Abandoned New York hotel that inspired ‘Dirty Dancing’ suffers devastating fire

A fire broke out at one of New York’s Catskills most famous hotels, forcing the local fire department to demolish the abandoned building that once served as the inspiration for the 1987 hit Dirty dancing.

Grossinger’s resort town in New York State’s popular resort area in the Catskills Mountains was consumed by flames on Tuesday, the Liberty Fire Department said in a Facebook post.

The flames ensnared the dilapidated building that was part of the once glamorous resort compound, which included a 27-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, a nightclub, two kosher kitchens and a 1,500-seat dining room.

It attracted crooners like Eddie Fisher and Eleanor Bergstein, the screenwriter responsible for the 1987 film starring Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze has been quoted in several interviews as mentioning Grossinger’s – the place where she vacationed as a child – cited as a source of inspiration for the film.

The fire first broke out Tuesday night in a three-and-a-half-story building on the property. Firefighters reported initially having difficulty gaining access to the scene after being blocked by a gate that had to be cut through due to overgrowth and concrete barriers.

The Liberty Fire Department, the closest town to the remote and previously idyllic resort, said plumes of smoke pouring from the building could be seen several miles from the blaze.

Shortly after the flames dispersed, an excavator arrived to demolish the remains of the abandoned and crumbling building, according to a Facebook post from the Liberty Fire Department.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Sullivan County fire coordinator John Hauschild told the Associated Press. The resort’s main building was demolished four years ago, Mr Hauschild confirmed, adding he wasn’t sure what the building, which burst into flames this week, had been used for lately.

The former 812-acre resort is located approximately 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of New York City.

Singer Eddie Fisher feeds his bride, actress Debbie Reynolds, a slice of wedding cake after their wedding at Grossinger’s in Liberty, NY, September 26, 1955

(AP1955)

In addition to making his debut at Grossinger’s, Mr Fisher married entertainer Debbie Reynolds there in 1955. Other big names to perform at the resort included Joel Gray and Leslie Uggams, as well as boxers Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey.

At its peak of popularity, the resort saw over 150,000 visitors crossing its threshold each year. A Gothamist The article cited a 1954 review of the destination that described it as the world’s most valuable asset, saying it was “for resort hotels like Bergdorf Goodman for department stores, Cadillac to cars, minks to furs and tiffany to jewelers.”

Grossinger’s operated for almost 70 years before closing in 1986 and suffered the fate of many local hotels after the area’s appeal faded. The site fell into disrepair due to efforts to rehabilitate it.

With files from The Associated Press

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/new-york-dirty-dancing-hotel-fire-b2147649.html Abandoned New York hotel that inspired ‘Dirty Dancing’ suffers devastating fire

Dais Johnston

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