With 13 million COVID vaccine doses administered and the announcement that the Saratoga Race Course can open with limited capacity, Saratoga County’s inns and bed-and-breakfasts are preparing for racing season to get underway.
“People have been champing at the bit to watch the horses run,” said Matthew DiCarlo, the innkeeper for The Springwater Bed-and-Breakfast.
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced fans can begin attending races April 23, a day after the Belmont meet begins. However, only 20% capacity will be allowed at first.
DiCarlo said he’s already booked all of The Springwater’s usual customers to come to spend their days at the track.
But he’s also fairly optimistic that they’ll see more than just the normal group of people spending time in the county.
“I think we’ll get some new bookings,” DiCarlo said.
He said that while the B&B shut down right at the beginning of COVID for a bit, it got fairly busy once it opened up again. He said people were warned against traveling out of state during the summer last year, so they began visiting places throughout the state, including Saratoga County.
“No one did their big trips to Florida,” he said, noting they felt safer staying in smaller places, closer to home rather than heavily used hotels. “We saw a big influx of people to the area.”
Over at the Roosevelt Inn & Suites in Ballston Spa, reservations have been coming in a little slower. However, front desk manager Michael Cachoian is expecting it to pick up soon.
“I think it’s going to be busier than a typical summer, but not enough to make up the deficit,” Cachoian said. “It’s already looking to be a better year.”
However, not all businesses are ready to open up yet.
“We are the people that are being overly cautious,” said Rosemary Jensen, an owner of Saratoga Farmstand Bed-and-Breakfast.
She said whenever people call, she and her staff are recommending other places in the area to stay.