It’s hard to believe the Holiday season has come and gone for another year. I hope everyone was able to enjoy with friends, family & loved ones!

As the economy continues to improve slowly, we are cautiously optimistic that 2011 will bring us continued success. Conference & convention business continues to be very competitive with every destination seemingly going after every piece of business that will fit. We feel strongly that we are well positioned to compete for this business, with the new addition at the City Center coming online in January and all of the other attributes Saratoga has to offer world-class attractions, great restaurants, close proximity to NYC, Boston, Montreal, etc… we offer a cost-effective and quality destination that rivals anywhere in the Northeast and beyond.

To ensure that we do continue to compete and develop new business, we are hitting the road immediately in 2011, first heading to the Helms Briscoe Annual Business Conference in DC and we don’t stop until the National Tour Association convention in December. We have targeted a larger number of trade shows and sales missions this year, specific to market segments that can and will produce new business for our destination. In addition, we are excited to announce that we have contracted with Passkey for their GroupMAX product so we can provide a state of the art housing product for our large city-wide conventions. This housing tool will allow large groups to funnel their reservations through the Bureau and ensure we capture a larger share of their room nights. It allows us to better serve city-wide events that already call Saratoga home but it will also allow us to compete for new business that requires this service. We have also invested in another new piece of technology and that is our new interactive kiosk which the Bureau will feature at large conferences and events in town. This kiosk will allow conference and group delegates to peruse menus of area restaurants, find location and hours of area attractions, feature maps of the area with most of this information being able to be translated into several languages as well. As Saratoga continues to develop as a global destination, it is vital we stay ahead of the sales & service curve!

2011 is off to a flying start and we excited at the prospects that lie ahead! Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful New Year!!

Todd Garofano, President