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Catch Up on Saratoga Springs News, Exciting Business Announcements, and More

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Stay informed and up-to-date with what's happening in our vibrant region! We've rounded up some of the top Saratoga Springs news, including local business headlines, major event announcements, community updates, and more.

"Ugly" Ice Cream Brings Sweet Treats (and a Twist) to Saratoga Lake

Ugly Ice Cream building set in front of beach on Saratoga Lake

Get ready for a new twist on ice cream at Saratoga Lake! Ugly Ice Cream, owned by Ariel Pagan and Mechanicville's John and Joe Starr, opened its doors at Brown's Beach on Friday, May 3rd.

This isn't your average ice cream stand. Ugly Ice Cream offers classic soft-serve with an "ugly" twist. Want your sundae served with a smashed-up base and a scowl from the employee? Just ask for it "ugly"! The same goes for their hot dogs, pizza, and other snacks - customization is encouraged.

But don't worry, "ugly" just refers to the fun presentation, not the taste. Ugly Ice Cream promises "Fun Delicious" with a menu featuring soft-serve flavors, toppings, packaged ice cream, hot dogs, pizza, and more. They even plan to showcase customer creations and offer a selfie mirror for capturing those "ugly" treats.

Located conveniently outside the Brown's Beach access, Ugly Ice Cream is open to everyone, even those who aren't entering the beach itself. Hours are expected to be 11 am to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The season runs from May 3rd to October 6th.

"We just want joy exploding from the brand," says a spokesperson to News 10. "We want people to come there and just be lifted up and their spirits lifted up."

So ditch the ordinary and prepare for some "ugly" fun (and deliciousness) at Saratoga Lake this summer!


550 Waterfront by Druthers Reimagined as Lago by Druthers

The beautiful view at Lago in Saratoga

550 Waterfront by Druthers has been renamed Lago by Druthers starting in 2024. The reimagined restaurant consists of a family-friendly lake vibe right on the shores of the popular Saratoga Lake.

The Lago menu features items from the Druthers menus, as well as a wide variety of focaccia sandwiches and 16-inch pizzas. Their menu also includes a large drink selection, with specialty cocktails, beer cocktails, frozen drinks, boozy milkshakes, red and white wine, and classic cans of beer.

You do not want to miss Lago and their amazing food this summer!

Source: Lago Website

Saratoga Race Course Ready for Summer With Revamped Jim Dandy Bar and Other Upgrades

Jim Dandy Bar

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has announced major renovations and upgrades at Saratoga Race Course in advance of the annual summer meet. A primary focus has been the lower Clubhouse, where the iconic Jim Dandy Bar received a complete refresh.

Originally a members-only lounge in the 1940s, the Jim Dandy Bar was named after the improbable winner of the 1930 Travers Stakes. The recent renovations have transformed the bar, giving it an open-air, horseshoe-shaped design.

Racing fans will appreciate the sense of history at the bar, enhanced by vintage scenes that flank it. The brown and green color scheme reflects Saratoga's original colors as well.

In addition to the Jim Dandy Bar, NYRA's renovations include a new Clubhouse Grill featuring a wider menu, an expansive drink rail offering a prime view of the saddling paddock, and upgraded restrooms with historic touches.

These improvements follow last year's enhancements to the Finish Line Grill and Modelo Finish Line Bar. In a press release, NYRA emphasized its commitment to providing a modern experience while preserving the timeless charm of Saratoga.

NYRA's projects extend beyond the Clubhouse too. The popular Stella Artois Spa Verandas have been expanded, and the association continues to invest in backstretch facilities, such as new housing near the Oklahoma Training Track.

Saratoga Race Course's summer meet is scheduled to run from July 11 to September, 2024. Get ready for a race season filled with history, excitement, and a revamped Clubhouse experience!


New Playground Makes a Splash at Saratoga Springs' Waterfront Park

group of people pose in front of new playground holding ribbon
Photo Credit: Saratoga Chamber of Commerce

There's a new reason for families to visit Saratoga Springs' Waterfront Park – a fantastic new playground! Designed to be inclusive and engaging for children of all ages and abilities, the playground officially opened its doors this spring.

The 4,400-square-foot structure offers a wonderland of fun. Kids can zoom down thrilling slides, navigate challenging bridges, conquer climbing elements, and even take in the breathtaking views of Saratoga Lake through a special binocular viewing area.

"The kids can kind of play while the parents can sit and look at the water," said Saratoga Springs Recreation Department Director John Hirliman. "It's a perfect spot for families to relax and enjoy the fresh air."

This exciting addition to Waterfront Park is part of a larger revitalization effort. Funded by the previous City Council's Capital funds at a cost of $153,434, the playground joins the recently renovated bathrooms and gazebo at the park's lower level.

"It's always the best to see stuff like this, especially when kids are involved," said Mayor John Safford at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, highlighting the importance of projects that directly benefit the community's children.

Source: Saratogian

The Saratoga Builders Association Awards Scholarships to Future Construction Leaders!

two students are awarded large checks and pose for picture with two older men

The Saratoga Builders Association (SBA) is proud to announce its annual scholarship program awarding $1,000 each to two deserving students pursuing careers in construction. This year's recipients are Amy Grumbling of Amsterdam and Jude Leight of Ballston Spa.

Grumbling, currently attending Russell Sage College for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior and Spatial Design, balances her studies with work at Teakwood Builders.

Leight, a senior at Ballston Spa High School, will be continuing his education at Hudson Valley Community College to pursue a degree in Construction Tech and Management.

The SBA Scholarship program is open to high school seniors and college students residing in Saratoga County and looking to build a future in the construction industry. This vital program supports the next generation of builders and ensures a skilled workforce for years to come.

See the Expertise in Action at the Saratoga Showcase of Homes

outside of a 2022 showcase home with lights lighting up the inside of house and view of outdoor patio
2022 Home: Gorgeous Witt Construction Showcase Home

The Saratoga Showcase of Homes, the premier annual event hosted by the SBA, returns this fall for two exciting weekends. This fun tradition offers the chance to tour meticulously crafted homes built by the region's most extraordinary builders.

When you tour these gorgeous local homes, you'll get an exclusive look at the cutting edge of construction. Witness the latest trends in building techniques, products, interior designs, and furnishings.

Tickets are valid for all four days (October 5-6 & 12-13, 2024; 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM) so you can explore at your own pace and gather inspiration for your dream home.

Mark your calendars and get ready to be amazed by the craftsmanship and innovation on display!

Source: SBA

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