Study finds Saratoga racing alive and well

$200M brought to the greater Capital District annually

— A new study released by the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency found that the Saratoga Race Course potentially contributes more than $200 million annually to the local economy each year, along with thousands of jobs and additional tax revenue.

The study, released on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, was conducted by HR&A Advisors using information from the 2010 season. It was the first study performed on the racetrack’s economic impact to the region since the recession hit in 2009, and updates a report done in 2006.

“The findings show racing is on the edge of very positive growth,” said IDA CEO Larry Benton, adding how the community should find some relief in the study, especially after a scare last year threatened to cancel the racing season.

The study found that the track contributed to employment rates, tax revenues and population growth, even in areas beyond Saratoga County. The housing market and hospitality industry were positively affected by the track, as well.

“This comprehensive report demonstrates that Saratoga Race Course is a crucial economic driver not only for Saratoga County, but for millions of New Yorkers who reside well beyond the track’s historic gates,” said IDA Chairman Raymond Callanan.

It is estimated that spending by tourists, betting by participants and output of track operations brings in between $186 and $213 million each year to local communities. In addition, an estimated $14.6 million in tax revenue is generated annually between the City of Saratoga Springs, the county and the state, with nearly 2,050 jobs added to the local economy each summer.

The study also found a 3.1 percent increase in hotel stays in the last five years and an additional $40 million invested into the construction of new hotel rooms in the area. Nearly $100 million has been contributed to the area though hospitality alone in the last decade.

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