Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel

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Grossinger's in 2015

Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel was a resort in the Catskill Mountains in the Town of Liberty, near the village of Liberty, New York. One of the largest Borscht Belt resorts, it was a kosher establishment that catered primarily to Jewish clients from New York City. After decades of activity and notable guests, it closed its doors in 1986.


Asher Selig Grossinger moved from New York City to Ferndale in Sullivan County in the Catskill Mountains in the 1900s. There he rented rooms to visitors from New York City. His wife, Malke, operated the kosher kitchen, and Jennie Grossinger (1891–1972), his daughter, was the hostess.[1] They called their home Longbrook House. In 1919, they sold it and purchased a bigger house on 100 acres (0.40 km2), calling it Grossinger's Terrace Hill House.

In 1952, Grossinger's earned a place in the history of skiing as the first resort in the world to use artificial snow.[2] Reportedly, the Grossinger family offered a million dollars to rename the local New York, Ontario and Western Railway train station at Ferndale, NY to Grossingers, but were rebuffed by competing hoteliers.

By the time Jennie died in 1972, the hotel had grown to 35 buildings on 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) that served 150,000 guests a year. It had its own airstrip[3][4] and post office. During his fighting days Rocky Marciano would train at the resort. But in the late 1970s and 1980s, resorts like Grossinger's or the Concord could no longer attract younger guests.

In August 1984, Grossinger’s, in its dying years, promoted a Woodstock weekend to mark the 15th anniversary of the festival.[5] It featured a workshop in tie-dyeing, a musical performance by David-Clayton Thomas, formerly of Blood, Sweat & Tears, a midnight showing of the four-hour documentary "Woodstock," and an appearance by John Sebastian, who advised, "Don't eat the purple tzimmes."[6] Abbie Hoffman, who was thrown off the Woodstock stage by Pete Townshend of The Who for making a political speech, was brought in by Grossinger’s for the promotion.[7]

In 1986, the Grossinger descendants sold the property to Servico.[8] Grossinger's main hotel and main resort areas closed in 1986,[9] but the golf course is still open as of 2015.[10] The members of the golf clubhouse call the course "Big G". Servico failed to reopen the hotel due to the massive costs associated with it. Numerous other companies also failed the same feat. It is owned by Louis Cappelli as of September 2013, who is hoping for casinos to come to the area.[11]


Like most Catskill resorts, Grossinger's grew over time, evolving from a Victorian hotel, later remodeled with Mission-style improvements, through a Tudor-styled expansion in the 1940s and ending with the construction of Modernist-styled accommodations and entertainment facilities in the 1950s and 1960s.The original building, the former Nichols House, was designed by Frank Cottle, a local architect. Competition from nearby resorts drove the 1940s expansion, expanding the dining room on a large scale and creating the Terrace Room club and the Pink Elephant bar. The Terrace Room was expanded and renovated in 1949 by architect Morris Lapidus, one of Lapidus's first hotel commissions.[12]

Further reading[edit]

  • Joel Pomerantz; Jennie And The Story Of Grossinger's (1970)

Richard Grossinger, "New Moon" (1996)


  1. ^ Shepard, Richard F. (November 21, 1972). "Jennie Grossinger Dies at Resort Home. Jennie Grossinger Dies at 80 In Her Resort Home in Catskills.". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-18. Jennie Grossinger, the gentle Jewish mother who transformed a modest Catskills family hotel into a luxurious resort, died early yesterday morning in a ranch cottage on the vast property the world calls Grossinger's but she called home. 
  2. ^ On This Day: March 25, BBC News, accessed December 20, 2006. "The first artificial snow was made two years later, in 1952, at Grossinger's resort in New York, USA. "
  3. ^ 41°47′59″N 074°42′04″W / 41.79972°N 74.70111°W / 41.79972; -74.70111 (Grossinger's/Liberty Airport)
  4. ^ Freeman, Paul (May 11, 2013). "Grossinger's Airport / Liberty Airport, Liberty, NY". Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  6. ^ One Bright Shiny Moment
  7. ^ The Jewish Week
  8. ^ I am the son of Robert Lehman, the managing director of Grossinger's in 1985-1987 who worked for Servico, and I am the owner of
  9. ^ Grossinger's
  10. ^ Grossinger's Golf and Country Club
  11. ^
  12. ^ Padluck, Ross (2013). Catskill Resorts:Lost Architecture of Paradise. Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. pp. 134–149. ISBN 978-0-7643-4317-9. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°47′23″N 74°43′23″W / 41.789809°N 74.722996°W / 41.789809; -74.722996