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Displaying items by tag: Saratoga Casino Hotel

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Casino Hotel celebrated ‘Giving Tuesday’ by donating $110,000 to 11 Capital Region non-profit organizations during their ‘Make A Difference’ holiday luncheon at the casino’s Vapor venue this week.

The following 11 organizations each received a $10,000 donation:  The Donna M. Crandall Memorial Foundation; Franklin Community Center; Jake’s Help from Heaven; LifePath Supportive Services for Older Adults; The Joseph C. and Anne T. Palamountain Scholarship Fund; Saratoga Community Health Center; Saratoga Performing Arts Center; Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar; SNACpack Program (Saratoga Nutrition Assistance for Children); Wellspring; The
Wesley Foundation.

“It was a natural fit to align our annual ‘Make A Difference’ event with ‘Giving Tuesday’,” said Skip Carlson, Vice President of External Affairs at Saratoga Casino Hotel. “We’re so fortunate to have these organizations in our community and we’re happy to provide them with some assistance so they can continue to make a difference every day to so many.”

“For Jake’s Help From Heaven, receiving a ‘Make A Difference’ grant from Saratoga Casino Hotel truly does make a difference - especially now,” said Heather Straughter, President of Jake’s Help From Heaven. “Over the last 20 months, the need for support of our families has increased tremendously yet our ability to fundraise has decreased. We are preparing for our final Board of Directors meeting of 2021 and this grant will allow us to continue to come from a “place of yes” when we review applications. The generosity of Saratoga Casino Hotel really does make a difference for so many in our area and we are grateful for their support.”

Over the last 16 years, Saratoga Casino Hotel has donated over $3 million to different charitable groups in the Capital Region. Their ‘Make a Difference’ initiative that started in 2004 has since been their main charitable event to honor and provide funding to local non-profit organizations.

Published in Neighborhood Buzz

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Casino Hotel is teaming up with the American Red Cross to host a Blood Drive on Monday, July 26. Members of the local community are urged to join dozens of Saratoga Casino Hotel team members to give blood from noon to 6 p.m. inside the hotel ballroom. 

The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage and donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now. The Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet current demands as hospitals respond to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, organ transplants and elective surgeries. 

Donors who give now will help stock the shelves for the rest of the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code SARATOACASINO, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. 

To thank donors who help refuel the blood and platelet supply during the blood drive, all will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card via email, $5 gift card to Fat Paulie’s Delicatessen in Saratoga Springs, an automatic entry for a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value), and a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm. For more information and details on the giveaways visit rcblood.org/fuel and rcblood.org/CedarFair. 

Over the past decade, Saratoga Casino Hotel blood drives have collected over 1,100 pints of blood. 

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Casino Hotel has kicked off their “30 Days of Giving” campaign, committing to donate a total of $100,000 to 38 local and regional non-profit organizations. 

Each day through Dec. 22, team members from Saratoga Casino Hotel will help to fill local food pantries, purchase essentials for families in need, and deliver checks to provide funding for non-profit programs and initiatives.

Each organization will be featured on Saratoga Casino Hotel’s social media pages highlighting their cause and promoting local support and assistance. Throughout the 30 days the casino will also feature four Player Choice contests on their Facebook page where fans can vote for particular organizations to receive a $1,000 donation. All organizations selected for the Player Choice contests will receive at a minimum $500.

In addition, Saratoga Casino Hotel is purchasing many of the non-monetary gifts for their program from small local establishments such as G. Willikers, Putnam Market, The Bread Basket Bakery, and D’Andrea’s Pizza. 

The following organizations will receive a donation ranging from $500-$10,000 during the “30 Days of Giving” campaign: After the Fire: AIM Services Inc.: Ballston Area Community Center; Ben Osborne Memorial Fund: CAPTAIN Community Human Services: Catie Hoch Foundation; Donna Crandall Foundation - Cystic Fibrosis; Franklin Community Center; Friends of Saratoga County Animal Shelter; Gateway House of Peace; Give a Child Christmas; Habitat for Humanity; Jake’s Help from Heaven; Mechanicville Area Community Services; Moreau Community Center; Nathan Littauer Foundation;         Nipper Knolls Equine Center; Operation Adopt a Soldier; Rebuilding Together Saratoga County; Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region; Saratoga Center for the Family; Saratoga County Foundation-Save our Locals; Saratoga EOC; Saratoga Hospital Community Health Center; Saratoga Senior Center; Saratoga County Children’s Committee Empty Stocking Project; Schuylerville Area Food Pantry; Shelters of Saratoga; Queensbury School District Snack Pack Program; Saratoga Springs School District SNACPack Program; Saratoga Sponsor-A-Scholar; Stillwater Food Pantry; Town of Malta Emergency Food Pantry; Wait House - Warren Washington County Homeless Youth Coalition; Wellspring; The Wesley Community; Wilton Food Pantry; The Corporation at Yaddo.

Published in Business
Thursday, 10 September 2020 12:28

Long Lines for Casino's Reopen

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Casino Hotel reopened their doors to the public, Sept. 9, after being closed for nearly six months due to COVID-19 protocols. 

The scheduled 2 p.m. opening was moved up one hour earlier to accommodate hundreds of people who queued up outside beneath entryway signs that read “Welcome Back!” and “We’ve Missed You.” The line of people continued atop the extended sidewalk and deep into the parking lot. 

Last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced casinos were permitted to reopen starting Sept. 9 with a 25% occupancy limit and strict enforcements of guidelines including face coverings, social distancing, and enhanced air filtration and cleaning protocols. 

“We’re open,” Saratoga Casino Hotel General Manager Alex Tucker said simply, watching as people moved along the pattern of shoe prints painted atop the pavement with the spacing requirements of social distancing in mind.  The large reopening day crowd was not a surprise. 

“We had a feeling this was going to happen because of how long it’s been and there’s also been a lot of chatter on social media,” Tucker said. “This is the new normal. We’re asking people to be patient, and we’re really trying to do this as safely as we can and still ensure guests have a great experience.”    

Over the past several months, Saratoga Casino Hotel developed a plan to implement physical modifications as well as policy and procedural changes to protect the health and safety of workers and attendees. That “Safe Bet Plan” includes heightened cleaning, sanitation and hygiene protocols, the use of MERV-13 air filters throughout the property, the Installation of several hand sanitation stations and other measures. All guests will be required to enter and exit through the south entrance, located near Crescent Avenue. 

The 25% building occupancy enforcement equals 800 to 900-person capacity, Tucker said. 

“We have driver license scanning for contact tracing – it’s an opt-in program. You can opt-in, or you don’t have to. Masks are required. Were going to take your temperature, social distancing inside the building, six feet in between the machines in every direction.” 

The property first began hosting harness races in 1941. The season was extended in 1978 to include winter racing, and also began to host recreational events and music festivals to make ends meet, when the introduction of off-track betting plunged the sport into decline. 

In early 2004, video lottery terminals arrived, contributing to the annual purses of the harness track. The machines have been credited by some with saving the local harness racing industry. A 2007 expansion brought with it the on-premises Vapor nightclub and in 2016 a $40 Million project developed a 117-room hotel with an indoor resort, steakhouse and other amenities. 

Hours will be limited to 10 a.m.-2 a.m. The four-hour shutdown will allow time for proper disinfecting and sanitation, the company says.

The Hotel, Morton’s The Steakhouse and the Jackpot Deli with simulcasting are all currently open. Casino amenities such as cocktail service, Mane Bar, Garden Buffet and Vapor remain closed. Their reopening will be reevaluated as restrictions are lifted. 

Earlier this summer, the city of Saratoga Springs received $1.86 million in funding from the state for hosting a center with the video gambling terminals in the community. 

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Casino Hotel in Saratoga Springs, and Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady each announced this week that they have issued Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN Act) notices to their furloughed team members. 

At Saratoga, more than 80 percent of the company’s workforce was impacted by the properties temporary closure beginning March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the initial closure, all furloughed team members received salary and wages for two weeks and currently all team members remain covered by the company’s health insurance.

Saratoga Casino Hotel will issue the legally required WARN Act notices due to circumstances beyond the company’s control and the uncertainty surrounding when the property will be allowed to reopen.  Federal law requires large employers to issue WARN notices when a furlough or layoff is reasonably expected to stretch beyond six-months, and at this time it remains unclear as to when team members would be allowed to return to work. Advanced notice gives workers, their families, and communities time to transition, seek new employment, and enter workforce training programs.

Furloughed team members at Saratoga number 401. More than 1,000 Rivers team members have been furloughed after salaries and wages were retained for four weeks following the March 15 temporary closure of the property in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Both casinos say they would like to reopen as soon as the state permits. 

Published in Entertainment

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Casino Hotel is teaming up with the American Red Cross to host a Blood Drive on Monday, January 20. Members of the local community are urged to join dozens of Saratoga Casino Hotel team members to give blood on Monday, January 20 from Noon to 6 p.m. inside the hotel ballroom. 

January is National Blood Donor Month, and right now, the Red Cross has a critical shortage of type O blood and urges donors of all types to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply.

“Declines in donations can affect patient care, and the winter months can be a difficult time to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses causing some donors to temporarily be unable to give,” said Alyson Barraza, communications director with the Red Cross. “If you’ve ever considered giving blood to help save lives, now is the time to do it.”

In an effort to help more patients, Power Red donations will also be accepted at this year’s drive. A Power Red donation allows donors to safely donate a concentrated dose of red blood cells, which are the most commonly transfused blood component.

Each donation can help save more than one life. To date, Saratoga Casino Hotel has collected more than 1,300 blood donations at their biannual blood drives.

“We always see a tremendous response at our Annual Blood Drive.”, said Alex Tucker, General Manager of Saratoga Casino Hotel. “Year after year this event is embraced by our team members and local community. We’re very excited to once again partner with the Red Cross and help serve those in need.”

All presenting donors at this year’s Blood Drive will receive a $10 voucher to Perks Café, located in the hotel lobby.

Donors are encouraged to make an appointment prior to the January 20 Blood Drive. To schedule a time, call 518-581-5774 or visit RedCrossBlood.org. In an effort to receive as many donations as possible, donors are asked to complete their RapidPass® online on the day of the drive. Donors can complete their RapidPass® in 10 to 15 minutes by following the four steps. Donors will start by providing some initial information, before reading through the pre-donation materials and answering health history questions. After completion, donors are asked to print, download or email their RapidPass® to themselves, and bring it with them to the drive.

Published in News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Saratoga Casino Hotel reached a monumental achievement in the history of the 77-year-old property: since expanding the harness track into New York State’s debut VLT facility in January 2004, the casino has officially contributed one billion dollars to New York State Education.

Saratoga Casino Hotel contributes 48 percent of their total gaming revenues to New York State Education on a weekly basis, where the funds are then allocated across the region and state accordingly. With only nine gaming facilities across the state that are a part of the New York State Gaming Association, Saratoga Casino Hotel is only the third property to surpass the billion-dollar threshold for education contributions.

“Since opening the doors to our casino in 2004, we’ve worked diligently to develop an historic harness track into a strong entertainment destination for our region and New York State,” said Daniel Gerrity, President of Saratoga Casino Hotel.

“This is something we’re very proud of, and we could not have achieved this without the commitment of our team members, unions and trades staff,” Gerrity continued.

Published in Education
Thursday, 13 July 2017 14:50

Waldorf School Brings the Circus Back to Town

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Children and families took an adventure through time and space in the fields near the Saratoga Casino Hotel as Circus Smirkus returned to town. The renowned Vermont-based youth circus promotion made its way back to Saratoga Springs from July 11-12, once again with the collaboration of the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs. This year marks the show’s 30th anniversary, and the wild theme this year was designed to evoke a sense of its history. While certainly a grand afternoon out for many families in the area, the event also serves as one of the school’s biggest yearly fundraising opportunities, bringing in a significant amount for the school’s general operating budget.

The theme of this year’s show is “Midnight at the Museum,” which sees three young performers staying the night at the otherworldly “Smirksonian” museum. After a bit of mischief results in “The Archives” being opened against the express warning of the museum’s curator, all of the exhibits spring to life and serve as the basis for the show’s various set pieces. The general feel of the story being told by Circus Smirkus is most similar to the “Night at the Museum” film series.

Some of the set pieces in this year’s show include ones themed around jungles, skeletons, pirates, astronauts, and one particular inventive sequence based around a museum heist. One of the more striking performances early on came from 16-year-old Isabella Majzun, who performed a mesmerizing juggling routine while also balancing herself on a large ball. Artistic director for the show and head clown Troy Wunderle said that the museum theme was chosen deliberately, as it allows them to pay homage to Circus Smirkus’s 30-year history. Many of the individual set pieces in the show are references to themes from previous years.

One thing that should immediately stand out to viewers is the youth of the performers in the show. According to Wunderle, the performers range in age from 12-18, and come from all over the country. One performer, 18-year-old Patrick Chikoloma, is from as far away Lusaka, Zambia. While the performers may be young, Wunderle said that they are entirely professional, as anyone who watches their polished and skillful performances can attest. The teens in the show are properly trained in a variety of different circus arts programs. Quite often, Circus Smirkus serves as a springboard for careers in the circus industry, as Wunderle noted that past performers have gone on to work in world-renowned promotions like Cirque du Soleil and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

This year marks the 11th time that the Waldorf School has worked with Circus Smirkus to bring the show to Saratoga Springs. On a yearly basis, the show has been one of the school’s biggest fundraising opportunities, bringing in around $20,000-30,000, according to administrator Anne Maguire. Funds raised with Circus Smirkus go towards the school’s general operations budget, which includes salaries, building maintenance, and more.

Maguire also said that working with Circus Smirkus helps encourage students to pursue interests in circus arts, as the school itself offers a Juggling and Circus Arts Club, where students can learn to do all the various tricks and techniques they might have seen under the big top. Two Waldorf students have in the past performed with Circus Smirkus.

Photos by www.photoandgraphic.com

Published in Education
Thursday, 01 June 2017 13:47

Saratoga Casino Uniforms Recognized

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Cintas Corporation, which supplies apparel at Saratoga Casino Hotel, announced in May that it received an Image of the Year (IOY) Award from the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors.

In the gaming category, the Cintas apparel program for Saratoga Casino Hotel received an IOY award. The program is designed as a nod to the past when appearance was everything and the details surprised yet delighted. It features colors that are consistent with the casino’s branding and marketing guidelines, and details that reflect the beauty of the new facility.

Cintas also received an award for Best Garment Innovation—Comfort for its new zip-off sleeve, soft-shell jacket. The jacket is an adaptable layering piece that converts to a soft-shell vest, helping employees be prepared and professional, yet athletic and agile at all times. It features zip-off sleeves that allow employees to simplify their uniform wardrobe and make the garments work with them and not against them.

To view other winning programs and past winners, visit www.cintas.com/imageawards

Published in Business
Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:43

Take a Chance on Trip to Kentucky Derby


SARATOGA SPRINGS — During the first half of April, Saratoga Casino Hotel will be accepting entries for an all-inclusive trip for two to the Kentucky Derby.

Beginning on April 1, guests can earn entries into the ‘Dash To The Derby’ giveaway in a variety of ways.

Casino guests are encouraged to swipe their Saratoga Club cards at a kiosk on the gaming floor for a free daily entry. Racing fans will be able to earn daily entries by meeting wagering thresholds with their SaratogaBets accounts

on-property, online, or over the phone.

Additionally, an online entry form open to the public has been created on SaratogaCasino.com/DerbyDash. Entries of all forms are accepted through April 16.

One winner will be selected from the total pool of entrants on Monday, April 17. They will receive round trip airfare for two to Louisville, Kentucky, a 3-night hotel stay, two tickets to the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby, and $500 spending cash for their trip.

Saratoga Casino Hotel is also hosting a Kentucky Derby party on Saturday, May 6. Vapor will be open beginning at 4 p.m. and will feature the race on its 16 foot screen.

Saratoga Casino’s racing mezzanine will be open at 11 a.m. on May 6 and will feature the Kentucky Derby card in its entirety.

Saratoga Casino Hotel remains the only casino in the Capital Region where patrons can wager on the Kentucky Derby. For more information, visit SaratogaCasino.com. 

Published in Local Briefs