Fire hits the New York hotel, once the crown jewel of the Catskills


A fire has consumed a building at the long-closed Grossinger’s resort, once one of the most luxurious and extravagant hotels in New York’s Catskills.

During its post-World War II heyday, Grossinger drew hundreds of thousands of holiday guests each year, many of them Jewish. The resort features a 27-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, a nightclub, two kosher-style kitchens and a 1,500-seat dining room. It attracted blacksmiths such as Eddie Fisher and is considered the inspiration for the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing”.

The fire broke out on Tuesday night in a three-and-a-half-story building on the old hotel grounds. Firefighters responding at the scene had to cut through a gate and were hampered by concrete barriers and dense vegetation. An excavator knocked down the structure after the fire was extinguished, according to a Facebook post by the Liberty Fire Department.

It is unclear what the building was used for, although Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild said the main building was demolished about four years ago.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

This former 812-acre resort is about 80 miles (130 km) north of New York City.

Fisher not only debuted at Grossinger’s, but also married fellow entertainer Debbie Reynolds there in 1955. Other big names showing up at the resort were Joel Gray and Leslie Uggams, as well as boxers. Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey.

Grossinger’s operated for nearly 70 years before closing in 1986, suffering the fate of many local hotels after the area’s appeal waned. The site fell into disrepair while attempting to redevelop it.

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