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Delaware North gets Saratoga contract

Delaware North Cos.' Parks and Resorts unit has been selected to operate the Gideon Putnam Hotel and Convention Center and the Roosevelt Spa in Saratoga Spa State Park.

Delaware North Parks and Resorts will combine with Saratoga Gaming and Raceway to form a new company, Gideon Putnam LLC, to hold the lease, the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation said. The hotel and spa will be managed and operated by Buffalo-based Delaware North.

Kevin Kelly, president of Delaware North Cos. Parks and Resorts, and Dan Gerrity, president of Saratoga Harness Racing, will serve as principals of the new operating company.

The company plans to replace and upgrade guest rooms, renovate bathrooms, reconfigure some public areas on the first floor of the Gideon Putnam Hotel, and refurbish the Roosevelt Spa, the state agency said.

The facilities are currently run by Xanterra Parks & Resorts under a lease that expires Dec. 31. The state and the new company now much negotiate a contract, subject to approval by the state attorney general and comptroller, the state agency said. All commitments by the current operator for 2008 and beyond will be honored by the new lessee, it said.

"We look forward to working with Delaware North to continue the tradition of first class service and gracious hospitality for which the Gideon Putnam Hotel is so well known," said Carol Ash, commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in a statement.

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