Last week, the Discover Saratoga team brought in 20+ meeting and event planners from all over NYS and the Northeast to explore Saratoga Springs as a group and conference destination. The familiarization (FAM) tour provided attendees with a snapshot of Saratoga attractions, history, hotels and more, allowing the group to see their potential meetings come to life in Saratoga Springs!
Keep reading for a full recap of the event!
Day 1: A welcome reception at the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame
We kicked off the event with a cocktail reception at the beautiful National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame. The museum, established in 1986, is the only facility in the nation and one of the few in the world that’s dedicated entirely to the art of dance.
Day 2: Tour of Saratoga Spring's north end attractions
We started our day bright-and-early with a hotel trade show at the Saratoga Springs City Center, which gave attendees the opportunity to meet with our lodging partners and schedule individual tours of their facilities. Posie Peddler, a full-service florist in Saratoga Springs, donated beautiful flower arrangements for event.
After breakfast, we boarded Upstate Tours to get a glimpse of Saratoga mansions, shops, and of course, the historic mineral springs. Our tour guides, Charlie and Dave from Saratoga Tours, put life into the excursion by teaching the group Saratoga facts and history with a bit of comedy throughout.
"[My favorite part of the tour] was learning the history of Saratoga Springs and how much it has to offer. What a beautiful town!"
Our next stop was at the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center, a travel information resource located across from Congress Park. From there we ventured off to Canfield Casino, a stunning wedding and event venue that houses the Saratoga Springs History Museum. Rumor has it, the third floor is haunted! The ghosts are friendly of course.
And they’re off! After a busy morning, the group spent the afternoon watching thundering thoroughbred racing at the Saratoga Race Course, which was named one of the world’s greatest sporting venues by Sports Illustrated. Later in the evening, the group enjoyed food and drinks at Harvey's.
Day 3: A tour of Saratoga's south end must-see attractions
Despite some unsettled weather, the group was eager to see more of Saratoga’s offerings. The team started the last day of the tour at Hall of Springs, an event venue located conveniently in the Saratoga State Park. We proceeded with a presentation of the history of Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), with a discussion of note-worthy performers that call Saratoga their home during the busy summer months (i.e. New York City Ballet and Dave Matthews Band among others).
Spa day anyone? Our next stop was at the Roosevelt Baths and Spa for a bit more history on how Saratoga Springs natural mineral water is used for healing purposes, and a look at the baths themselves.
After wrapping up, we hopped back onto the Upstate Tours bus for our next destination—the Saratoga Automobile Museum. In addition to displaying magnificent antique cars, trucks and other vehicles, the Auto Museum is a unique event venue offering interactive displays and flexibility for any group.
Meeting space by day, club by night—the group was able to see how Saratoga Casino & Hotel’s Vapor Night Club transforms into a functioning venue for meetings, trade shows and more. The casino itself is a thriving facility with entertainment options, a full hotel and restaurant.
The last stop before lunch was at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, which is right across from the historic Saratoga Race Course. We were given a detailed tour of the museum with history of the facility, in addition to seeing their new lawn jockeys!
We closed our Annual Summer Familiarization Tour with a delicious lunch at Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club. Tour-goers enjoyed a view of the beautiful golf course as the rain subsided.
Here's what our attendees say:
“The 2017 FAM Tour of Saratoga was an amazing experience. Each portion of the 3-day outing gave a great picture of what Saratoga has to offer along with the contacts and resources to make it happen!”
“I’m truly thankful for being invited! It was a great time with great people in the city that does hospitality the best!”
“I want to thank everyone at Discover Saratoga for a wonderful FAM tour. The staff is amazing and I enjoyed working with them. I loved how each of them present their city with such pride!”
See for yourself!
Saratoga is the ideal destination for meetings, travel, weddings and more. Talk to us to see how your next meeting will flow in Saratoga by calling Mary Jo Janis, Director of Convention Sales at 518-584-1531, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also download our NEW destination guide.