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SEDC Sees Continued Saratoga Growth, Warns Against Stagnant Development

January 8, 2015

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Dennis Brobston, president, Saratoga Economic Development Corp
BY DENNIS BROBSTON

Forecasting is always difficult. No matter what you say, you're not going to get it quite right. The good thing about forecasting is you're not alone. This time of year always brings interest about next year's opportunities.

I'd like to remind you about Saratoga Economic Development Corporation's mission. SEDC's mission is to create jobs and diversify the tax base while improving the quality of life for the residents of Saratoga County.

We accomplish this through the retention of existing business, attraction of new industry and improving our product - Saratoga County.
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Local Casino And Raceway Stands Ready To Compete Even With Nearby New Casino

January 8, 2015

BY R.J. DELUKE

Saratoga Harness Racing LLC, the operators of Saratoga Casino and Raceway, lost out in December on a pair of bids to build one of the new state-approved full-fledged casinos that, unlike the current Saratoga facility, include table games like poker, black jack and roulette.

But James Featherstonhaugh, an Albany attorney who is a partner at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway, said the local operation, often still referred to as the Racino, will be ready to compete with a new casino.

It also will not stop the addition of a new hotel at the Casino and Raceway. "We hope to move forward with that as expeditiously as possible," he stated.
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In Its 28th Year, Stewart's Holiday Match Program Sets Record At Over $1.5 Million

January 8, 2015

Donations to the Stewart's Holiday Match program set a new record in its 28th season, raising funds which will help support hundreds of local children's charities year round, company officials said.

From Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day, Stewart's customers donated over $770,000 to the program, which is then doubled to more than $1.5 million with the Stewart's match.

The company said the result was made possible by the generosity of customers, many regularly giving their spare change and others who contributed larger gifts, as well as the hard work of Stewart's partners and support from media partners.
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Muratori Of Saratoga Bridges Will Lead Saratoga County Chamber Board In 2015

January 8, 2015

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Chamber Board President Valerie Muratori is executive director of Saratoga Bridges
Valerie Muratori, executive director of Saratoga Bridges, is the 2015 chairwoman of the board of directors of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

Muratori will take office at the Chamber's 97th annual dinner on Thursday, Jan. 29 at Saratoga City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs. The event will kickoff with a cocktail reception 6-7 p.m., followed by dinner and program 7-8:30 p.m. and a dessert reception, 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Muratori began her volunteer leadership on the board of directors in 2011 and she served as the chairperson-elect in 2014. Muratori follows Steve von Schenk, the president of Adirondack Trust Co., who was the chairman in 2014, and who will serve on the Chamber's executive committee as the immediate past-chair.
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Economic Development Grants Bring In $1.1 Million For Saratoga County Projects

January 8, 2015

The Saratoga Springs area will receive more than $1.1 million in economic and community development funding awarded through Round IV of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. State officials announced on Dec. 11 that $709.2 million will be distributed statewide.

The Regional Councils were established in 2011 to transform the state's approach to economic development from a top-down model to one that is community-based and performance-driven. The initiative empowers community, business, and academic leaders, as well as members of the public in each region of the state, to develop strategic plans specifically tailored to their region's unique strengths and resources in order to create jobs, improve quality of life and grow the economy.
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'Compliments To The Chef' Moves Into Larger Space In The Fresh Market Plaza

January 8, 2015

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John Reardon, owner of Compliments to the Chef, a kitchenware and cookware shop, moved to a site he says is bigger, brighter and has more plentiful parking.
BY JILL NAGY

On Black Friday, a troop of neighbors and friends helped owner John Reardon move Compliments to the Chef, an upscale kitchenware shop, to its new home at 46 Marion Ave., Saratoga Springs, in the Fresh Market plaza.

The new location provides more space, on-site parking, and a congenial neighbor. "Foodies shop at the Fresh Market and we have the toys for the foodies," Reardon said. For the soft opening, there was no advertising beforehand, not even a sign to let people know he was there. But, there was no turning back.

Reardon is excited about the new space. "There is room to linger," he said, as the store is brighter, and the stock is more spread out and easier to see. The availability of parking is also a big plus.
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Venture Capital Fund Established To Help Companies Go From Research to Market

January 8, 2015

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in December launched the state Innovation Venture Capital Fund to support entrepreneurs making the transition from research to marketplace, and incentivize them to stay and grow their businesses in New York.

According to Cuomo, the fund will provide seed funding for the development of early-stage companies in high growth areas to create jobs and help launch, as well as attract new businesses to New York state.

He said the $50 million fund is expected to leverage at least $100 million in private capital to support high growth areas including advanced materials, clean technology, life sciences/biotechnology and information technology.
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Mexican Connection Owners Strive To Keep Atmosphere The Same As Years Past

January 7, 2015

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Mexican Connection at 41 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs, came under new owners Joe Parisi and Brad Smith in 2014, the former serving as executive chef
BY LIZ WITBECK

Joe Parisi and Brad Smith were best friends growing up, going to Saratoga Springs High School and getting jobs bartending together at Mexican Connection.

After attending separate colleges and receiving degrees in the hospitality and hotel management industries, both men went to work at restaurants. When opportunities for ownership of Mexican Connection in Saratoga Springs came up, Parisi and Smith knew they were the ones to take over.

"We couldn't imagine a better place to work than Mexican Connection," said Smith. "We both loved working here. It was our favorite place to work."
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Lex And Cleo, In Saratoga Marketplace, Carries Gifts For Babies And Youngsters

January 7, 2015

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Lucy Moran is co-owner of Lex & Cleo, in the Saratoga Marketplace, downtown Saratoga Springs, which offers clothing, blankets and toys made in super-soft materials for babies
Lex & Cleo is a new store in the Saratoga Marketplace, 454 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, dedicated to gifts for babies and young children.

The new boutique, opened by Elizabeth Straus and her daughter, Lucy Moran, both of Saratoga Springs, offers clothing, blankets and toys made in super-soft, natural materials. There are books for parents and children, and a wide range of heirloom-quality gifts.

The store is named for the children of Straus' son, Saratoga Springs native Alexander Straus, who now lives in California with his wife, Hillary, and children Lex and Cleo. The owners said they felt choices within walking distance to the downtown for finding appropriate baby gifts was "frustratingly limited" and decided to open a store to make the search simpler, more convenient and much more fun.
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NYRA Adds Top Stakes Races On Travers Day For 147th Meet That Starts On July 24

January 7, 2015

Two of the biggest days in North American racing will highlight the historic 147th meet at Saratoga Race Course this summer, with the Grade 1, $1.25 million Travers the centerpiece of a supercharged Travers Day and the Grade 1, $1.25 million Whitney anchoring five stakes on Whitney Festival Day, Saturday, Aug. 8, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced in December.

The 40-day meet, which includes 69 stakes worth a record $18.7 million in purses, will run from Friday, July 24, through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. After opening weekend, racing will be conducted six days a week, Wednesdays through Mondays, NYRA officials said.

"We have made improvements to Travers Day to keep in line with the creation of our 'must-see' events," said Martin Panza, NYRA senior vice president of racing operations.
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