For the second year in a row, Central Avenue merchants teamed up with the University at Albany to introduce incoming freshmen to Albany’s uptown businesses.
Called simply, “All Around Albany,” the event takes university freshmen through Albany and delivers them to a large-scale merchant expo at the Ramada Plaza hotel, where they can enjoy free food, fun, and make connections with many of Albany’s grocery stores, restaurants, and fitness centers.
The event took place this past Saturday, and this year, for the first time, the event was part of the official freshmen orientation program and it was attended by about 500 new students. Students roamed the spacious hotel, enjoying free caricatures, henna tattoos, karaoke, video games, foosball, and piled their plates high with food from the district’s many restaurants, which have become renowned for their authentic international cuisine.
Merchants say the event, which was free to district members, was a great opportunity to meet potential customers and get the word out about Albany’s growing uptown.
“It was great! We had a signup sheet for email info and filled three pages worth of students eager to learn more,” said Jessica Lubin, owner of Good Karma Yoga Studio on Vatrano Road.
“Yes, it’s a great opportunity to meet first year students that have not experienced the Avid Entertainment events at The Armory,” said Michael Corts, Promotions Manager for the Washington Avenue Armory and Avid Entertainment. Corts and pals were on hand to DJ and distribute information about their most popular events, including “Stuff Your Face with Bass” and the upcoming “MasqueRave.” “It was great, and yes the students were very interested in what we were promoting,” says Corts.
“The event was great and an awesome outreach opportunity for us,” said Amy Ellis, Outreach Coordinator for the Honest Weight Food Co-op. “We had a lot of positive conversation with students about the Co-op as a shopping option.”
“We were very pleased with the organization of the event,” said Adam Steinback, manager at Trustco Bank. “I would not change a thing.”