LIBERTY, N.Y. (WTEN) – A fire Tuesday evening engulfed a building at the site of the long-abandoned Grossinger’s Hotel, once among the most glamorous resorts in the Catskills region of New York.
In its heyday, the property drew hundreds of thousands of vacationers a year, catering mostly to Jewish clientele. It has also been cited as an inspiration for the film “Dirty Dancing.”
The blaze broke out in a three-and-a-half-story building on the old hotel property. Firefighters who responded to the scene had to cut through a gate and were hampered by overgrown bushes and concrete barriers. Fire trucks were forced to stop nearly 1,000 feet from the blaze, the Liberty Fire Department said on Facebook. Long hoses were snaked through the grass and vines and up to the burning building — a white house with signs of disrepair.
It took crews six hours to put out the fire, the cause of which is under investigation.
An excavator knocked down the building after the blaze was out, according to the fire department.
Many of the other structures on the property had already been demolished. It was not clear what the burned building had previously been used for.
Grossinger’s, along with other famed Catskills resorts, was the inspiration for the fictional Kellerman’s resort in “Dirty Dancing.” The film’s screenwriter, Eleanor Bergstein, was inspired in part by her family’s summer vacations at Grossinger’s specifically, according to the Center for Jewish History.
The movie, however, was not shot in the Catskills, but in Virginia for budgetary reasons.