If our client company is located in an area that is not instantly familiar to most people, we usually develop a detailed summary of the area that we provide to candidates. Below is a sample from an actual assignment:
Saratoga Springs, the Capital District & The Adirondacks
Manorial homes line the streets of Saratoga Springs (population 27,000), which has been a major tourist destination since the 1800’s, and the downtown is filled with elegant restaurants and shops. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) has events ranging from ballet and symphonies to outdoor rock concerts. SPAC is the summer home for the Philadelphia Symphony and the New York City Ballet, and also has an outdoor amphitheater that has attracted as many as 40,000 concert-goers (performers in 2014 include the likes of the Moody Blues, Journey, Phish, Motley Crue and Lionel Richie). The Saratoga Thoroughbred Track seats 20,000 in a 19th-century atmosphere, and every summer you’ll be able to get an up-close look at the nation’s best thoroughbreds, including occasional Triple Crown contenders. The Saratoga Casino & Raceway features harness racing, and also has a seemingly endless selection of different games on slot machines. Saratoga is also home to nationally-ranked Skidmore College.
The Capital District (the Albany/Schenectady/Troy metro area, population 800,000) is 30 miles south. Albany’s 14,000-seat Pepsi Arena and the Empire State Plaza attract a wide variety of musical, cultural and college/professional sports. The area houses many museums, including the New York State Museum in Albany and the Albany Institute of the History of Art. The area has numerous high-caliber colleges, including Union College, University at Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Siena College and the Sage Colleges. For the sports buff, Albany is home to professional basketball, hockey and arena football. Major college sports are found at Union College (hockey – 2014 national champions), RPI (hockey), Siena (basketball), and the University at Albany now plays at the major college level for all sports.
The surrounding countryside resembles a Grandma Moses painting (she lived in Eagle Bridge, 30 miles from Saratoga Springs). The Adirondack Mountains and the Lake George region are half an hour to the north, providing skiing, boating and countless other outdoor activities, as well as theme parks and summer and winter festivals. The cultural Berkshires are a 1-hour drive. The ski areas of Southern Vermont, along with its nationally-famous fly-fishing river, the Batten Kill, are about an hour-and-a-half away.
Surrounding Communities Within Commuting Range:
Albany and the Capital District. The Albany/Schenectady/Troy Metropolitan area (population 800,000) is located 32 miles north of Hudson. The Capital of New York State has a solid economic base that includes both state government jobs and service jobs, as well as a growing technology sector. The Egg Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Albany has a wide variety of programs, including ballet, classical music, and occasional free concerts with groups such as The Irish Rovers singing their classic hit, The Unicorn. Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady hosts traveling Broadway Shows. Outside of the three cities are numerous suburban areas with excellent K-12 schools (some ranked in the Top 100 nationally).
Lake George/Glens Falls. Glens Falls (population 15,000, metro area 125,000) is 20 miles north of Saratoga, and is the gateway city to the Adirondacks. Lake George Village is located several miles north at the southern tip of the 28 mile-long Lake George. In addition to being home to the Great Escape, Gaslight Village, Fort William Henry and numerous other theme parks and attractions, Lake George is host to numerous music festivals, a wild winter carnival, and countless events year-round.
Other Communities in the Greater Region:
Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. The cultural Berkshires lie just over the Massachusetts border, 30 miles from Hudson. Brodie Mountain and Jiminy Peak Ski Areas are 45 minutes away. Williamstown is the home of the Clark Art Museum, Williams College Museum and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (in nearby North Adams). Exhibits range from 2000-year-old Byzantine ivories to Winslow Homer originals. The Williamstown Theater Festival is nationally-known, and gave actor Christopher Reeve and many others their starts. To the south, Pittsfield (population 52,000) is the Berkshires’ largest city, and is home to the The Berkshire Opera, The Berkshire Murals, and The South Mountain Concert Hall. The Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the site of numerous musical performances.
The Catskills. The nearby Catskills have long been known for combining four season outdoor opportunities with cultural and artistic events. This is the fabled home of Rip Van Winkle, and the current home for many arts and craft festivals. Many writers, artists, actors and musicians, some little-known and some who are household names, make their homes in the Catskills. The Catskills begin a few miles west, just over the Hudson River, and most of its lands are part of the Catskill Park, which protects the land from over-development. The Catskills provide an abundance of outdoor opportunities, including hiking, bicycling, skiing, hunting, canoeing, fishing and most other outdoor activities. The Esopus River is a popular trout-fishing stream, as well as a popular site for canoeing and tubing. Belleayre Mountain has an active summer program, and a Symphony Orchestra. Just beyond the western edge of the Catskills, you’ll reach Cooperstown, home of Baseball’s Hall of Fame, and the Glimmerglass Opera.
New York City. New York City and all of its attractions are a three-hour drive from Saratoga (or a two-and-a-half hour train ride from Albany).
Boston, Massachusetts, is about a three hour drive from Saratoga.
Montreal is a three-and-a-half hour drive from Saratoga, and also can be reached by train.
MUSIC AND THEATER
Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs.
The Egg Center for the Performing Arts (www.theegg.org), Albany.
Proctor’s Theater, Schenectady.
Capital Repertory Theater (www.capitalrep.org), Albany.
Troy Music Hall, (www.troymusichall.org), Troy.
Albany Symphony Orchestra (www.albanysymphony.com)
Café Lena, Saratoga Springs (acoustic music).
Fort Salem Theatre, Salem, New York. Professional theater set in quaint village.
Williamstown Theater Festival, Williamstown, Massachusetts. (www.wtfestival.org)
Tanglewood, Lenox, Massachusetts. (featuring the Boston Symphony Orchestra) (www.tanglewood.org)
Glimmerglass Opera Festival, Cooperstown, New York.
Dorset Theatre Festival, Dorset, Vermont.
New York State Museum, Albany. (www.nysm.nysed.gov)
Albany Institute of the History of Art, Albany. (www.albanyinstitute.org)
Schenectady Museum, Schenectady.
Childrens Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST), Troy.
Albany Center Galleries (www.albanycentergalleries.org)
Opalka Gallery, Sage Colleges, Troy. (www.sage.edu/sca/opalkagallery/Welcome.html)
Empire State Aerosciences Museum, Glenville.
National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame, Saratoga Springs. (www.racingmuseum.org)
Saratoga Auto Museum, Saratoga Springs. (www.saratogaautomuseum.com)
Children’s Museum, Saratoga Springs. (www.childrensmuseumatsaratoga.org)
Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.
Bronck Museum, Coxsackie, New York.
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts. (www.wcma.org)
Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. (www.clarkart.edu)
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA), North Adams, Massachusetts. (www.massmoca.org)
Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. (www.berkshiremuseum.org)
Crane Museum, Dalton, Massachusetts.
Hancock Shaker Village & Museum, Hancock, Massachusetts. (www.hancockshakervillage.org)
Chesterwood, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. (www.chesterwood.org)
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. (www.nrm.org)
Bennington Museum, (Grandma Moses Museum) Bennington, Vermont. (www.benningtonmuseum.com)
Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum, Livingston Manor.
Center for Emerging Art, Inc. (CEA), Woodstock.
Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock.
Durham Center Museum, East Durham.
Empire State Railway Museum, Phoenicia.
National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown (www.baseballhalloffame.org).
Farmer’s Museum, Cooperstown. (www.farmersmuseum.org).
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown.
National Soccer Hall of Fame, Oneonta. (www.soccerhall.org).
The Adirondacks are a mountain range that cover an area as large as Vermont. Bounded on the east by Lake Champlain (the 7th largest lake in the country) and its renowned sea monster, the Adirondacks are a string of one lake after another, many hosting the eerie cry of loons by night. Its clear rivers (here, the Hudson River is fresh and uncluttered) and 46 mountain peaks of over 4,000 feet make it a year-round playground. The 6-million acre Adirondack State Park is protected, and only about 100,000 people live within its boundaries, making it a large, unspoiled wilderness.
Vermont is just over an hour from Saratoga and less than an hour from the Capital District. Dotted with picturesque villages surrounded by verdant mountains, this neighboring state has the best ski areas in the region, endless outdoor activities, plus numerous craft fairs and musical events.
Catskill Mountains. The Catskills provide an abundance of outdoor opportunities, including hiking, bicycling, skiing, hunting, canoeing, fishing and most other outdoor activities. The Esopus River is a superb trout-fishing stream, as well as a popular site for kayaking, canoeing and tubing.
Taconic Mountains. On the east side of the Hudson River, the Taconics rise from the edge of the Hudson Valley. Unlike the steep, forest-covered Catskills, the Taconics are farmland that appear to roll ever upwards. The Appalachian Trail passes through the Taconics on its way to New England.
Berkshires. The Appalachian Trail connects the Taconics with this mountain range, whose highest point is the 3491-foot Mt. Greylock.
Caving: Howe Caverns (www.howecaverns.com) and Secret Caverns (www.secretcaverns.com) are 35 minutes away in Schoharie County, as are more than 300 undeveloped caves, including the 7-mile long McFail’s cave, the longest cave in the Northeast.
Gore Mountain, North Creek, New York.
West Mountain, Glens Falls, New York.
Willard Mountain, North Greenwich, New York.
Whiteface Mountain, Wilmington, New York.
Mt. Snow, West Dover, Vermont.
Stratton Mountain, Stratton, Vermont.
Bromley Mountain, Manchester, Vermont. (www.bromley.com)
Okemo Mountain, Ludlow, Vermont.
Killington, Killington, Vermont.
Brodie Mountain, New Ashford, Massachusetts
Jiminy Peak, Hancock, Massachusetts
Belleayre, Highmount, New York
Hunter Mountain, Hunter, New York
Ski Windham, Windham, New York
PROFESSIONAL AND COLLEGE SPORTING EVENTS
Albany Devils (Minor League Hockey)
Tri City ValleyCats (Single A Baseball)
Siena College (Division I Basketball)
RPI (Division I Hockey)
State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany (Basketball, Football & all other athletic programs are Division I)
Union College (Division I Hockey – national champions in 2014)
Saratoga Flat Track
Saratoga Harness Track
Adirondack Flames (Minor League Hockey)
State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs.
Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy.
Union College, Schenectady.
College of Saint Rose, Albany.
Siena College, Loudonville.
The Sage Colleges, Troy.
Albany Medical College
Albany Law School
Albany College of Pharmacy
Albany Business College
Hudson Valley Community College, Troy.
Schenectady Community College
SUNY Adirondack, Glens Falls.
Within nearby commuting range (10 to 30 minutes):
Within commuting range:
Great Sacandaga Lake
Other lakes beyond commuting range:
Lake Champlain (6th largest in the country)
Countless others in the Adirondacks
Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, New York.
Saratoga Battlefield, Stillwater, New York.
Bennington Battlefield State Historic Site, Hoosick, New York.
Champlain Canal Byway, Saratoga to Whitehall (Birthplace of U.S.Navy)
General Philip Schuyler House, Schuylerville. (National Historic Site)
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site (Lindenwald), Kinderhook, New York.