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SARATOGA SPRINGS — Prominent racehorse owner and noted philanthropist Gretchen S. Jackson has been named president of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame by the Museum’s Executive Committee. Jackson succeeds Stella F. Thayer, who has served as the Museum’s president since 2005. Thayer will continue as a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.
Jackson, along with her husband, Roy, owns a 190-acre farm in West Grove, Pa., and has raced and bred thoroughbreds since 1978. Racing as Lael Stables, Jackson campaigned 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner that year. Along with Barbaro, Lael’s Grade 1 winners include Check the Label, Precious Kitten and Showing Up.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Jackson is actively involved in many thoroughbred racing and equine organizations. She has sat on the Board of Overseers at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center since 2002. Jackson is also a board member for the Thoroughbred Charities of America and an honorary board member for the Belmont Child Care Association. She has helped raise millions of dollars for equine research and has been an active voice in the fight against horse slaughter.
“The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame represents so many positive aspects of thoroughbred racing,” Jackson said. “The great horses, jockeys and trainers in the Hall of Fame are all part of such a rich history and the Museum does a wonderful job of educating fans and promoting the sport. I am honored to be a part of that and I look forward to helping the Museum continue to grow and prosper.”
Thayer said Jackson is an ideal choice to lead the Museum.
“Gretchen Jackson has a tremendous passion for the sport of thoroughbred racing and she will be an outstanding leader for the Museum,” Thayer said. “Her intelligence and leadership ability will set a great tone and her work in the racing industry will give the Museum a visible and dignified presence in the sport.”
For more information visit www.racingmuseum.org
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga 150 Committee may have been developed to help celebrate last year’s 150th race course celebration, but it is still making a presence now and plans to do more in the future.
An example of that is how the committee has established 10 interactive quarter pole markers that have been put up in downtown Saratoga Springs (seven) and at the Saratoga Race Course (three). The poles were purchased with some of the leftover funds from the 150th celebration.
“I have to give all the credit to Bill Dake (Chairman of the board for Stewart’s Shops Corp. and member of Saratoga 150 Committee),” said Charles Wait Sr., chief executive officer and chairman of the Adirondack Trust Company. “He came up with the idea and then he managed to wrangle the forces together to get it designed, built and put in place in three months, which is pretty quick. We were very fortunate in having a surplus from the 150 events, principally from the generous donations we got, the sale of our logo rights and the events we ran. With that surplus we decided we wanted to do something to unify the city on a more permanent basis than just one year, so we brought the committee together and we settled on three projects.”
Wait is also chairman of the Saratoga 150 Committee, which selected the locations of the interactive markers based on places of heavy foot traffic, which are also out of the way of snowplows.
Designed after the infamous red and white markers at the Saratoga Race Course, the poles are equipped with a Quick Response (QR) code, so anyone with a smartphone can get information about the city with the subtle movement of their finger.
The code will take users to ViewSaratoga.com, an interactive site that further takes people into the city’s rich history.
“The website really tells you what Saratoga was like in the old days and what it is today,” Wait said. “The long-range vision is to expand the usefulness of that website.”
Currently, ViewSaratoga.com includes the following 11 subheadings with photos and information:
“The Battle of Saratoga”
“The Horses” “Grand Hotels”
“The Spa State Park”
“The Place To Be”
Wait hopes the website will go beyond giving new visitors a brief history of Saratoga Springs, envisioning a site that gives people information on parking, taxi services and box office information.
Aside from the three locations at the track, the poles can be found in various spots including outside of the Saratoga City Center, the information booth on Broadway, the main Adirondack Trust building, and the Stewart’s at the corner of Circular Street and Broadway.
“There are certainly thoughts of adding more [poles] in the future, but we don’t have any specific locations picked out,” Wait said. “We want to see how the traffic is for this.”
The committee will be keeping an eye on how many people use the QR codes in the coming months to see how popular the new features are. The committee is also working on ways to boost the north and south entrances of Saratoga Springs also.
For Saratoga TODAY
SARATOGA SPRINGS - It is a universal law that all things have an opposite This is true for the macrocosm in which stars give life and black holes crush existence. Such truths apply to the microcosm as well as in the Saratoga Performing Art Center.
Recently I had the opportunity to cover Phish at SPAC. In more recent times, Mayhem. It is fair to say that Phish is the polar opposite of Mayhem as acid is to base. Acid being Phish (of course) and Mayhem-base. More accurately perhaps bass. Truth be told, I prefer rowdier versions of the rock genre and the jackhammer like bass drives me to excitement.
I arrived to the famed concert venue on Wednesday, July 23 ready for bear. The awful weather forecast of impending doom cast a bad cloud over the event but I wasn't deterred. Nineties hard rock legends Cannibal Corpse and Body Count were slated to perform at the lawn stages and I wasn't going to miss a moment of the mayhem. The stormy forecast went unheeded and storms passed SPAC with only a minor scrape.
The main stage was set with Korn and Avenged Sevenfold as headliners. Most of the concertgoers remained through the ill fated weather to be treated to awesome performances by the top bills. My camera caught most of the excitement.
Space Derby is your Online Solution.
SARATOGA SPRINGS—For years, decades even - the real race has always preceded the races on the historic Saratoga Race Course oval.
The race for a decent parking space.
Where will I find one? Will I find one? And how much am I going to pay? The tension and uncertainty surrounding these questions have been as much a part of the Saratoga Race Course experience as the walking ring and the Big Red Spring.
Thanks to Saratoga Springs native Hans Theisen, you now have a solution at your fingertips: on your smart phone or any computer device.
Behold SpaceDerby.com – an online solution that makes finding and securing parking around the track (and soon, downtown and other areas) as simple as ordering a pizza or as Hans puts it “Think of it like booking a hotel.”
“Research has shown,” Theisen said, “that nearly two-thirds of same day hotel bookings are on a mobile device. We are just adapting it to parking.”
It really is so simple; your child could do it while you driving up the Northway. Once logged onto their site, you choose a date, and various options (locations and prices appear.) Click, book, pay online and receive an email or mobile receipt in seconds with your license plate number.
For instance, if you wanted to book a parking space for track opening day, July 18, you search on that date, and in this case, options ranging from $5 to $34 will appear. For Travers Day (August 23) the range is from $15 to $42, while a post-Travers weekday might be in the $5-$29 range.
Each location has a little profile page, showing a map and picture of your destination, which could be very helpful for first-time visitors, as well as various amenities (such as available restroom facilities) and even, in some cases, promotional incentives. For instance, at the Mexican Connection, a complimentary “Park-a-Rita” (a $6 value) is waiting for you inside and for your $7 parking fee at the Horseshoe Inn on opening day, you also get a 15 percent discount off your food bill that night.
Well, you do the math. Less stress and a more fulfilling experience. Sounds like a beginning of a winning day to me. You also have flexibility. You can reserve for any day of the meet, book a number of adjacent spaces (Tailgate!), pay for a client’s parking and even cancel with 24 hours notice.
Theisen, an entrepreneur who has participated in five previous start-ups is launching this one solo. He has been talking to downtown entities, and has plans to expand this concept to major markets like NYC, Boston and Los Angeles, where the appeal would be obvious, though certainly the logistical challenges would be greater.
“But I wanted to launch it here,” He said of his hometown. “I’m still here every August, and I am aware of the unique situation we have in this market every year.”
CHATHAM – Victoria McCullough, international equestrian, philanthropist and the owner of Chesapeake Petroleum and Team Valor’s Barry Irwin, owner of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom, will be honored at Equine Advocates’ Thirteenth Annual Awards Dinner & Charity Auction on Friday, July 25. The event will be held at Fasig-Tipton in Saratoga Springs.
Ms. McCullough will receive the Safe Home Equine Protection Award for her work to end the slaughter of America’s horses. Her meetings with Vice President Joe Biden and other members of the Executive Branch led to Vice President Biden adding language defunding horse slaughter in the United States to the 2014 Omnibus Bill which President Obama signed on January 17.
“If anyone deserves to be honored for outstanding achievements to protect horses, it is Victoria McCullough,” said Equine Advocates President, Susan Wagner. “She has accomplished what no one has ever done by gaining the support of the administration against horse slaughter which is opposed by the vast majority of Americans. Victoria gathered the science and the facts to prove how slaughtering horses for food is unethical because it is toxic and a serious threat to human health and food safety. Thanks to Victoria’s continuing dedication and generosity I believe we are now on our way to reaching the ultimate goal of a permanent federal ban of horse slaughter.”
Barry Irwin will receive the Ellen and Herbert Moelis Equine Savior Award for his work to ban the use of performance-enhancing drugs in racehorses on race day. He has been one of the most outspoken and eloquent voices in the nation calling for the end of this practice in horse racing.
“Barry Irwin has been a positive force in our industry for many years,” said Ellen and Herb Moelis in a joint statement. “Team Valor, which Barry founded, has been at the pinnacle of our industry. He has managed the career of one of the most interesting horses of our time – Animal Kingdom. His passion for the integrity of our sport has been exemplary. We are proud that Barry will be the recipient of the 2014 Moelis Equine Savior Award by Equine Advocates.” The Moelis’s co-founded the Thoroughbred Charities of America with the late Allaire du Pont and were honored by Equine Advocates in 2002 for their strong support of equine rescue.
General tickets are $250 per person and include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, live and silent auctions and dancing. For more information, call (518) 245-1599. All proceeds from this event will benefit Equine Advocates Horse Rescue, Sanctuary and Humane Education programs.
Equine Advocates – P.O. Box 354 – Chatham, NY 12037
By Megan Irene Kretz
For Saratoga TODAY
SARATOGA SPRINGS – It takes a special (some might even say crazy…) person to wake up early on a holiday morning and voluntarily slog through four miles in the mid-Summer humidity. Fortunately, I wasn’t the only person who thought this might be a good idea. As I sidled up to the start line on the morning of July 4th, several thousand other runners joined me. As a recent transplant to the Saratoga Springs area, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when it came to the running community. I knew the high school teams were of national caliber, but I wasn’t sure if that talent translated into interest for the rest of the population.
Fortunately, as race day drew closer, it became clear that Saratoga Springs is a city for runners of all ages. I found myself pleasantly surprised and impressed with the Firecracker4 race organizers. From the streamlined bib pick-up to the dozens of vendor tents on race morning, it was obvious that this was not your usual small town race. The race featured electronic bib timing, goodie bags chock full of freebies and samples and frequent email communication. My only complaint was that the race did not have a starting mat or net chip timing. This means that your race time began when the gun went off, not when you actually crossed the starting line. Despite this minor gripe, I thought the race was otherwise executed superbly.
In February when I signed up for the Firecracker4, I barely gave it much thought. I ran competitively in college and I’m no stranger to the marathon distance, so four miles should be a piece of cake, right? I should know better. Unfortunately, a shorter race distance doesn’t guarantee a lack of nervousness or an easy effort. As the national anthem was sung and opening remarks were made, the crowd began anxiously pressing toward the start line. I looked around at my fellow competitors, many of them whippet thin and decked out in the latest running gear, and found myself second-questioning my training. Did I run enough miles? Have I done enough hill work? Did I really need that second glass of sangria last night? Despite being a runner for nearly fifteen years, that starting line nervousness never seems to ebb. Fortunately, the gun went off just a few minutes after 9 o’clock and my nerves vanished as adrenaline carried me across the starting line.
The beginning mile took us south on Broadway, familiar territory even for a new resident like myself. The terrain was flat and the crowd’s energy was contagious. Before I knew it, I was cruising past the first mile marker in 7:15. Shortly after the turn on to Caroline Street, I began noticing the spectators lining the streets. Some sprayed us with hoses (heaven on a warm July morning), some sipped mimosas (this seemed both cruel and wonderful at the same time) and others held signs and yelled encouraging words. If you ever want to feel like you’re part of a community, sign up for a local race. Perfect strangers will wake up early, hand you water, and tell you you’re awesome. If that’s not worth the twenty-five dollar entry fee, I don’t know what is.
Alas, despite the strong crowd support, I started to feel the hurt around mile two. I wasn’t running particularly fast, but a few months of low mileage and the morning’s humidity were catching up with me. Just past mile three, we faced a steep incline. I knew the last mile included a hill, but what seemed to be a small bump in my car, felt like Mount Everest to my burning legs.
As I approached the crest of the hill, I spotted Saratoga TODAY’s photographer Francesco and did my best to look like I was having fun. From there, it was less than a half-mile and downhill to the finish. I bypassed the volunteers handing out popsicles (but, oh, how I wanted one….) and sprinted toward the finish line. My final time was 29:27, a few minutes slower than my PR (personal record), but an effort I’m content with. I wobbled through the finish area and meandered through the crowd of runners and for the first time in months, I felt like I belonged. To the city of Saratoga Springs, of course, but also to the thriving running community that calls these streets and trails home. As I drove back to my apartment, I was already scheming and thinking about the next race or group run that I could add to my calendar.
This year marked the eight annual running of the Firecracker4, for results and information on next year’s race, visit firecracker4.com
Circus Smirkus Returns for 8th summer in Saratoga
By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
SARATOGA SPRINGS – From acrobatics, juggling, and clowning, summer marks the return of one of Saratoga’s most beloved events – Circus Smirkus.
The award-winning international youth circus is currently in its 27th year and over the last decade, has become a mainstay of Saratoga’s summer entertainment scene. Once again, the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs will serve as the presenter.
“The Waldorf School is excited to be presenting Circus Smirkus again,” said school administrator, Katherine Scharff. “It’s a wonderful event for the entire Saratoga community.”
This year’s theme is “Anchors away for Atlantis” and features 30 teen performers from nine different states and Mexico. Circus Smirkus is the only American youth circus to put on a full-season tour under its own big top tent – a European styled 24-meter, 750-seat, one-ring tent.
While the circus is known for offering family entertainment, circus performing runs in one Saratoga family. For the third consecutive year Keenan Wright-Sanson, a 17-year-old upcoming senior at Waldorf, was selected to perform on the summer tour. Keenan’s older brother, Taylor, also toured with Smirkus from 2006 to 2010.
“I’m very proud,” said Keenan’s father, Robert Sanson. “I’m so thankful my boys got to be a part of it. You’re laughing, you’re clapping, there’s a lot of youthful energy in there. There’s not a lot of programs out there like that.”
Keenan specializes in balance acts and slack line and will also show off his clowning abilities. Robert said Keenan spends a lot of time practicing. This past school year, Keenan participated in a student exchange program in Switzerland and trained for five months at a circus school there.
During the course of the seven-week summer tour, troupers learn the ropes of traditional circus life. They spend hours in practice, perform two-hour shows twice a day, and load the show in and out.
“The kids are in the best hands,” said Sanson. “There’s parenting I couldn’t pull off. Keenan works hard, performs with so much joy and has various chores he has to take care of.”
Smirkus performers often go on to successful careers in the circus arts. Smirkus graduates have performed with Ringling Bros., Cirque du Soleil, and circuses across Europe and Asia. Robert said Keenan is definitely interested in making circus performing his career choice.
“There’s a huge need for circus performers,” said Sanson. “Cruise ships, Cirque du Soleil, shows in Las Vegas; [Keenan] is really interested in a circus school in Montreal. There’s a premiere school there where you receive a primary education in circus performance and can major in specialties.”
The Big Top will pitch its tent and perform Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13 at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Show times are 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. Tickets are available at Crafters Gallery or online at www.Smirkus.org. Proceeds benefit the Waldorf School.
Plastic Bag Ban on the Horizon for Saratoga Springs?
By Megan Irene Kretz
For Saratoga TODAY
SARATOGA SPRINGS –Most of us already know how detrimental plastic bags are to the environment. In the United States alone, we use and throw away more than 100 million bags per year and there is strong evidence that suggests bags leech toxic chemicals that ultimately end up in the food chain. Two years ago, a small group decided to spearhead an effort to reduce plastic bag use in Saratoga Springs, but they didn’t want their approach to rely on environmental scare tactics. “We wanted to do whatever we could to have a positive impact. It’s important not to dwell on the negatives,” said Margie Shepard, co-chair of Sustainable Saratoga’s BYOBag project. The small group that Margie was involved with eventually became a project of Sustainable Saratoga, a non-profit organization with the goal of creating a more environmentally friendly community.
The group began their effort by researching the science behind the damage plastic causes and finding other communities who have enacted similar bag bans. The group then created a game plan for reducing plastic bag usage in Saratoga Springs and presented their proposal to the city council. The BYOBag committee also met with local business owners to discuss the issue and address their concerns. The group has recently launched a petition and is soliciting the support of area residents in anticipation of their next steps. Shepard explained, “The new mayor [Joanne Yepsen] is very supportive and between her support and the support of businesses, we decided to move forward and ask the city council to pass an ordinance banning bags this fall.”
Shepard stated that close to 90 percent of downtown businesses are in favor of a plastic bag pan and that many shops are already using biodegradable or recycled paper bags. However, a potential ban does raise many logistical questions for businesses. According to Shepard, her group is calling for a ban of thin film, single-use plastic bags, for example the type you might receive at the grocery store or when you order take-out. The bag ban would not include heavy-duty plastic bags, dry cleaner bags, or plastic produce bags. If an ordinance passes and a ban is enacted, business owners will be allowed a grace period to use up their current stock of plastic bags and prepare for the transition. Owners may have to find new suppliers for paper and reusable bags and they may even have to reconfigure their checkout area. “Every place comes up with their own process,” Shepard remarked. For example, a bag ban was recently enacted in the community of Great Barrington, Massachusetts and local grocery store owners came together and agreed to all charge ten cents per paper bag. This created an even playing field for both customers and business owners.
Although using paper bags may be a better alternative, they do require a lot of natural resources and energy. “The best choice is to have your own bag. Then you don’t have to weigh the impact of paper vs. plastic,” remarked Shepard. Her group is doing their part to encourage the use of reusable bags at the Saratoga Springs Farmer’s Market. On the second and fourth Saturday of the month, you can visit the group’s tent to sign the petition and buy your own reusable bag. The bag features an image of Spencer Trask’s iconic “Spirit of Life” statue and can be purchased for ten dollars.
Many other local groups and businesses also offer reusable bags as an option. Marianne Barker, owner of Impressions of Saratoga, began selling reusable bags in her store about seven years ago. The high quality bags feature designs by local artists such as Jerry Bradley and Greg Montgomery. To encourage use, Impressions of Saratoga holds weekly “Tote Bag Tuesdays”. If a customer brings in their reusable bag, they’ll receive a ten percent discount off their purchase. Barker is a self-described “religious recycler”, but when it comes to completely banning plastic bags, she remains a bit skeptical. “Realistically, I think it would be a big inconvenience because of all the tourists that come through in the summertime,” she said. As for charging customers for a paper bag, Barker remarked, “It’s like fining customers for not having a reusable bag. I can see that being problematic.” Barker stressed that her store is all for creating a more sustainable community, as long as the efforts are within reason. “We support anything that has to do with saving the environment, but ultimately it has to be realistic.”
As for our local grocery stores, all of the big chains offer plastic bags free of charge, but they differ when it comes to bag reimbursements. Hannaford provides an extensive recycling center at their store, but they don’t currently offer a reimbursement if you bring your own reusable bags. Price Chopper, on the other hand, will offer three-cents per bag and Target will give you a five-cent per bag credit. Plastic bag bans are a growing trend in both small and large U.S. cities. Recently, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to enact a bag ban. While there was some initial confusion, large stores such as Wal-Mart and Target have found ways to accommodate the ban. A few hundred miles to the north, the city of San Francisco also decided to ban plastic bags. President of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Henry Karnilowicz believes that the impact on businesses has been fairly minimal so far. “It’s not costing merchants anything. People are going to come in to buy things anyway,” he said. Karnilowicz cited an immediate increase in people carrying their own bags with them. And for those that didn’t bring a bag and didn’t want to pay the ten-cent fee, he said many opted to just carry small purchases by hand. When it comes to patronage, Karnilowicz doesn’t think customers resent stores for not providing plastic bags. “From the get-go, we had moaning and groaning about it, but I think everyone realizes that it wasn’t the merchants, it was the city council who made the decision.”
Throughout the summer, Sustainable Saratoga will continue selling reusable bags at their information tent at the Farmer’s Market. For more information on the proposed ban or to learn more about the petition, visit http://www.sustainablesaratoga.org/work/byobag/.
Saratoga’s All-American Celebration: Three Days of “Happy Birthday USA”
SARATOGA SPRINGS – What makes a great Fourth of July?
Whatever your answer, Saratoga’s All-American Celebration has you covered. There’s so much to do, it’s hard to fathom how you will get to it all. Fortunately, the organizers have centralized the activities, primarily in and around Congress Park and along Broadway from Van Dam Street to the Holiday Inn.
The exception to this, of course, is the Firecracker4 road race, which by its nature will be all over the place. See a preview article about the race on page 28.
So, what are your key ingredients to a great Fourth?
Fireworks? There’s no more magically incendiary name in these parts than Alonzo, who will be blasting off on schedule at 9:30 p.m., accompanied by full John Phillip Sousa soundtrack regalia.
Food? The Seventh-Annual All-American BBQ & Dessert Fest will sport no less than 17 participants (plus two doggie-Q vendors) competing for your culinary affection (and votes).
Music? How about the best in the business at the top of their game? That would be The Audiostars, ladies and gents.
History? Publisher Beatty’s favorite subject (see page 8) is covered in spades. From General Burgoyne and a Declaration of Independence reading, from gangsters to classic cars to historical tours, ours is a town that always looks back as a springboard to looking forward.
Here’s a wild card: How about no tax dollars spent? Yes, kudos to Saratoga’s All-American Celebration, Inc. It is an independent, non-profit 501(c)3 organization composed entirely of volunteers; dedicated to bringing family fun and patriotic pride to residents and visitors. They proudly state in their mission statement that they are not affiliated with nor funded by the City of Saratoga Springs.
Now that’s a category of independence we can all get behind. So happy birthday USA! Here’s the schedule of events. Detailed descriptions, map and more information is at SaratogaJuly4th.com.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, July 3
Saratoga Springs History Museum Exhibit Grand Opening "Vice"
6 to 8 p.m.
Canfield Casino, Congress Park
Fireside Chat with “General Burgoyne”
Thursday, July 3
7 to 8 p.m.
Bookmaker’s Fireplace Patio at the Holiday Inn
Friday, July 4
Firecracker4 Road Race
(See page 28 for preview)
9 to 10:30 a.m.
Broadway in front of the City Center
All-American Parade & Patriotic Pooches
11 to 11:30 a.m.
Broadway from Van Dam Street to Spring Street
Family Day in Congress Park
11a.m. to 3 p.m.
Parade Characters Family Photo-Op
11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Congress Park at the Carousel
Seventh-Annual All-American BBQ & Dessert Fest
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Various locations throughout downtown and outside the Holiday Inn
Each tasting is $1, paid to each participant on location.
Vote for your favorites and get a commemorative T-Shirt for only $10 when you turn in your stamped ballot at the Ballot Turn-in Tent in Congress Park.
Around the Corner/Dolce Cafe
Grasso's Italian Ice
Park Side Eatery
Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga
The Parting Glass
Bookmakers at the Holiday Inn
Plum Dandy Cookies & Milk
Henry Street Taproom
Saratoga Olive Oil Company
Fifty South Restaurant
Saratoga Salsa & Spice Company
Seven Horse Pub
The Merry Monk
Dawgdom (Doggie BBQ)
Impressions (Doggie BBQ)
All-American Classic Car Show
Noon to 4 p.m.
Congress Park Plaza
Historic City Tour
Congress Park: Statues and Stories
1:00pm to 2:30pm
Meet at the Congress Spring Pavilion in Congress Park
Family Time in Saratoga
4 to 6:30 p.m.
Party in the Park
with the Audiostars
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Live Reading of the Declaration of Independence
Fireworks / Patriotic Music
Saratoga Casino & Raceway
Saturday, July 5
BBQ & Dessert Fest Winners
Saratoga Cycling Studio Has Many Options For A Healthier You
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Jerry and Angela Amedio have a brand-new 1-month-old they are dying to show off to you!
Yes, behold their new, cheerful (complete with a festive purple color scheme and an in-studio mirrored disco ball), expanded location at 422 Broadway. The Saratoga Cycling Studio (SCS) is Saratoga Springs only official Spinning® facility – originally established at 24 Hamilton Street in 2012.
In addition to extra cycles, the new studio has, or is moving in equipment to deliver a variety of workout options, including:
- One hour spinning: Where an instructor guides you, but where you go at your own pace and resistance
- TRX suspension trainer: A workout system that leverages gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises
- Powerhouse spin: 45 minutes on a bike combined with floor exercises
- Spin fit total body: 30 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes off the bike with exercises that incorporate weights, bands and balls
And there are other combinations and class offerings as well. See saratogacyclingstudio.com/class-descriptions for all the options.
In just their first month since opening the new facility and due to increased demand, Angela reports that she has hired four new instructors since we sat down for this interview just three days earlier! So the instructors page on the website will have to be updated, but the current roster as is includes some highly credentialed local fitness professionals including: Brie Cramer, Diane Ryan, Gail Picillo, Jennifer Giuttari, Laura Newell, Lyndsay Meilleur and MacKenzie Liptak – in addition to Jerry and Angela themselves.
Angela is about to enter some rarified company. She recently returned from Miami where she took classes and is now classified as a Spinning® Master Instructor Candidate. “I still have one more thing to complete, but I’m almost there!” She said. “Hopefully, I’ll be training the trainers by this fall.”
To give you an idea what this means, when certified, Angela will be just one of only 150 Master Instructors in the world! Not bad for someone who says on her bio that “ten years ago I found myself signed up for my first cycling class. I snuck into the back corner and was scared to death!”
By comparison, Angela estimated that there were perhaps 200,000 certified instructors worldwide – one of who is her husband (of six years) Jerry, who is also a local attorney. Interestingly, Angela is a paralegal who helps in the office, making this a family affair times two.
The modern equipment of the Saratoga Cycling Studio is complimented by their website’s online reservation and payment system. “While walk-ins are available when there is space, the best way to assure your spot in one of the more popular classes is to reserve it,” Angela advises.
The studio is running some special programs in concert with their new location. For individuals, if you buy a summer unlimited monthly program (at $69.99/month) you will get an extra week free. For businesses, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce has named SCS a “Healthy Saratoga Initiative Ambassador,” and there are sliding scale discounts for chamber members depending on the number of employees in a given firm. Discounts are also available for sports teams and other groups.
Also, the low-impact aspects of much of SCS’s workouts make it ideal for physical therapy and rehabilitation applications. “We are also able to verify for insurance purposes,” Angela said, so this may be covered depending on your policy.
On the horizon for SCS is the official grand opening, which we’ll be happy to announce, as well as a schedule of – wait for it – rooftop workouts on top of the beautiful Washington building!
Can you say photo op?
Saratoga Cycling Studio
422 Broadway, Suite 3
Priority Reservations: SaratogaCyclingStudio.com