The midsummer derby draws thousands to the Spa City. YNN's Erin Moran has more on how businesses are preparing for one of their biggest weekends.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- “This looks like a picture perfect weekend, so I'm sure the backyard is going to be full,” said Cindy Hollowood, General Manager for the Saratoga Springs Holiday Inn.
Sunny, clear skies and temperatures close to, if not in, the 80s. It's shaping up to be a perfect weekend for the 144th running of the Travers Stakes, which means more foot traffic in downtown Saratoga.
For Hollowood, she said this weekend is one of the highest demands for the hotel.
“This is the weekend that tends to sell out first. And it's usually sold out right around Derby time when the fan who likes to go to the races wants to enjoy and continue the excitement they enjoyed during the derby or the Preakness,” said Hollowood.
According to Jeff Clark, President of the Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association, the Grade One million dollar race is huge for horse racing, but also for downtown and businesses could see upwards of 4,000 extra people this weekend.
“It's very busy. It's one of our busiest weekends of the year. But the whole track season is real good,” said Francesco D’Amico, owner of Ravenous Restaurant.
D’Amico has owned the Phila Street business for 14 years. Open year round, he said while business is steady in the off-season, “I find that once it gets closer to Travers, it just picks up more and more and more.”
And as all eyes are on this biggest race of the Saratoga season, D’Amico said they'll be watching their bottom line.
“It's nice to see all the people and just have the great atmosphere around. And you know, we're in business and we like to make a little money,” said D’Amico.