Friday, May 31, 2013

Splish, Splash, FLASH!!! Victoria Pool to open 10 AM, Saturday, June 1, 2013 announced by Governor Cuomo.

Thank you to all the wonderful workers and administrators at Saratoga Spa State Park, NYS Parks for all your hard work.  The Pool will be open the next 3 weekends and then daily from June 22, 2013.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

victoria pool fans hoping for opening this weekend. keep everything crossed and do your pool dance.

Victoria Pool could be open this weekend

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
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The Victoria Pool at the Saratoga Spa State Park is shown on opening day in 2012.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson
The Victoria Pool at the Saratoga Spa State Park is shown on opening day in 2012.
— It’s not definite yet, but fans of the Victoria Pool may be able to suit up this weekend and wait in line to snag a coveted poolside chaise lounge.
Saratoga Spa State Park officials are working to get things in place to open the pool this weekend, including performing water tests this week and making sure there is enough staff on duty — pool operators, lifeguards, cleaning staff and cashiers.
Park manager Mike Greenslade said he plans to decide by Thursday whether the pool will be able to open for the weekend, when high temperatures are expected to hit the mid- to upper 80s.
“We are going to try,” he said Tuesday. “We still have a few steps that we are going to do before we will know for sure.”
If the Victoria Pool does open this weekend, it would be the earliest opening in many years, said Louise Goldstein, co-founder of Save the Victoria Pool Society, which each year advocates for a Memorial Day opening.
“June 1 would be really great,” Goldstein said. “There are people who already have their bags packed. Everybody loves that pool.”
The Victoria Pool and the park’s zero-depth-entry Peerless Pool have opened around the fourth weekend in June in recent years, near the time local children get out of school for the summer. In the past two years, the Victoria Pool has opened on Father’s Day weekend, a week earlier, Greenslade said.
But Goldstein said many people expect swimming holes to open earlier — the beach at Moreau Lake State Park does, she pointed out — and are confused by Victoria Pool’s later opening.
“There’s a lot of people who think it opens Memorial Day,” she said.
No matter when the Victoria Pool lets in its first visitors, swimmers and sunbathers will notice one colorful difference this year — the pool bottom, which has been repainted white for several years running, was given a fresh coat of azure blue this spring.
The sky-blue color harkens back to the original hue of the pool, said Goldstein, who has been coming to the pool since 1940, the year she was born.
“It was gorgeous blue tile,” she said. “I wish we could get that back.”
Victoria Pool was constructed in 1934, the first heated pool in the country. It is no longer heated but is still surrounded by arched brick walls and walkways as it originally was.
The pool was a popular spot for movie stars and New York City Ballet dancers over the years, but by 2003, the pool was falling into disrepair, with crumbling masonry and dilapidated locker rooms. Goldstein and some other fans founded the Save the Victoria Pool Society to lobby for state funding to fix it up.
Then-state parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro committed $1.5 million that year to restoring the pool, and the renovation was completed in 2005.
The work included replacing the pool’s original filtration system and enhanced landscaping, plantings, lighting fixtures and walkways.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

$3M in improvements to Saratoga Spa State Park include $1M for SPAC parking lot. not one cent to keep New York City Ballet season.

$3M in fixes on tap for Spa park

Projects set for SPAC lot, bathhouse, pool

Friday, May 17, 2013
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The Roosevelt Bath House in Saratoga Spa State Park will be getting major renovations as a result of funding announced Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Roosevelt Bath House in Saratoga Spa State Park will be getting major renovations as a result of funding announced Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
— Almost $3 million in infrastructure improvements are planned for Saratoga Spa State Park as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $90 million investment in the state’s parks.
The funding for Saratoga Spa State Park includes $1 million to rehabilitate the main Route 50 parking lot for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, $850,000 for the first stage of work on the Roosevelt II Bathhouse and $450,000 for a picnic shelter and comfort stations near the Peerless Pool.
Saratoga Spa State Park Manager Michael Greenslade said of the investment, “It’s exciting to be here at this time.”
The main SPAC parking lot will get new blacktop, new landscaping and a reconfigured entrance, which will reduce hassles entering and exiting the lot during big SPAC shows. “We’re just trying to clean it up so traffic will flow better,” Greenslade said of the entrance changes.
Improvements to the Roosevelt II Bathhouse are designed to prevent future deterioration of the building, which was constructed in 1934 as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. After this phase of work, which includes weatherproofing, a new roof, and new electrical wiring, Greenslade said they hope there will be a second phase of work to make the building usable. He said the building hasn’t been used for about six decades because of a decreased interest in the baths, which only kept the Roosevelt I Bathhouse operational.
An open-air picnic shelter and comfort station near the Peerless Pool area is expected to make the adjacent playground even more attractive. “It should become quite the destination,” Greenslade said.
Also planned for the park is the rehabilitation of the Hall of Springs and work on vacant wings of the Lincoln Baths so they can be opened for office use.
Greenslade said this funding was desperately needed and noted that the park’s infrastructure was crumbling because of a lack of investment by recent administrations. The governor has committed $90 million annually in state park improvements over the next five years.
Robin Dropkin, executive director of Parks and Trails New York, a group that advocates for the state’s parks, said in a news release that the state’s investment is breathing new life into the park system. Because of this funding, she said, “The revitalization of our state park system can continue, boosting tourism, creating jobs and securing New York’s parks and conservation legacy for future generations.”
Cuomo touted the project’s ability to create jobs and potentially increase visits to the state park system, which generates $1.9 billion in annual economic activity, according to a recent study from Parks and Trails New York.
In addition to the state’s capital investment, the park system is undertaking 60 architectural and engineering designs to advance shovel-ready projects in almost 50 parks in the coming years. This is part of Cuomo’s attempt to catch up on the backlog of projects across the park system.
“Following decades of deferred maintenance and under-investment, New York’s state parks are on an exciting upswing” said Erik Kulleseid, program director of the Open Space Institute’s Alliance for New York State Parks.
More information about the state park system can be found at or by calling 474-0456.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Is it time for Governor Cuomo to throw SPAC out of Saratoga Spa State Park and keep the New York City Ballet?


Fiscal uncertainties leave length of NYCB residency at SPAC in limbo

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — New York City Ballet is expected back next year, but fiscal uncertainties make the length of its Saratoga Performing Arts Center residency unclear.

The ballet, a SPAC mainstay, will be here just one week this summer, its shortest season ever.

About 125 people turned out for SPAC’s annual membership meeting at Saratoga Spa State Park’s Hall of Springs Wednesday.

“The company has not yet concluded negotiations with its labor unions,” SPAC Chairwoman Susan Phillips Read said. “So they can’t predict their costs for 2014. As a result, it’s difficult for them to make a commitment.”

The ballet had a three-week SPAC season for decades until financial woes forced a reduction to two weeks several years ago, and just one week this summer (July 9-13). It costs SPAC more than

$1 million annually to host the ballet, and a similar amount for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Read said SPAC and ballet officials probably won’t firm up plans for 2014 until early this July.

In the meantime, SPAC finds itself in the difficult position of lining up other dance companies, while waiting for a commitment from the city ballet.

“We have to worry that other companies will be committed elsewhere and not be available to us,” Read said.

To fill this year’s city ballet void, three other dance companies new to SPAC have been scheduled — National Ballet of Canada (July 16-18), Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (July 24-25) and Momix Botanica (Aug. 1). Continued...

In other action, members approved the election of three new SPAC board members to three-year terms. They are:

• Elizabeth Alexander — Co-owner of Hattie’s Restaurant and founder of Hattie’s annual Mardi Gras Gala that raised $75,000 for city ballet’s 2013 residency.

• Susan Dake — Wife of former SPAC Chairman Bill Dake and Stewart’s Foundation president. The Dakes are two of SPAC’s main benefactors.

• Gerry Golub — president of SPAC Action Council, SPAC’s largest volunteer fundraising arm. The Golub family owns the Price Chopper supermarket chain.

Two board members, Matt Bender and Dee Sarno, have stepped down.

Several other directors were re-elected to new terms. They are E. Stewart Jones Jr., Ed Mitzen, Nancy Touhey, Donald J. McCormack and Linda G. Toohey for three years, and Meyer Frucher for one year.

Also, SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia White announced that three new members will be added to SPAC’s Walk of Fame, which honors people instrumental to the center’s history, growth and development. They are:

• Peter Martins — New York City Ballet master in chief, who has directed the ballet for 30 years.

• Dave Brubeck — The late jazz icon, who passed away in 2012, performed at SPAC’s annual jazz festival a record 13 times.

• Jane Wait and the late Newman E. “Pete” Wait who helped lead the effort to found SPAC by spearheading a local feasibility committee and raising seed money to get the arts center off the ground. Continued...

The 2013 season begins with the May 24 Battle of the Bands at the Spa Little Theatre and runs through the Saratoga Wine & Food Fall Ferrari Festival from Sept. 6-8.

Legendary singer Tony Bennett is one of the headliners for the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival on June 29-30.

One of the season’s signature events is the 150th Anniversary of Saratoga racing concert on Aug. 8, performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra with guest conductor Keith Lockhart.

A communitywide 150th anniversary of racing kickoff celebration, including fireworks, is slated for the SPAC grounds Friday, May 24.

“We had a record season last year,” White said. “We’ll break that record this year.”

For more information and a complete schedule of events, go to
» Continue to article...

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