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ARC of Delaware County: Delayed 2 HrsAcademy at Rensselaer Education Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsAcademy of the Holy Names: ClosedAchievements & Kids Express Mplwood: Delayed 2 Hrs, no before careAchievements St Kateri Tekakwitha: Delayed 2 HrsAchievements and Kids Express TBGC: Delayed 2 HrsAdams-Cheshire Regional SD: ClosedAesthetic Science Institute: Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes will begin at 11 amAlbany Law School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All classes starting before 11 am are cancelled Staff report at 10:30 amAlbany Leadership Charter High: Delayed 2 HrsAlbany Public Library: Delayed, No Morning Classes, All locations open at noonAmbleside School: Delayed 2 Hrs, All School Luncheon remains on scheduleAmsterdam City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastAmsterdam Head Start: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportAn Nur Islamic School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Building opens at 8:30.Andes CSD: Delayed 2 HrsArkville Head Start: ClosedArlington SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Delay 2 Hours ALL JISP CANCELLEDAugustine Classical Academy: ClosedAverill Park CSD: ClosedAverill Park Pre School: Closed, No AM Program, No Morning ClassesBArT Charter Public School: Closed, Full-year staff reportBallston Spa CSD: Delayed 2 HrsBattenkill Community Services: ClosedBennington College: Delayed Until 10a, Essential staff report as normalBennington County Head Start: ClosedBennington Early Childhood Ctr: ClosedBerkshire Christian School (Lenox): ClosedBerkshire Community College: ClosedBerkshire Country Day School: ClosedBerkshire County Head Start@Conte: Closed, No AM Head StartBerkshire Hills Regional SD: Delayed 2 HrsBerlin CSD: ClosedBerne-Knox-Westerlo CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastBethlehem CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESBishop Maginn HS: ClosedBlessed Sacrament School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No After-School Programs, No After School Events, Regular DismissalBoght Montessori: Delayed 2 HrsBrighter Choice Charter Schools: ClosedBrite Beginnings Day Care & Dev Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsBrown School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Morning PLUS ProgramBrunswick (Brittonkill) CSD: Closed, Updated statusBrunswick Center Services: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesBrunswick Children's Academy: ClosedBrunswick Community Library: ClosedBurnt Hills-Ballston Lake CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, 2-hr delay (Final) HS students check email for exam scheduleBurr & Burton Academy: Delayed 2 HrsButterfly Dreams Daycare: Delayed 2 Hrs, Daycare will open at 9;30amCEO Head Start (Rensselaer County): Delayed, All CEO programs and sites delayed until 10:00amCOARC Adult Transportation: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransCairo-Durham CSD: Closed, Offices ClosedCambridge CSD: Delayed 2 HrsCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Albany): ClosedCap Dist Ctr for Indp (Schenectady): ClosedCapital Milestones Child Care: Delayed 2 HrsCapital Reg Career & Tech (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No AM BOCES, No AM classesCatholic Central HS: ClosedCatholic Schools Office: Delayed 2 Hrs, Principals Meeting at 10:30Catskill CSD: ClosedCentral Berkshire Regional SD: ClosedChatham CSD: Closed, Pops Concert Pstpnd to 1-18Chatham Kids Club: ClosedChildhood Friends Inc.: Delayed 2 Hrs, We will open at 9amChrist the King Church: Closed, No morning Daily Mass. Parish Office opens at 11 a.m.Christ the King Early Childhood Ctr: Delayed 2 HrsChristian Brothers Academy: ClosedCircle Of Friends (Delmar): Delayed 2 Hrs, Wrap around two hour delayCircle of Friends (Ravena): ClosedClifton Park Nursery School: Delayed 1 HrCobleskill-Richmondville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESCohoes City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, CDTA buses running on Delay schedule - 9:30 amCohoes Community Center, Inc.: Delayed Until 9a, /Day Care delayed until 9am /No AM care at elem schoolsColonie Youth Centers: Open, No AM ProgramColumbia Christian Academy: ClosedColumbia Co Nutrition Pg (Philmont): Closed, Staff ReportColumbia-Greene Comm College: Delayed, No Day Classes, The College will open at 4:00 pm.Community Access to the Arts: ClosedCorinth CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESCoxsackie-Athens CSD: ClosedCrossFit Schenectady: Delayed, No morning classesCrossroads Center for Children: Delayed 2 HrsDiscovery Place Learning Center: ClosedDoane Stuart School: Closed, NO Snow CampDoors of Hope: ClosedDuanesburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESDutchess Community College: Delayed Until 5p, No Day Classes, Opening at 5 pm for evening classes. Student Services offices open 5 - 7 pm.EOC (Capital District): Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 a.m. staff/sudents report at 10Early Childhood Learning Ctr: ClosedEarly Childhood Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsEarly Childhood Education Ctr-Troy: Delayed 2 HrsEast Greenbush CSD: ClosedEast Greenbush Community Library: Delayed Until 11a, Storytimes cancelledEco Baby Daycare & Preschool: Delayed Until 9aEddy Senior Care: Open, Schenectady Center is open Buses may be lateEmma L. Miller Memorial School: ClosedEmma Willard School: Delayed 2 HrsExcelsior College: Delayed 1 HrFarmington River Regional SD: ClosedFirst Friends Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Program, Enrichment program begins at 11:30amGabriel Abbott Memorial School: ClosedGalway CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastGateway Community Industries: Open, No Transportation, GCI open,trans cancelled SNP meals/cong.sites cancel PROS cancelled,Staff report, GCI is open but transportation is cancelled. Staff report., The Ulster County Office of the aging home delivered meals service and congregated sites are cancelled for today. , PROS is cancelled. Staff report. , George Washington School: ClosedGermantown CSD: Closed, Office staff report at noonGood Ground Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9:30Grace Chapel of Clifton Park: Open, All groups cancelled.Grace Christian School: ClosedGrand Gorge Head Start: ClosedGrapeville Christian School: ClosedGreen Island UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, School opens at 9:40Green Tech High Charter School: Delayed 2 HrsGreenbush Child Caring: ClosedGreene County Nutrition Program: Closed, No TransportationGreene County Transit: Closed, No Transportation, all buses cancelledGreenville CSD: ClosedGreenwich CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESGrowing Up Right at the C.D.C.: ClosedGuilderland CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESHVCC: Delayed 2 Hrs, School closed until 10 am. staff and students report at 10 amHancock Regional SD: ClosedHappy Kids Day Care Center: ClosedHawthorne Valley School: ClosedHead Start - Adams: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start - Lee: Delayed 2 Hrs, No TransHead Start @ Becket/Washington: Closed, No AM Head StartHead Start @ Johnson - North Adams: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Meadow Lane Pittsfield: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHead Start @ Muddy Brook - GB: Open, No AM Head Start, No Transportation, Childcare OpenHebrew Academy - Capital District: Delayed 2 HrsHelderberg Christian School: ClosedHelping Hands Pre-School: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolHoly Spirit School (East G'Bush): ClosedHoosic Valley CSD: Delayed 2 HrsHoosick Falls CSD: ClosedHope 7 Community Center: Open, for after school, Food Pantry Open 9:30-11:45aHousatonic Academy: ClosedHudson City SD: Closed, Offices open at noon Board Meeting as scheduledHudson Day Care Center: ClosedHunter-Tannersville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESIchabod Crane (Kinderhook) CSD: ClosedJefferson CSD: Delayed 2 HrsJohn Paolo's-Ballston Spa: ClosedJubilee Child Day Care Center: ClosedKIPP: Tech Valley Charter School: Closed, Both the primary and middleKid Kampus: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 8:30AMKiddie Academy II: Delayed 2 HrsKiddie Academy of Albany: Delayed 2 HrsKidsFirst Childcare Center: Delayed 2 HrsKinderhof Waldorf School: ClosedKinderhook Memorial Library: Delayed 2 Hrs, Library will open at noon.Kingston City SD: ClosedLa Salle Institute (Troy): ClosedLanesborough Regional SD: ClosedLansingburgh CSD: ClosedLatham Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KLee Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLenox Public Schools: Delayed 2 HrsLife Kids Before/ After School: Open, No AM ProgramLifeSong Inc (Saratoga): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc (Schenectady): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLifeSong Inc. (Rensselaer): Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff ReportLil Peeps Preschool: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationLil' Lambs Christian Daycare Inc.: Delayed 2 HrsLittle Feet Daycare Center: ClosedLittle Tot Nursery School: ClosedLiving Res DCOP (Albany): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Rensselaer): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Saratoga): Delayed 1 HrLiving Res DCOP (Schenectady): Delayed 1 HrLiving Resources DCOP (Columbia): Delayed 1 HrLong Trail School: Delayed 2 HrsLoudonville Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsMalta Montessori School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No toddler programMargaretville CSD: Delayed 2 HrsMass. College of Liberal Arts: Delayed Until 10aMechanicville City SD: Delayed 2 HrsMekeel Christian Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolMenands UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastMiddleburgh CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No Breakfast, One Hour Early DismissalMilford CSD: Delayed 2 HrsMillbrook CSD: ClosedMohawk Trail Regional SD: ClosedMohonasen CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESMontessori School (Schenectady): Delayed, No AM Program, Early care open at 11.Mother Teresa Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, No morning care Doors open at 9:45Mount Greylock Regional SD: ClosedMountain Road School: ClosedMt Moriah Academy: ClosedMyers Education Center: Delayed 2 HrsN. Greenbush Little Red School: ClosedNew Lebanon CSD: ClosedNew Paltz CSD: ClosedNewmeadow at Clifton Park: Delayed 2 HrsNewmeadow at Fort Edward: Open, Upstate Trans delayed 2 hrsNiskayuna CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESNorth Adams Public Schools: ClosedNorth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, Check website/email for SHS exam scheduleNortheast Parent & Child Society: Open, Staff Rpt, No TransNortheastern Baptist College: ClosedNorthern Berkshire Voc SD: Closed, No After Sch EventsNotre Dame-Bishop Gibbons: Delayed 2 HrsOak Hill School: Delayed 2 HrsOakwood Christian School: Delayed 2 HrsOhav Shalom Nursery School: Delayed, No AM Pre-School, No AM Program, opening at 9:30 all staff report at 9:00One Love Preschool: Delayed 2 HrsOnteora CSD: ClosedOrlo School of Hair Design: ClosedOtego-Unadilla CSD: Delayed 2 HrsOur Lady of Victory Early Childhood: ClosedOur Savior's Lutheran School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-School, No LaunchpadOur World Montessori: Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 10:45 a.m.Parsons Early Head Start Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff report by 9Parsons Early Learning Center: Delayed 2 Hrs, Staff in by 9Pine Cobble School: Delayed 2 HrsPine Plains CSD: ClosedPineview Comm Church Pre-School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, opening at 9:30Pittsfield Public Schools: ClosedPoughkeepsie City School District: ClosedPumpkin Patch (Albany): Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III BOCES - Sarah's Sisters: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Catskill Academy: ClosedQuestar III Columbia-Green Ed Ctr: Closed, New Visions open house will be rescheduled to tomorrow night, Thursday, 1/18.Questar III Rensselaer Academy: Delayed 2 HrsQuestar III Rensselaer Edu Ctr: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, Q3 New Vision is closedQuestar III Sackett Educational Ctr: ClosedRavena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD: ClosedReadsboro Central School: Delayed 2 HrsRed Hook CSD: ClosedRensselaer City SD: Delayed 2 HrsRhinebeck CSD: ClosedRichmond Consolidated: Delayed 2 HrsRiverRun Community Montessori: ClosedRiverside Enterprises: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesRobert C. Parker School: ClosedRoots and Wings Montessori: Delayed 1-1/2 Hrs, Open at 9am no before careRosa Venerini Early Childhood Cente: Delayed 2 Hrs, Before Care Cancelled Doors Open at 9Roxbury CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSUNY New Paltz: Delayed 3 Hrs, Offices will open at 10:45, Offices will open at 10:45 a.m.SW Vermont Career Dev Ctr: ClosedSacred Heart School (Bennington): ClosedSacred Heart School (Troy): Closed, TSL is opens at 2pmSage Colleges (Troy & Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Classes begin at 11 amSaratoga Central Catholic HS: Delayed 2 HrsSaratoga County Senior Meals: ClosedSaratoga Independent School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Before Care or AM Pre-KSaratoga Springs City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSaugerties CSD: ClosedSchalmont CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastSchenectady City SD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSchenectady County ARC: Open, Buses on Snow RoutesSchenectady InnerCtyMin Food Pantry: Closed, Food Pantry is closed. Will reopen Thurs, Jan 18.Schenectady Jewish CC: Delayed, Early Childhood Education will open at 8:30 amSchenevus CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSchodack CSD: ClosedSchoharie CSD: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Career and Technical Scho: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCESSchoharie County Com. Action Prg.: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 10:00 AM.Schoharie Cty Child Dvp Cobleskill: Delayed 2 HrsSchoharie Cty HeadStart (Schoharie): Delayed 2 HrsSchool's Out, Inc.: Closed, No AM ProgramSchools Out Childrens Center LLC: Open, 6am - 2pm no transportationSchuylerville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastScotia-Glenville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShaftsbury Early Childhood Center: Open, 10am-2pm No TransportationSharon Springs CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES, No BreakfastShenendehowa CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM BOCESShooting Stars Nursery & After Sch.: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-SchoolSkidmore Early Childhood Center: Delayed, No AM Pre-SchoolSmall World Nursery School: ClosedSouth Colonie CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCESSouthern Berkshire Regional SD: Closed, No Aft-Sch Pgm, No PM Activities, No After School EventsSouthern Vermont College: ClosedSouthwest Vermont SU: ClosedSpa Christian School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM K, No AM Pre-SchoolSpotted Zebra Learning Center: Delayed 2 HrsSt Ambrose School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM PgmSt Catherine's May School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastSt Clement's Regional Catholic Sch: Delayed 2 HrsSt Edward's Church: Closed, No 9am Mass No daytime eventsSt George's School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, AEP begins at 11:30 amSt Gregory School: Closed, Classes CancelledSt Jude the Apostle School: ClosedSt Kateri Tekakwitha School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No Breakfast, No Before Care. School doors open at 10:00 am.St Madeleine Sophie Pre-School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Madeleine Sophie School: Delayed 2 HrsSt Mary's Academy (Hoosick Falls): ClosedSt Mary's Institute ES (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No BreakfastSt Mary's School (Ballston Spa): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, Before Care Opens at 8:00amSt Mary's School (Waterford): Closed, No AM Pre-KSt Pius X School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KSt Thomas the Apostle School: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-KStepping Stone Pre & DCC (Albany): Delayed 2 Hrs, Open at 9:00Stillwater CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, FinalStory Place Preschool: ClosedStorybook Academy: ClosedSullivan BOCES: Delayed 3 Hrs, Offices will open at 11 am for 12 month staffSunnyside Center Day Care: Delayed 2 Hrs, Day Care open at 9am. All staff report at 9am.Sunshine Kids Corner: Delayed 2 Hrs, Opening at 9 amSusan Odell Taylor School: Delayed 2 HrsTLC Christian Day Care: ClosedTaconic Hills CSD: ClosedTech Valley High School: Delayed 2 HrsThe Albany Academies (AA & AAG): Closed, Check web later for athleticsThe Beagle School: Delayed, No AM Program, PM Class OpenThe Children's Museum at Saratoga: Delayed 2 HrsThe Kid's Place Preschool: ClosedThe King's School: ClosedTiny Tots Early Learning Center: ClosedTri-Village Nursery School: ClosedTroy City SD: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Prep: Delayed 2 HrsTroy Public Library: Delayed 3 Hrs, The library will open at 12:00 pm today. Twin County Recovery Services, Inc.: Closed, No groups or appointmentsTwin Valley Elementary School: Delayed 2 HrsTwin Valley Middle High School: Delayed 2 HrsUlster County Community College: Delayed 2 Hrs, Employee code orangeUlster-Greene ARC (Catskill): Open, No Transportation, transportation cancelledUlster-Greene ARC (Kingston): Open, No Transportation, All Classes Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Cancelled Training Center Cancelled, Kingston Transportation Canceled., Rosendale Training Center classes Cancelled. , , Unity Sunshine Program: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pgm, Day Care Open, Special Ed delayed 2 hours. UPK delayed 2 hours. at A Child's PlaceUpstate Transit: Delayed 2 Hrs, School DivisionVillage School of North Bennington: ClosedVoorheesville CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM BOCES No BreakfastWWAARC—Albany & Queensbury: Open, Albany Location on Snow Routes; Queensbury Location normal routineWaldorf School (Saratoga Springs): Delayed 2 Hrs, 2 Day PreK begins at 10:30Warren Street Academy - The Bridge: ClosedWarrensburg CSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-K, No AM BOCES, No AM Head Start, No BrkfstWashington County EOC: Open, Cambridge HeadStart delayed 2 hours, No AM transportWaterford-Halfmoon UFSD: Delayed 2 Hrs, No BreakfastWatervliet City SD: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines (Cobleskill): Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines - Schoharie UPK: Delayed 2 HrsWhispering Pines Pre Sc (Amsterdam): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No morning Toddler Program No morning wrap aroundWhispering Pines Pre-sch (Delanson): Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM Pre-School, No Toddler ProgramWildwood Adult Day Services: ClosedWilliamstown Public Schools: ClosedWilton Baptist Academy: Delayed 2 Hrs, No AM KWindham-Ashland-Jewett CSD: ClosedWonderland Nursery School: ClosedWoodland Hill Montessori School: ClosedWorcester CSD: Delayed 2 HrsWynantskill UFSD: ClosedYMCA (Bethlehem): Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA (East Greenbush): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, Child watch Opens at 9am, Snow Day Program opens at 8amYMCA (Greater Glenville): Open, No programs until noon. No AM Childwatch.YMCA (Guilderland): Open, No AM Pre-School, No Morning Classes, No AM branch childwatchYMCA (Schenectady): Open, No Morning Classes, Child Watch Closed for AM Classes Cancelled til NoonYMCA (Troy): Open, No Morning Classes, Or programs, No Child WatchYMCA Duanesburg: Open, No Morning Classes, No morning child watchYMCA Greene County Branch: Open, No Morning ClassesYMCA Southern Saratoga: Open, No Morning Classes

Saratoga vs. Schenectady: Let the games begin

Outlook

Saratoga vs. Schenectady: Let the games begin

You can see competition nearly everywhere
Saratoga vs. Schenectady: Let the games begin
The Rivers Casino billboard advertised on Route 9, near Exit 13, entering Saratoga Springs.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady hasn't been open too long, but the race for gambling dollars is on — with nearby Saratoga Casino Hotel feeling the heat.

"We definitely view them as direct competition," said Tom Wiedmayer, general manager of the Saratoga racino. "They are going to be competing for the same gaming dollars we are in this market and hopefully, with the addition of Rivers, we'll see our regional market base grow."

Long before the Schenectady casino opened on Feb. 8, the racino 20 miles northeast in Saratoga Springs invested $40 million to expand with a 117-room hotel, a Morton's Steakhouse and a new name, leaving behind the Saratoga Casino and Raceway branding — all with the impending competition from the Schenectady casino in mind, Wiedmayer said. The newly named Saratoga Casino Hotel opened for summer 2016.


Related: Outlook 2017, The Gazette's annual guide to business and technology in the Capital Region


"We will have more to come, as we have been working on our competitive strategy for some time now," Wiedmayer said.

The competition can be seen on billboards and taxicabs across the Capital Region, and in TV advertising as well. That includes a Rivers Casino billboard in Malta, on Route 9 near the Northway's Exit 13 — a short distance down the road opposite a billboard adverting the much-closer Saratoga Casino Hotel. Todd Shimkus, Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce president, noted that Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, about a two-hour Thruway drive to the west, is getting in on the game as well.

"I've seen ads for the Saratoga casino, the Schenectady casino and Turning Stone, all in Capital Region TV markets," Shimkus said. "I think all three of them are certainly trying to make sure that they're top of mind when people are thinking about where to participate in gambling as a form of entertainment."

During the week Rivers Casino opened to massive crowds, net winnings at Saratoga Casino Hotel dropped 25 percent to $2.33 million, down $805,026 from the week before, according to the state Gaming Commission.

Shimkus said he pays no attention to weekly, or even monthly, variations, however, saying the picture will be more clear after a full year of numbers to compare.

"I don't think you can make any conclusions" yet, he said, adding that Saratoga is not in its peak season, which is summertime, and Schenectady will be adding amenities such as hotel rooms and restaurants in the year ahead.

Shimkus said it's more important to pay attention to people's first impressions of the Schenectady casino and develop a market strategy from there.

"I clearly heard that parking's an issue in Schenectady compared to Saratoga. That's been one big one," he said. "We still have more slot machines or VLTs than they do — so access to machines. You sort of hear from people that have been down there, and those are two things that people have noticed — that it's a small facility and there's not enough parking. So what do we do about that?"

Shimkus said he didn't think the Schenectady and Saratoga casino markets "overlap a ton." He noted Saratoga Springs' vibrant downtown, the harness racing at the racino, and the popular and historic thoroughbred meet at Saratoga Race Course.

"We've got a product that is different, and we've got a market that is way bigger than what they've got at the casino in Schenectady, and that's where our competitive advantage lies — along with the brand name of Saratoga," he said.

He does expect people who visit the area for Saratoga Springs in the summertime to venture to Schenectady for the new casino, however.

"Because they like to bet a little money on the ponies, they also decide, 'Hey, let's check out that new casino in Schenectady,' " he said.

During opening day of harness racing's 76th season at Saratoga Casino and Hotel on Feb. 19, Bill McQuiston, the track's mutuel manager, said he didn't think the Schenectady casino impact's would reach the racing operation.

He attributed that partly to the raceway staff, which has developed relationships with many of the track's regular customers over the years. Another factor is the facility's "Saratoga Bets" platform, which allows customers to wager on races using their phones or computers, even if they aren't physically at the track.

He also pointed to the "Saratoga" brand Shimkus touted.

"You have bars in town, thoroughbred racing, harness racing, all the history around racing," he said. "It's probably the greatest racing town in the country in terms of history and opportunity.

Purses are up to about $16 million a year from about $4 million a decade ago, which has made for better racehorses and more competitive races at the venue, said John Matarazzo, director of racing operations at the raceway. He said that's due to the installation of video slots at Saratoga Casino and Hotel.

In recent years, the state Gaming Commission approved electronic table games at racinos statewide, allowing the Saratoga casino to add digital versions of the 67 table games and 15 poker tables now offered in Schenectady.

The racino's owners wanted to covert it into a full-scale casino with table games as part of the state's casino selection process, but dropped those plans in 2014 due to strong community opposition. Ultimately, Schenectady was awarded the region's only gaming license.

"I want to say we got all of the games that you have at a casino without any of the jobs," said Shimkus. "The reality is that we're going to have to fight for every hotel guest. We're going to have to fight for every person that's interested in gambling at a casino. We're going to have to fight to make sure that people still come here to bet on harness racing and thoroughbred racing this summer.

"It's more competition for us, and we're going to have to do our best to make sure that people still want to come to Saratoga for that gaming and that live racing experience that only we have."

Gazette reporter Brett Samuels contributed to this story.

Read more about business in the Capital Region

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