Morale is high as fans return for the Belmont Stakes – CBS New York
BELMONT PARK, NY (CBSNewYork) – What a difference a year makes.
Around the same time last year, the stands at Belmont Park were empty on its biggest day of the year.
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Now a gigantic reference in its cover: People on the runway, showing off hats, sipping champagne.
It’s a big commercial boost on Long Island.
In the villages and hamlets close to Belmont Park, the restaurants, cafes and shops on the main street are banking on a peak of activity.
At the Garden City Hotel, they say the peak is already underway.
“It’s a big weekend, not just to celebrate the issues, but for business here in the region. We’re full this weekend and have a waiting list and it hasn’t happened for a very long time, ”said J. Grady Colin, hotel general manager.
“The Belmont Jewel” – bourbon, pomegranate juice and special blend – goes smoothly, say the ladies at breakfast. Tourists come from all over with their dollars to the iconic trail.
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“I feel really good. This is actually the first time I’ve left Pennsylvania since early 2020, so hurray! said tourist Angela Montoni.
“I mean, I’m from North Carolina. This is the first race I have participated in since COVID, ”said Rebecca Montaldo, who traveled from Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“The fact that we can go have fun, watch the horses, talk and socialize, eat and drink and all of that is almost normally wonderful,” said Laura Curran, Nassau County Manager.
And at the end of the day, they come: Jockeys, owners, trainers, to stand out before the big race.
Normally, the Belmont attracts around 90,000 fans, more if there is a triple crown at stake. This year, only 11,000 to 12,000 will be allowed in. They will be seated in vaccinated and unvaccinated sections, with tickets purchased in advance. The LIRR adds trains.
And don’t forget your fascinator.
“More fascinators than hats. What we are seeing is a lot of color. People order color to celebrate, ”said milliner Christine Moore.
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Fans finally back in the stands are bringing real hope after last year’s empty economic crisis.