Borscht Belt skiing at Grossinger’s in the Jewish Alps!
Grossinger’s Catskill Resort Hotel was a resort in the Catskill Mountains in the town of Liberty, New York. It is part of the Borscht Belt. 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 early 1900s. There he rented rooms to visitors from New York City. His wife Malke operated the kosher kitchen, and Jennie Grossinger, his daughter, was the hostess. They called their home Longbrook House. In 1919, they sold it and purchased a bigger house on 100 acres 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. By the time Jennie died in 1972, the hotel had grown to 35 buildings on 1,200 acres that served 150,000 guests a year. It had its own airstrip and post office. Eddie Cantor discovered Eddie Fisher here. During his fighting days Rocky Marciano would train at the resort. But in the late 1970s and 1980s, resorts like Grossinger’s could no longer attract younger guests.
In 1985, the Grossinger descendants sold the property to Hotels International. Ultimately, after aborted renovation attempts, Grossinger’s main hotel and main resort areas closed in 1986. Hotels International lost the property in foreclosure and currently the property is considered abandoned.
Supposedly, the phrase “Borscht Belt” originated at Grossinger’s. Paul Grossinger, son of the founders of the hotel,
“Seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, borscht in a glass was served at Grossinger’s. Abel Green, the editor of Variety, got on us and coined the
phrase the Borscht Belt. Way down deep we all thought it was an ethnic slur. Maybe it was. But then there were some who took it as a red badge of courage.”