[Front photo shows Downtown Business Association President Maddy Zanetti in her office at Impressions of Saratoga. Photo by Larry Goodwin.]
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The New York Racing Association (NYRA) is expanding its promotion of Saratoga Race Course season passes, aiming to provide an additional economic boost to city businesses.
“At our store, we get the racing fans,” admits Downtown Business Association (DBA) President Maddy Zanetti, a co-owner of Impressions of Saratoga on Broadway. The store offers all sorts of decorative household furnishings and clothes that feature horses.
Zanetti said some of her store’s customers would “definitely” take advantage of an opportunity to purchase NYRA’s grandstand or clubhouse season passes, which have been offered for several years through local Stewart’s Shops.
Levi Pascher, a spokesman for the Albany firm Ed Lewi Associates, which handles public relations for NYRA, said the goal of recruiting the city’s DBA members is “to bring value and drive business to downtown Saratoga.”
Pascher indicated that season pass holders qualify for 10 percent discounts at participating local businesses, including concert and sports venues. The same discounts apply at NYRA concession stands. Several restrictions do apply, however.
Aside from Impressions, Zanetti said about 40 of the roughly 240 DBA members are participating in the expanded program. She mentioned such businesses as Lifestyles of Saratoga, G.Willikers Toys, Wheatfields and Druthers Brewing Company, explaining that a large group of service providers in the DBA (doctors, real estate firms, etc.) are unable to participate.
Zanetti said customers can purchase vouchers at individual stores but must complete the transaction online through NYRA’s website (www.nyra.com/saratoga.)
At a cost of $65 for the clubhouse and $40 for grandstand seats, NYRA season passes are then mailed to recipients. The passes do not include reserved seating and are valid for one admission, according to Pascher.
Lynn LaRocca, NYRA’s vice president and chief experience officer, said the track’s “most loyal fans...realize there’s inherent value” in buying season passes. She said they pay off after about seven trips to the racecourse, which is scheduled to open on Friday, July 21.
Though obviously related in direct ways, LaRocca said the season passes are considered separate from NYRA’s Season Perks program, which runs every year from June 1 through March 31 and yields the stated discounts for customers.
Maria D’Amelia, a spokeswoman for Stewart’s Shops, said the NYRA season pass promotion has been “a great partnership” during the several years it has been offered through nearly 160 of the company’s stores.
A number of Stewart’s customers have expressed support for the “convenience factor,” D’Amelia said. Company officials evaluate the results of the promotion for each season at the track, she added.
NYRA’s Season Perks program was already quite popular, according to D’Amelia. So the season pass promotion, she said, “certainly adds to that value.”