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Saratoga prepares for racing meet; season pass sales up dramatically

Updated: 07/10/2014 7:32 PM
Created: 07/10/2014 5:45 PM WNYT.com
By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - The sprucing up is in full swing Thursday at Saratoga Race Course.

The fixing up has been taking place over the last few months.

The New York Racing Association says it spent two million dollars this off-season on improvements.

And many of them are already in place, with just a little over a week to go before racing starts.

The most noticeable change is the TVs. Crews have installed 500 new high-definition monitors, and three new video walls.

There are also 100 more picnic tables that people will scramble to claim on Opening Day, next Friday, and for the 39 mornings that follow.

All indications are that there'll be more people coming through the turnstiles this season.

Season pass sales to the track have skyrocketed this year after NYRA started selling them at Stewart's Shops.

They've sold about 3-thousand already, compared to just 400 at this time last year.
"They've had these vouchers out there. Just having us help spread the word really has encouraged that, getting the word out," said Maria D'Amelia, spokesperson for Stewart's Shops.

NYRA says season pass buyers can save processing time by uploading their photo in advance.

And there's another reason to use your smart phone.

The business community put decorative quarter-poles on Broadway. They tie the track to the city, the bar code ties you to a web site with everything you'd want to know about Saratoga.

It's all designed to bring more people to town.
"Advance bookings are up heading into the summer. There's a lot of interest this year," said Todd Shimkus, president of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. The economy nationally is doing better, the economy in our target market is doing better and people are looking to spend some money and have a good time here in Saratoga."

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