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Grossinger's Resort

Updated on June 16, 2018
Elijah DeVivo profile image

Elijah is an Amazon best-selling author, blogger, previous columnist for an award-winning blog, past creative editor, socialite and traveler

All photos belong to me.
All photos belong to me.

History of Grossinger's Resort

The beautiful resort of Grossinger’s is nestled in the Catskills Mountains of New York. Established in 1917 by Austrian immigrants the resort became the epitome of luxury and was the hot spot for affluent New Yorkers. Every summer the rich of New York City would fly into Grossinger’s private air field.

For the first few decades the resort was just like any other, but when it came under management of the original owner’s daughter this is when business began to boom. The hotel spread over 1,200 acres and over 35 buildings. The resort under new management had an indoor swimming pool erected, ice rinks, outdoor pools, walking trails, tennis courts and more made. The hotel was so luxurious that it had over 150,000 guests every single year. Grossinger’s was the first place to ever use imitation snow in the United States.

The hotel became so highly reputable that A-list celebrities like Milton Berle and Jerry Lewis took vacations there. Unbeknownst to me, the beautiful Elizabeth Taylor (one of my idols and inspirations) married Eddie Fisher (Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher’s father).

The main dining hall could seat over one thousand people and the resort had various nightclubs including the swanky “Terrace Room”.

My Visit

When I visited the Grossinger’s Resort I wasn’t too educated on its history, I had no idea that my idol Liz Taylor was married there, but most importantly I had no idea how vast the hotel was. I thought the resort was comprised of one or at most a few buildings, but never did I think there would be over thirty-five buildings! When we arrived on the property I was very perplexed at where to even enter first. I most wanted to see the indoor swimming pool and the dining hall with the double staircase, but I hadn’t a clue as to where they may be. Before arriving, I thought I’d be exploring for an hour or so, but the stay ended up being roughly four hours and even in that amount of time I didn’t see the entire resort.

The first building I entered the floor was so rotted that at some points the planks were completely exposed and whilst walking across some areas I could feel the floor bend in below my feet. At one point the floor board snapped and fell many feet below. I kid you not when I say that any of my next steps could’ve been my last. My instincts drew me to this specific hallway that led to another building, but I instantly turned back when I realized I was not alone: a man was standing right past the dark corridor. He walked the direction I wanted to go, and he held with him at his side a broken chair... So instantly I turned the other way and hurried.

Eventually I found what I thought to be the dining hall. It was a large space, ruins of a fireplace, and double staircase overlooking the dining hall.

We eventually found the indoor swimming pool but before we did I found one of the eeriest places I had ever seen in my experience of exploring abandoned places. It looked as if it was a circus building of some sorts. Inside there were whimsical colors that were now faded. The classic white and red carnival colors, seats, and tent like structures as well as multi-colored juggling balls (the kinds that clowns used). Outside the building there was a stuffed animal dog in the grass covered in muck.

The indoor swimming pool was worth the entire visit. It was devoid of water (for the most part), the diving board still sits, although covered in graffiti. The large ceiling to floor windows circulate the entire room, and the ceiling itself lets light in from the square shaped windows. Nature had reclaimed this place and moss and plants grew from the dampened floors creating a greenhouse look.

A bridge connects the pool area with another building. The building had lots of mattresses, in tact hotel rooms, various satanic symbols on the walls and just to give you a heads up: there are lots of birds hiding in various spots including the rafters. They often flew out of hiding and in the process spooking me half to death.

One of the last things I saw was what seemed to be an administrative office of some sorts. There were multiple rooms filled with desks, heaps of papers and even bills and letters to/from those who had stayed at Grossinger’s. Old telephones were littered here and there and their presence really made it seem like I had stepped back in time.

The resort was once vibrant and full of life, but now it sits in silence. The beauty of the resort is still there, although faded by time. The dancing and dining has ceased but you can almost feel the past echoing throughout the Grossinger’s.

Side Note

Trespassing is forbidden and anyone who is caught will be escorted to the police station. The condition is extremely dilapidated and poses a danger to anyone entering. Seek permission and go at your own risk.

© 2018 Elijah DeVivo

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