Displaying items by tag: saratoga springs
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Syracuse District, and SCORE present an update webinar on SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and New York State’s Women-Owned Enterprise (WBE) certification programs.
The free online event will take place 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship for more than 50 years.
The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting certification process is changing, and the new certification will be required as of Oct. 15. Applications can be submitted using the new process starting in July. Becoming certified for the WOSB program means your business is eligible to compete for WOSB Federal Contracting Program set-aside contracts.
The webinar will feature Stephen Barr - Business Opportunity Specialist, SBA Syracuse District Office, and Kayla Perry - Program Manager, North Country Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).
Register for the webinar at: score.zoom.us/webinar/registerWN_5f5sKYCpQQWZYGQe68fqw
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
The historic Roosevelt II Bathhouse at Saratoga Spa State Park. Photos provided.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the grand reopening of the historic Roosevelt II Bathhouse at Saratoga Spa State Park.
First opened in 1935 by former New York governor and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the iconic Georgian Revival-style bathhouse has been closed since falling into disuse in the 1980s. The bathhouse's reopening is part of a $2.3 million transformational project that is restoring and improving upon the grandeur of the Roosevelt Baths.
"The Roosevelt II Bathhouse is a living piece of New York history that once provided a natural luxury experience to everyday New Yorkers, and by breathing new life into the facility, visitors will once again find themselves enjoying the peace and beauty of Saratoga's natural springs," Cuomo said. "New York's parks are a national treasure and we will continue our hard work across the state to not only maintain them, but make them better than ever and true must-see destinations."
Under the NY Parks 2020 initiative, the bathhouse's historic lobby has been restored, new restrooms installed, new heating, ventilation and plumbing systems added, toxic asbestos removed, and programming space added for a planned artistic and wellness center.
Future plans include use of a portion of the 18,000 sq-ft facility by the not-for-profit group COESA. They will use 2,700 square feet to offer retreat experiences and classes in personal well-being, leadership, meditation, professional wellness training, and work-life balance. The facility will open once state regulations aimed at preventing spread of COVID-19 allow.
"This bathhouse will be returning to its original purpose - the enjoyment, well-being and relaxation of those who visit," State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. "I commend Governor Cuomo for bringing this historic facility back to life."
The new coffee shop will be operated by Saratoga County-based Wired Coffee, which currently operates cafes in Malta and the city of Albany.
The COESA facility is across from the Roosevelt Baths and Spa, and is part of the Roosevelt Campus, which includes Parks administrative offices and the Spa Little Theater, as well as two mirror-image mineral water public bathing facilities, and the Hall of Springs.
After the baths were dedicated by President Roosevelt, who was a proponent of curative mineral baths, the facility offered baths until early 1943, when it was converted into a military hospital for disabled veterans. After construction of the Veterans Administration hospital in Albany, the facility was used by State Parks as office space, a restoration shop and storage until the building was closed in the late 1980s.
There is 12,000 feet remaining in the renovated bathhouse to be redeveloped in the future. In 2019, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center received $2 million in Regional Economic Development Council funding to offer substantial new opportunities for public use of the space.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — As the city begins to move toward budget season – a 2021 budget must be approved by the end of November – the estimated revenues that will factor into that budget are anticipated at nearly $8 million less than was budgeted for 2020.
“Even with the phased reopening, our city cannot expect revenues to rise to former levels immediately upon the reopening of our downtown,” city Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan told the council this week.
“It is generally held that it will be months, if not years before the new economy establishes itself well. In addition social, behavioral and consumer changes due to closed businesses, wide-spread unemployment and other results of COVID-19 will continue to affect revenue collection well into the future.”
Madigan estimated that revenue collection - without any additional state or federal aid - at approximately $7.8 million less than the amount estimated for the pre-COVID world of 2020. As such, the 2021 general operating budget revenue is anticipated to be $40.9 million, down from the current year’s $48.7 million adopted budget.
Madigan reported the following year-to-date comparisons:
Sales Tax: year-to-date collection 19% lower than last year. More specifically - May 2020 is 37% less than May 2019.
Occupancy Tax: year-to-date collection is 54% lower than last year at this time. Specifically, 2nd quarter collection is 78% less than 2nd quarter collections in 2019.
Mortgage Tax: 0.24% lower than 2019, year-to-date.
Some Good News: The state released 80% - or $1.86 million - of annual VLT aid amount to the city.
COVID-19 SAFETY PROTOCOLS
City officials said this week that a newly amended state law will provide greater clarity in enforcing COVID-19 safety protocols. The amended law comes in the wake of some businesses and municipalities alike requesting stronger language than what had previously been issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an Executed Order.
“The New York State Department of Health (on July 9) amended the Public Health Law, specifically Section 66, which codifies statutorily the requirements that Gov. Cuomo had implemented in the executive order and also imposed the ability for civil penalties associated with that, establishing authority for state and local municipalities to enforce those provisions,” City Attorney Vincent DeLeonardis said Tuesday.
“So it’s something we’re looking at to address that’s not necessarily punitive or restrictive, but lets people know that health is a priority for Saratoga Springs, that you can come here and feel comfortable,” said Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton.
“We’ve been looking for ways to encourage and enforce people wearing face masks in and around Saratoga Springs. It continues to be a problem, and the problem has grown. We keep hearing from people who are uncomfortable to leave their homes, or uncomfortable to visit here because they’re afraid they’re not going to be safe and healthy if they visit our downtown,” she said, adding that the biggest problem is weekend nights on Caroline Street, where large crowds gather along the sidewalks outside late-night establishments.
‘It’s not really the bars and restaurants, they’re doing a great job, it’s the people who are coming downtown and wandering in big packs on the sidewalks (and) no one’s wearing a mask. So that to me is the more urgent situation for us to be able to address the safety issue through this public health amendment.” Dalton said during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “We’re not going to be scouring Broadway in the middle of the day, seeking out people who aren’t wearing masks.”
DPW Commissioner Anthony “Skip” Scirocco argued that the police had better things to do than to enforce people wearing masks. Commissioner Dalton responded to say there already exists a police presence along Caroline Street, and actions there wouldn’t take away from any other safety issues in the city.
Commissioner Madigan added that there is no reason why police wouldn’t want to ask large crowds who had gathered to disperse or to don masks, and that pedestrians exhibiting safety measures also provide a positive display for local economic reasons in assuring people it is safe to visit and shop downtown.
The amended Public Health Law – which may be read in its entirety on the NYS website under New York Codes, Rules and Regulations heading - contains some exemptions, and reads, in part: Any person who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance.
SARATOGA COUNTY DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH RESIGNS
Saratoga County Director of Public Health Catherine Duncan announced this week that she will retire, effective July 31. As such, the agency is currently actively seeking to fill the position of Commissioner Of Health.
The appointment to the position is for a term of six years at a salary of $132,446 plus benefits. Job responsibilities include to direct, manage and regulate the Department’s delivery of public health services throughout Saratoga County. Requirements include: being a physician currently registered to practice medicine in New York State and possessing two years of experience in administrative practice in a health-related organization or government agency. For more information about the position, call 518-885-2225, or go to: www.saratogacountyny.gov.
HEALTH & WELLNESS PROPRIETORS UTILIZE CITY PARKS
The City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday, and Commissioner of Public Works Anthony “Skip” Scirocco announced Wednesday that Saratoga Springs based gyms, fitness trainers, and yoga studios are able to utilize Congress Park, High Rock Park, Geyser Road Veterans Memorial Park, and the Waterfront Park to host workout sessions without paying rental fees through Sept. 7.
Health and wellness proprietors can host classes at the specified parks by filling out a rental use agreement.
Regulations: No permanent equipment can be installed and a strict carry-in, carry-out procedure must be followed. Safety guidelines set forth by the CDC must be adhered to including mask wearing and social distancing. No loud speakers, loud music, or other activity interfering with others’ enjoyment of the park will be authorized. Providers must submit an anticipated schedule and location to inform the city of routine dates and times of usage, and DPW will resolve any conflicts between providers and/or other renters of the parks; location preference will be given to paid renters. A Certificate of Insurance must also be furnished.
COVID-19 Testing Sites and Antibody Testing Sites for Saratoga County change frequently and are updated at the Saratoga County website. Currently, sites include: Saratoga Hospital and Wilton Medical Arts – where COVID-19 and Antibody testing are available to Saratoga County residents of all ages with a provider order; Malta Med Emergent Care - Provider order required, and Saratoga Hospital Medical Group Primary Care in Ballston Spa - Antibody testing only – available with provider order. Appointment information, criteria for testing, and a regularly updated list of testing sites is available at: www.saratogacountyny.gov.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — City Hall, which has been closed and under renovation since sustaining substantial water damage in the wake of an August 2018 lightning strike, is showing signs of reopening this month. The interior offices, courthouse(s) and music hall – which stands on the building’s upper floor – have all undergone extensive construction.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — For more than a decade, Bob Nevins, Melody Squier and Janelle Huggard have been working together to successfully reveal the power of a horse-to-human interaction by providing transformative equine experiences for veterans living with the effects of trauma. Now, the crew has launched a new program called Alliance180, and they’re expanding their support to reach first responders and frontline workers while incorporating science-based research.
For years there have been increasing studies that demonstrate the negative effect that trauma can have on the autonomic nervous system. Because of a new collaboration with Alliance180, Dr. Stephen Porges, a Behavioral Neuroscientist, and his colleagues from Indiana University, the team will be able to successfully document and validate the effectiveness of their equine experience by incorporating and applying evidence of the Polyvagal Theory.
Squier, Alliance180’s Co-Founder, has understood the positive effects horses have on humans, especially those experiencing trauma, for more than 30 years. When she joined forces with Nevins, the two were able to combine their relevant experience and passion for helping others, impacting more than 800 veterans through their past efforts.
The purpose-driven programming of Alliance180 (A180) provides an effective three-day experience through peer-to-peer interaction, private accommodations and classroom training to learn the language of the horse, and a round-pen interaction with the horse as the culminating event. Through the lens of the horse, participants learn to communicate with another powerful but very different species, most often resulting in the emotional response being reawakened, leading to a heightened awareness and offering a renewed perspective and brighter outlook.
Alliance180 plans to launch its first class by the end of August. Activities and classes will take place at the farm belonging to Song Hill Thoroughbreds LLC, and James and Tina Bond and Family. The Bonds said they are happy to be “teaming up” with A180’s experienced staff and are glad to offer access to their horses and facility for the organization’s crucial programming.
For more information on Alliance180, its programming or to become a benefactor, please visit Alliance180.org or call 518-415-0206.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The bugler blows the Call To The Post. If there are no spectators inside the racecourse to hear it, does it make a sound?
In this unusual summer of a most unusual year, the racing season nonetheless got underway as scheduled on July 16, and is slated to run through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. This year, a lot will be different. Perhaps the biggest is staging the races – or at least the start of the summer meet - without fans in the stands, in compliance with New York State guidelines.
Forty-eight hours prior to the start of the Saratoga meet, NYRA officials and members the city’s Public Safety department staged a joint press conference at the racecourse to discuss additional changes for the start of the summer meet.
“The critical part of this meet is we celebrate racing – but, we celebrate at home. This city cannot have people come to the track and try to watch the races,” said city Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton.
The city requested and NYRA complied with the installation of a temporary “privacy fencing” along exterior boundaries of the race course on Union and Nelson Avenues where it is feared fans may congregate on the sidewalk in close quarters to catch glimpses of the action inside.
“The COVID pandemic has really changed the way we do things – both personally and professionally,” said assistant city Police Chief John Catone, who along with Public Safety Commissioner Dalton, was joined by city Fire Department Battalion Chief Aaron Dyer at the press gathering on July 14.
Catone discussed the importance of having a “fluid safety plan” which can flex as COVID-related restrictions are either increased, or loosened – in the latter case enabling the potentiality of limited spectator attendance or horse owners at some point during the summer.
“We were trying to figure every potential scenario: no fans to partial fans to everybody’s going to be back to normal,” said Catone, adding that discussions between city officials and NYRA officials were initiated in April. “The safety and operation plan is very fluid,” Catone said, “and it’s also going to be based on what we see the next week or so, in terms of people who want to show up and try to catch live racing - and we’re going to deal with it accordingly. We want NYRA to have a successful meet but we also do not want to put ourselves in a position like some other states right now – where they opened too early, they didn’t control the pandemic and their numbers have risen dramatically.”
There will still be “a few” officers assigned to the track and its surroundings, including an officer with a bomb-sniffing dog, and others to deal with potential traffic and pedestrian issues.
YOU WANT TO MAKE A BET
In 2019, $2.1 billion was wagered on 2,000 races at Saratoga, Aqueduct and Belmont, according to the New York Racing Association. The Saratoga meet delivered the largest return of gambled money - $147 million wagered at the track, and a $705 million all-source handle – meaning many more dollars were spent on Saratoga races at off-track betting sites across the globe, than were at the actual track. Other 2019 betting dollars: Belmont Spring & Summer – 48 days, $525 million all-source handle; Belmont Fall – 37 days, $275 million; Aqueduct – 25 days Fall, $205 million.
This year, on July 13, NYRA announced that the Belmont Park spring/summer meet generated $15,466,198 in average daily handle from all sources, a 42 percent increase over the daily handle during 2019 spring/summer meet. And despite running 23 fewer days than in 2019, all sources handle during the spring/summer meet totaled $386,654,955.
Financially, the city of Saratoga Springs is estimated to suffer a $14 to $16 million revenue loss this calendar year, or a quarter of the city’s $48.7 million budget due to the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic. The city receives no money from wagering, said Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan. It normally receives funds via an admission tax; those funds go to Saratoga County and are then shared with the city of Saratoga Springs. However, with no fans in the stands as it looks right now, there will be no paid admissions and subsequently no funds to come the city’s way.
NEW RULES FOR JOCKEYS
Two days prior to opening day, NYRA announced a number of updated health and safety protocols that includes closing the track to out-of-town jockeys riding at other racetracks, and requiring all personnel working at Saratoga Race Course in any capacity to produce a negative COVID-19 test in order to access the property. That policy is inclusive of jockeys, valets, NYRA employees, trainers and their staff, outside vendors and credentialed media. A NYRA spokesman Tuesday said that a partnership with Saratoga Hospital was secured for a consistent stream of testing.
The 2020 Saratoga Summer Condition Book currently lists 22 active jockeys and three apprentice riders. This group is to be considered the regular NYRA jockey colony.
Any jockey who rides at a racetrack outside of Saratoga from opening day forward will be considered an out-of-town jockey and will not be permitted at Saratoga Race Course. Out-of-town jockeys not currently riding at another racetrack may be considered for inclusion in the regular NYRA jockey colony provided the jockey does not ride at another racetrack.
In addition to race day safety protocols including standard health screening and temperature check, NYRA says the jockey quarters at Saratoga Race Course have been substantially altered to provide maximum social distancing and reduce density. All areas accessed by jockeys during the regular course of a race day are closed to all outside personnel, including credentialed media, and are cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
Jockeys and valets are not permitted access to the barn area. In order to work a horse in the morning, the jockey must meet the horse in the paddock and can then proceed to the main track.
Steeplechase jockeys must produce a negative COVID-19 test in order to access the property and will be completely isolated from the regular NYRA jockey colony in a physically separate location. Following that day’s steeplechase race, which will be carded as race one, the steeplechase jockeys will depart the property.
NYRA will follow current Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) and New York State Health Department guidance when determining the return of a jockey who has tested positive for COVID-19. This process will include a period of quarantine determined by the severity of the individual case followed by a series of diagnostic tests to rule out ongoing infection.
Following the four-day opening weekend at Saratoga, live racing will be conducted five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — The official First Edition City of Saratoga Springs Monopoly game was released this week, featuring beloved businesses, destinations and attractions that make the area unique.
The Hasbro-produced classic Monopoly game is completely customized to celebrate the City of Saratoga Springs. Created by the Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund (ATCCF), 100% of the proceeds from game sales will go directly to ATCCF’s Lend-A-Hand Grant program. The program puts dollars in the hands of nonprofits that impact the communities in Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.
Leah Ferrone, Marketing Operations and Outreach manager at ATC, says everyone who has grown up, lived, moved or studied in Saratoga can relate to this customized board.
“The whole board is completely customized, from the tokens to different real estate properties and the photographs that are on the board. But I think one of the things that make it so special and unique are the ‘Community Chest’ and ‘Chance’ cards. For our board, we reference something unique in Saratoga on every card,” Ferrone said. “Whether you come to Saratoga for what you love—the track, SPAC, the healing aspects of the waters—there is something in those cards that everyone can relate to that will bring up a really fun memory of Saratoga.”
Each board costs $50 and references Congress Park, the Saratoga County Fair, being a Blue Streak, and even attending Skidmore. This isn’t the first time Saratoga was featured on a Monopoly game board. In the early 1980’s, a custom game board called Saratogaopoly was created. Photos reveal the collectors box saying “a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Saratoga Hospital Foundation.”
The creation of the new game board started in February and was created with help from the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Cooley Group in Rochester, NY.
“When we heard about all of the success the game could have, we knew it would be a lot of work, but it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Ferrone said.
ATCCF Chair Brian Straughter said in a release: “at a time when local nonprofits need our support more than ever, we are thrilled to introduce the City of Saratoga Springs Monopoly game as a way to not only create memories with your loved ones, but to also give back to the community. This game has been made possible through the support of local community members, many of which are featured on the game board. We are proud to share this project with all Saratoga Springs enthusiasts.”
There is only a limited quantity of games, and sales will last until they are sold out. However, Ferrone said they have the ability to order a second edition depending on demand.
“We wanted to announce the game though a big launch party, but the world had different plans. While it’s not how we envisioned it, this is a really special time to be putting this out there. The game celebrates the community and brings us together…this is something that will bring joy to people,” Ferrone said.
The local retailers who will be selling the game includes: Allerdice Building Supplies, Cudney’s Cleaners, Dark Horse Mercantile, Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs, Homewood Suites by Hilton Saratoga Springs, Impressions of Saratoga, Northshire Bookstore Saratoga Springs, PJ’s BBQSA, Putnam Market, Saratoga Hospital, Spoken Boutique, and all Adirondack Trust Company convenient branch locations. Games also may be purchased online at SaratogaSpringsMonopoly.org.
ATCCF’s website is ATCCF.org and is located at 31 Church Street. They can be reached at 518-584-5844.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Henry Street welcomed outdoor tables filled with customers this past weekend as local eateries in Saratoga have expanded their outdoor dining to the streets.
Participating restaurants such as Scallions, Henry Street Taproom, Flatbread Social, Paint and Sip and other businesses can now offer outdoor seating on the street with concrete safety barriers between customers and traffic. The concrete blocks extend down Henry Street and Short Alley between Lake Avenue and Caroline Street. Eateries saw full capacity after beginning the street dining this past Friday.
“It was really exciting to see so many people enjoying it,” said Erin Maciel, Complete Streets Advisory Board committee member. “This is the step we need to take as a city. I think by working with the business association, we have really seen how streets can be flexible. That’s really what we are promoting with Complete Streets. Streets are public space and this is a great example of how streets can keep us safe as a community, allow for social distancing and allow for people to be outdoors and support businesses.”
The Complete Streets Advisory Board was established via the Complete Streets Policy as adopted by City Council on May 1, 2012.
“Having that outdoor space is pivotal. People do feel safer outdoors and that’s something that we have to acknowledge and support. We want them to come out and feel safe downtown. The outdoor step is essential and necessary to save our local economy,” said Catherine Hover, owner of Paint and Sip.
Street dining helps to increase revenue for participating businesses and allows for COVID-19 safe dining. To help this initiative, Maciel said she’s happy the city passed a temporary outdoor seating that allows businesses to expand to city property, which streets are included in.
“With the ordinance that is out there right now, each business needs to provide insurance that allows them to go out onto sidewalks and into the street. That’s our next step throughout our community…to expand outdoor dining.”
The Saratoga City Council approved the permit system late June, which allows city restaurants to expand their outdoor seating to sidewalks and other public locations. The permits have no cost.
Henry Street isn’t the only roadway to see outdoor dining. Maciel said she has seen businesses on other streets joining together to take over parking lanes or shift around the cross section of the roadway to accommodate seating in the street. Hover, also owner of Palette Café, expanded her outdoor seating to the sidewalks on Broadway.
“Right now, I think we are seeing a silver lining and I think that’s something we need to talk about…that we can accommodate and support local businesses with new ideas and thinking creatively,” Maciel said. “We on the Complete Streets Board and design professionals here in the city just want to support businesses to keep our city what it is and make sure everyone can weather this storm.”
Maciel is also a Senior Landscape Architect at CLA SITE Landscape Architecture, Engineering & Planning, P.C, which is located at 58 Church St in Saratoga Springs.
Hover added: “We have to keep moving forward and we have to have hope. We have to evolve and we have to adapt. We need people to be vocal and speak up. There is real change coming and it’s exciting.”
Dining on the road will continue through Labor Day, at which point the Complete Streets Advisory Board and city officials will re-evaluate to determine if the ordinance and permits should be extended.
“It really depends on COVID and how safe we can be indoors,” Maciel said. “We have a climate here that does not allow us to be outdoors year-round. Talking with everyone, why can’t we have heaters out there? You look at a lot of cities around the globe and I think there are ways to make accommodations for folks to enjoy it longer. Once we go into winter and if we are not able to be indoors safely, that’s going to be a huge hit for our small businesses. We really need to expand it as far as it can.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga and the greater Capital Region entered Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan on July 1.
The industries specifically tagged to reopen in phase four include: professional sports competitions - with no fans, higher education, both indoor and outdoor low-risk arts and entertainment, and media production.
Regionally, the rate of those testing positive for the COVID-19 virus has remained low and statewide has fallen dramatically compared to where they were earlier this year.
This week, the number of positive test results ranged from 0.7% to 1.5% across the state, with the Capital Region measuring at 1.0% - or 1 of every 100 people who had been tested, testing positive for COVID-19.
New York State has conducted more diagnostic tests per capita than any nation on earth, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week.
“New York State is doing great, the numbers are good, the numbers are solid,” Cuomo said regarding New York’s infection rates, hospitalizations and the number of deaths recently caused by the virus. “But I feel there are storm clouds on the horizon,” he warned.
Thirty-five states have seen an increase in infection rates this week.
“Now they’re all starting to say: we better take this seriously. We better start wearing masks. They’re going backwards on their reopening plan – which is just what we talked about happening,” Cuomo said. “If you reopen too fast, you’re going to have to close. And that’s the worst situation, the worst for the economy and you’re going to lose more people in the meantime.”
The formula the governor described at his July 1 press briefing includes: testing, tracing, social distancing and wearing a mask. To that last point, a Fox Business report posted July 1 cited a Goldman Sachs study that says a national face mask mandate would slow the spread of COVID-19 and potentially prevent the reinstatement of lockdowns that would wreak havoc on the U.S. economy. He also cautioned about the slipping of citizen compliance.
“If you have citizen compliance dropping and you don’t have local governments enforcing, then you’re going to see the virus go up. Period.” Phase 3 indoor dining in New York City was postponed due to a combination of lack of local enforcement, an influx of visitors and lack of public compliance, Cuomo added.
In Phase 4, social distancing, face-covering and hygiene protocols continue to apply. Arts and entertainment businesses are mandated to limit workforce and patron/visitor presence to no more than 33% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area at any given time outside, and to no more than 25% of maximum occupancy inside.
Mandatory directives regarding the resuming of professional sports competitions include there be no live audience, fans, or spectators allowed to attend or to enter the venue. Additionally, fans are prohibited from congregating outside the venue.
The industries which remain closed are amusement parks, video lottery gaming and casino gaming facilities, indoor movie theaters, large gathering concert or event venues, indoor common portions of retail shopping malls greater than 100,000 square feet and gyms and fitness centers. This week more than 200 gym-goers in West Virginia were urged to quarantine after a Planet Fitness client tested positive for Covid-19.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Work continues on the development of a multi-story parking garage that will connect conference attendees and others with the Saratoga Springs City Center.
Plans call for the lower level of the structure to be completed and available for use during the summer, with all levels of the structure completed by the fall.
“The goal is as soon as possible,” City Center Executive Director Ryan McMahon said this week, as a 400 ton crane tended to the business at hand atop the lot where the structure is being developed.
The COVID-19 pandemic slightly affected the progress of the development.
“We’ll probably open now in early November instead of early October,” McMahon said.
The City Center itself, like most all other venues across the country where large groups of people gather, has canceled events during the pandemic - although the good news is that most of those events have been rescheduled to take place at a later time, McMahon said. A handful of previously scheduled events slated to take place during the summer are still being held in the hopeful anticipation that they may be able to take place.
The greater Capital Region –a multi-county area that includes Saratoga – this week entered the third phase of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s four-phase reopening plan. Should infection, hospitalization and death rates due to COVID-19 remain low, the region is slated to enter Phase 4 on July 1. Phase 4 includes arts, entertainment, and recreation.