Historic Rip Van Dam Hotel Renovation, Expansion To Add 176 Downtown Rooms

April 9, 2014

Construction is expected to start this year on the renovation and expansion of the Rip Van Dam Hotel on Broadway that will look like this architect's rendering when complete
By R.J. DeLuke

If all goes according to plan, the Rip Van Dam hotel on Broadway will be revived, enlarged, and in operation in early 2016.

"I'm very excited about bringing back the classic, historic look of the hotel, the way it was originally designed and bring it back to its original use," said Bruce Levinsky of Merlin Development in Saratoga Springs, a partner in the development group. The current hotel area is 179 years old.

The building will be six stories high at the corner of Broadway and Washington Street and have 176 upscale rooms. On the top will be a glass enclosed dining room/banquet hall where up to 200 people will be able to eat and look out over the city's downtown area.
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Rules Released For Casino Construction, Operation; Applications Are Due June 30

April 9, 2014

Entities in the Capital District interested in building a new gambling casino -- including Saratoga Casino and Raceway -- have until June 30 to file the application with the state.

The New York Gaming Facility Location Board on the last day of Marech approved the Request for Applications to develop and operate a gaming facility in New York state and opened the bidding period for commercial casino applicants.

"This marks the beginning of the bidding process for long-anticipated gaming facilities to benefit Upstate New York," said Facility Location Board member Paul Francis. "We look forward to reviewing and evaluating the applications and will continue to conduct an open, honest and transparent process." 
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Chamber Of Southern Saratoga County Gives Out 6 Awards At Its Annual Dinner

April 9, 2014

Chamber of Southern Saratoga County President/CEO Pete Bardunias gives a presentation on the local marine and agriculture industries at the group's annual dinner in March
More than 300 attendees including representatives from some of Tech Valley's largest manufacturers joined the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County in celebrating its 47th annual dinner on March 27 at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga.

The event featured six awards being given to local businesses.

This year, an emphasis was placed on demonstrating the Chamber's Saratoga County Community Development Program, and in particular its effects on the marine, agriculture and manufacturing industries. 
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Upscale Restaurant '15 Church' Opens, Brings Downtown Building Back To Life

April 9, 2014

Paul McCulloch, seated, co-owner of the restaurant 15 Church, poses with executive chef Jason Baker inside the establishment named after its downtown Saratoga Springs address
By Jill Nagy

15 Church, a new addition to Saratoga Springs' roster of upscale restaurants, opened "kind of quietly" in mid-March, said co-owner and maitre d' Paul McCulloch.

The restaurant is located in the building next door to the Post Office, a building that was vacant for many years and underwent a total refurbishing. The restaurant and bar seats 65 people. The addition of an enclosed patio, with fountains and heaters, is expected to double the capacity when it opens in the summer.

McCulloch has managed McGuire's in Albany and Creo in Guilderland, among other restaurants.
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Imagine Salon Studio To Occupy Space In The Washington Building On Broadway

April 9, 2014

Jen Marshall styles a customer's hair at Imagine Salon Studio, a business located in the new Washington building at 422 Broadway in Saratoga Springs
Barbara A. Brewer La Mere

Kimberlee Peart, growing up south of Saratoga, had always had a dream of having a business on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. She ended up, however, spending much of her life in the corporate technical world, working most recently for a large international company with offices in Connecticut.

When that company downsized by 40 percent of its work force, Peart found herself unemployed. She decided, with encouragement from a friend, Diane Casey, owner of Esthetiques European Skin Care Clinic in Saratoga, that it was time to leave Connecticut and come back to her Saratoga dream.

She set to work to put herself through cosmetology school with a goal of opening her own salon.
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DOT Seeks Public Comments On Plans To Improve Rail Service, NYC To Niagara Falls

April 9, 2014

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced the extension of the public comment period on the High Speed Rail Empire Corridor Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), which outlines plans for improving passenger and freight rail service on the Empire Corridor between New York City and Niagara Falls.

Public comments will be accepted through Wednesday, April 30.

"The community is critically important in helping us plan for effective transportation improvements, and we're pleased that this proposal is generating so much interest," McDonald said. "By extending the public comment period, we're making it even easier for the public to have its say about expanding high speed passenger rail service to the Empire Corridor west of Albany and enhancing service south of Albany, improvements that will create jobs, support tourism and economic development, and make our environment cleaner." 
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NYRA: Saratoga Race Course Fans To See More TVs, More Backyard Tables This Year

April 9, 2014

The New York Racing Association says that Saratoga Race Course will have $1.9 million in upgrades this summer, including hundreds of new high-definition televisions, an enhanced sound system and more tables for guests in its popular backyard area.

NYRA said he investment will "enhance the customer experience" at the annual race meet. "We want our guests to have a great experience when they come to Saratoga Race Course," said Chris Kay, NYRA CEO and president/ "We appreciate this treasured venue and are investing in it for horse racing fans who cherish their visit to Saratoga."

"Saratoga Race Course remains the economic driver that enables our members and our community to thrive all year round," said Todd Garofano, president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau. 
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Bobrick Washroom Equipment To Expand Clifton Park Facility By About 40 Percent

April 9, 2014

Bobrick Expansion.jpeg
Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. is about to break ground on a $3.5-million addition, depicted in this architect's rendering. It is one of the company's six plants in North America
By Jill Nagy

Bobrick Washroom Equipment Inc. is about to break ground on a $3.5-million addition to its facility in Clifton Park, enlarging the building by about 40 percent and upgrading its manufacturing equipment.

Bobrick manufactures and sells equipment for public washrooms, such as toilet stalls and soap and towel dispensers. The company is more than 100 years old. It is headquartered in North Hollywood, Calif., and its Clifton Park facility is one of six plants in North America.

Construction is expected to take four or five months, according to Doug Morton, senior vice president for corporate development. The company is "building for the future," Morton said, taking advantage of a favorable atmosphere for construction. "We are finally seeing a recovery in commercial building" after the downturn in 2008. 
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Saratoga National Bank And Trust Co. To Lease Space To Open Branch In Colonie

April 9, 2014

Saratoga National Bank and Trust Co. announced plans for an eighth location in the town of Colonie. The bank will be leasing a 2,800-squarefoot space at 501 New Karner Road in the Rosewood Plaza.

Bank officials said the new banking office will feature a full range of financial services as well as a lobby, drive-in lane and ATM.

Pending all regulatory approvals, it is expected to open later this year and will be staffed by a manager, two tellers and a commercial lending officer. 
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iRun Local Opens In Saratoga, Features Running, Walking Shoes And Accessories

April 9, 2014

Jamie Mastroianni is the owner and founder of iRun Local, a store that offers running and walking shoes, seasonal fitness apparel and other accessories
iRun Local, a running and walking specialty store, held its grand opening in downtown Saratoga Springs on March 28.

The business, at 18 Congress St., offers running and walking shoes, seasonal fitness apparel, and other running and walking accessories. Jamie Mastroianni, owner and founder, said the store provides runners and walkers with educated direction on the proper gear for their unique styles.

"Saratoga Springs boasts a rich running tradition with the state champion [Saratoga High School] Blue Streaks, the Saratoga Stryders running club, and weekly organized races. This city deserves a running specialty store," she said. 
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