A 24-year-old Saratoga Springs tradition is going to look a little different this fall, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis. In lieu of the regular Showcase of Homes, which in the past has given the public the opportunity to drive around and tour brand-new homes by a dozen or so local builders, the Saratoga Builders Association will present a one-hour Showcase TV Special, to be aired this fall on WRGB Channel 6.
“We were trying to figure out a way to not just bag the whole thing,” says Barry Potoker, the president of the Saratoga Builders Association. “It’s very difficult to replace being there, going through houses, touching, feeling things. Obviously it’s not replacing that, it’s just a different twist.”
The special will be aired six times throughout late September and October, and will be hosted by CBS anchor Liz Bishop. Twelve area builders will be featured, and the special will include interviews with the builders themselves and virtual tours of their properties, as well as segments encouraging viewers to donate to Rebuilding Together Saratoga County and Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren & Washington Counties, the two charities the Builders Association usually donates Showcase ticket sales to.
The typical Showcase of Homes awards—which include best kitchen, best exterior architectural design and best interior floor plan—will also not be given out this year, as some of the builders will be unable to finish their Showcase homes due to construction delays caused by the pandemic.
But while this year’s Showcase won’t be exactly what fans of the tour are used to, they can rest assured that next year’s will be bigger and better than ever. “We’re planning lots of festivities for our 25th next year,” Potoker says. Could that include a revival of the popular Taste of Showcase, which features food and drink samples at the featured homes on the Friday before the show begins? We can only hope.