Wednesday, January 07, 2009

No Sign of a Recession

Not in Saratoga. So says Long time Times Union (Albany, NY) news columnist Marv Cermak. On 12/27/08 Mr. Cermak toured downtown Saratoga to report that
"pricey restaurants were at or near capacity"
including high end Italian restaurant Chianti which he describes as

He also visited the Saratoga Racino where he found only about 100 of 1700 slot machines
"without a player"
Cermak reports that the buffett room, tavern and snack bar were all near capacity. He describes the attendance at the Saratoga racino to be by far the highest of his dozen or so prior visits to the racino.

Of course, this is all anecdotal evidence reported by Cermak. I would guess that these downtown Saratoga restaurants were doing better in 2007 than in 2008. I can't see how they would not. I had brunch at the usually crowded downtown restaurant Gaffney's the day after Cermak's Saratoga tour and found only one other couple in the entire place. As for the racino, Cermak is probably right about the large attendance. Like zombies in the night, people still flock to play the mindless slots.

Regarding the accuracy of columns written by Marv Cermak, may I suggest you read anything he writes with a copious measure of skepticism .

This past summer he wrote in his Times Union column about being at the Saratoga Race Course and witnessing Secretariat run in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in 1973. Only problem, Secretariat never ran in the Travers. Instead, after winning the Triple Crown, Secretariat ran in the Whitney Stakes, losing to the Allen Jerkens-trained Onion by a length. I wrote to Cermak, correcting his memory of the event, and asked for a correction to be printed. He never corrected the error and subsequent attempts to reach out to Cermak recieved no response. You can read his entire column on his recent Saratoga visit here.

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