Officials pleased to see busy, safe weekend for Saratoga Springs

Downtown scene on Caroline Street after Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs on Saturday, August 28, 2021.
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Downtown scene on Caroline Street after Travers Day at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs on Saturday, August 28, 2021.

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The city’s busiest weekend of the summer was a notably safe one as well, officials said. 

The weekend drew a slate of popular shows to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and the new governor to Saratoga Race Course. 

There was no notable increase in criminal activity accompanying the influx of people, Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton said late Sunday afternoon, noting that city police were well aware of the activities scheduled to occur over the weekend.

“They had a very detailed and thorough plan in place for the weekend to manage that,” Dalton said of city police.

Dalton said she had been advised by Police Chief Shane Crooks that there was one incident of note. She declined to provide particulars, noting there is an ongoing criminal investigation. She was able to confirm that it involved a high-speed vehicle pursuit on Maple Avenue early Sunday.

On Saturday, a crowd of about 50,000 people attended Travers Stakes at the race course at which new Gov. Kathy Hochul presented the Man o’ War Cup to the connections of Essential Quality. The 13-race Travers Day card generated an all sources handle of more than $51 million.

Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus said Travers and the SPAC concerts resulted in “a special weekend” for the city and region.

“Having the governor here sort of amped it up for everybody,” Shimkus said. “Certainly, her appearance made everybody in Saratoga take notice that it’s a new day for racing. It’s a new day for Saratoga, and in our relationship with state government.”

Shimkus spoke of the varied crowds that came and boosted the local economy.

“All the hotels did really well, and I’m making some assumptions that our local Airbnbs also did extraordinarily well this weekend,” he said. “There were a lot of people staying in the city, and the cool part is when they stay here at the hotels or at private residences, they generally also dine out locally and shop locally.

That’s the way you have an exponential impact,” he said. “Where they stay is where they spend their money, and they stayed in Saratoga this weekend, that’s for sure.”

The owner of Desperate Annie’s — the Facebook page for the business describes it as a “dive bar” — on Caroline Street posted on social media that Saturday night was a “ton of fun” while incident-free for the business. 

“Now go home please,” the post read. 

Categories: News, Saratoga County

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