Saratoga Springs, and Saratoga County have an amazing food scene, and it’s one of the reasons that makes our destination so special. That’s why when the restaurants were struggling and began to reopen last year, we explored ways to increase their capacity when they could only do 50%. For the first time ever, in addition to sidewalk and patio dining, temporary outdoor dining was allowed in certain street parking areas (parklets) in downtown, and it was a success for our participating local small businesses. Some said that outdoor dining literally saved their businesses. This year we welcome them back once again.
With the Governor extending restrictions on indoor dining to at least May 6, there are many efforts taking place in communities across Saratoga County to help restaurants expand outdoors. Starting this past Friday, Peter Gailor Landscaping installed concrete barriers on Caroline, Henry, and Phila Streets, with more on the way! These barriers were donated last year by D.A. Collins. They had been stored at the City Center to be reused this year as soon as the weather improved. The City approved the use of outdoor spaces early this year, as of March 15th. Thanks goes to the City Commissioners and the Mayor for unanimously approving these plans and allowing restaurants to open outside early this year. Discover Saratoga, the City Center, the DBA, and the Saratoga County Chamber teamed up to organize this now multi-year effort.
With the warmer weather that we are starting to experience, and more vaccinations getting into arms for our community residents as well as our visitors, there is optimism. We’re already starting to see more visitors staying with our lodging partners and looking for things to do. They are shopping and exploring our one-of-a-kind destination. They long to find normalcy, and that can be as simple as going out to dinner with family and friends. While normalcy is on the way, we must not forget to remain diligent by maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, and washing our hands.
I really appreciate the amount of collaboration that is taking place on so many fronts. From non- profits, city officials and their departments, businesses, and volunteers; the list goes on. There are many people working hard to help reinvigorate our vibrant community. We will make it through, and we will remain Stronger Together.
To learn more about Discover Saratoga and for information regarding membership, please visit www.discoversaratoga.org.