Welcome to Cvent’s Saratoga meeting planning guide – a city guide for Saratoga meeting planning professionals. Nestled in scenic upstate New York, Saratoga has long been a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle without losing out on big city amenities. In fact, the city is a hotspot throughout the year, whether for horse racing in the summer or skiing and snowboarding in the surrounding parkland during the winter. Now, with modern, fully-equipped meeting facilities, a convenient location, and a host of unique options for group entertainment, Saratoga is also making a name for itself on the meeting and event planning scene.
Located just off I-87, Saratoga is an extremely accessible destination for those driving from points through the Northeast. The city is only about three hours from Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Montréal. Air travel is equally convenient, thanks to Albany International Airport (ALB), located about 45 minutes from Saratoga. As the primary air center for New York's Capital Region, the airport sees 75 departures and arrivals every day, with direct flights to many major cities in North America, including Toronto, Washington DC, Orlando, Las Vegas, Atlanta and New York City.
Whether traveling to Saratoga for a conference, annual reception, or corporate retreat, both attendees and planners are met with a number of options for meeting venues. Certainly the largest facility is the impressive Saratoga Springs City Center, located downtown just steps away from the city's best entertainment and dining offerings. Currently undergoing a $16 million expansion, the center will, by fall 2010, offer 32,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space and several new or refurbished conference rooms and function areas.
The Saratoga Springs City Center also offers the convenience of the attached 242-room Saratoga Hilton, the largest hotel in the city. In addition to first-class lodging and amenities, the hotel provides 19 function rooms for meetings and events. A number of other hotels in Saratoga also serve as ideal options for both accommodations and event space, from the historic 31-room Saratoga Arms to the sprawling Gideon Putnam Resort, whose recently restored conference center can host up to 500 people.
When it comes to after-hours receptions, memorable team building, or even just lunchtime meeting breaks, Saratoga offers plenty of unique venues to accommodate groups of all sizes. Many of Saratoga's museums, including the National Museum of Dance and National Museum of Racing, offer one-of-a-kind backdrops for meetings of up to 400 guests. The iconic Saratoga Race Track makes for an exciting day trip for groups, who can watch the race from the comfort of a luxury suite or enjoy a full buffet trackside at the At the Rail Pavilion. Or, enjoy continental cuisine with a side of scenic lake views at the Panza's Restaurant, a lakeside venue just 15 minutes from downtown.
Tourism serves as an important part of Saratoga's economy. In 2008, Saratoga County saw nearly half of the $53 billion spent by travelers to New York State. The city is also home to Empire State College and Skidmore College.