When visitors step through the turnstiles at Saratoga Race Course, they’re greeted by a board advertising “the Capital Region’s newest resort & gaming destination.”
If they make their way under the grandstand, they’ll find a Rivers Casino concierge table, covered with promotional material. Flip open a program for the day, and gamblers will see a full-page ad touting Rivers Casino and The Landing Hotel.
Those looking to replenish a phone battery might happen past a charging station under the grandstand, which is designed to loosely resemble a roulette table and is emblazoned with Rivers’ logo.
When exiting the track, visitors might notice a Rivers Casino shuttle, which transports visitors between Schenectady and the Spa City all day and into the night.
“I think there has to be a percentage of people who are into the gambling aspect of horse racing who are bound to give the casino a try,” said Jeffrey McDonald, chairman of the Schenectady County Tourism and Visitors Bureau.
Rivers Casino & Resort has positioned itself to reap the benefits of Saratoga’s summer popularity. While the new gaming and lodging operation in Schenectady hasn’t thinned the crowds at the track this year, it appears to have put a dent in the Saratoga Casino Hotel’s business.
In addition to its visibility at the track, Rivers has marketed The Landing Hotel, its adjacent 165-room boutique inn, as a lodging option for visitors in town for the summer meet. At a grand opening last week, David Buicko, CEO of developer the Galesi Group, noted the hotel could cater to those in town to see Saratoga.
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