catch up on sales from last year with all the visitors we have. It’s wonderful to be able to celebrate Travers as we used to do.”
Nick Canterino is the general manager of the IceHouse. He said they were expecting big crowds and the drink sales to be flowing. “After the races, people usually go get dinner, and after that, that’s when it starts to get mobbed out. We are hoping everyone makes some money,” said Canterino.
As crowds came day and night, Saratoga Police Lt. Bob Jillson said it was all hands on deck.
“We hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We work with our law enforcement partners, local hospitals, fire departments, and NYRA security. We always have to anticipate the what-ifs,” said Jillson.
Lt. Jillson says are urging patrons to be responsible as they will be keeping a close eye on the Caroline Street bar district. The city has seen its share of violence in recent months, including a fatal assault earlier this month on Caroline Street.
“Unfortunately, we had a lot of experiences dealing with issues like fights in the bar district. So, we’ll be dealing with that as a top priority and take care of it. We don’t want to affect the rest of what’s going on downtown,” he said.
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