What a terrific year 2011 was for Saratoga’s hospitality community. All of the lodging segment indicators (occupancy, average daily rate and revenue per available room) were up for the second straight year. Bureau membership was also up for the second straight year and we saw a record number of participants in Chowderfest and Restaurant Week. Our sales team secured more leads and booked more room nights than 2010 as well. You will see all of the detailed numbers when we release our Annual Report at the end of January.

In looking forward to 2012, we are cautiously optimistic for another very good year. Some of the highlights will see the return of the SEMI ASMCII conference; the second straight year this vital semiconductor industry conference will come to Saratoga. New this year will be the Semiconductor Industry Association’s World Semiconductor Council meeting which will bring CEO’s and top officials from the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturing companies from around the world. We’ll roll the red carpet out, as Saratoga is known to do. These conference opportunities are a direct result of Global Foundries, SUNY CSNE & Sematech all contributing to make our region a global hotbed for the semiconductor industry. We will continue to aggressively pursue conference opportunities in this market segment. In addition, we’re seeing increased bookings at the recently expanded Saratoga Springs City Center and we’re starting to have our sales efforts around the sports market rewarded with new bookings like Hero Rush which will bring over 3000 athletes to Saratoga County in September.

Special thanks to our Board of Directors and our Strategic Planning Committee for all of their efforts and direction this past year. Some of the highlights out of that group’s efforts include the Bureau taking on the Destination Wedding market which is a very exciting opportunity for the Bureau and for Saratoga as a destination. Watch for the launch of our new website and strategy on developing this market. The committee was also instrumental in drafting a new mission statement and a change in our bylaws that more clearly defines the Bureau’s mission. We will release these in the coming weeks and present them at our Annual Meeting in March.

So, congratulations to all of our members, volunteers & staff on a terrific 2011 and here is to a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2012!!