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Fire destroys part of fabled Catskills resort Grossinger’s

LIBERTY, New York — A fire consumed a building at the site of the long-closed Grossinger’s resort, once among the most storied and glamorous hotels in New York’s Catskills.

In its heyday after World War II, Grossinger’s drew hundreds of thousands of vacationers a year, many of them Jewish.

The resort had a 27-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, a nightclub, two kosher kitchens and a 1,500-seat dining room.

It drew crooners like Eddie Fisher and has been cited as an inspiration for the 1987 movie “Dirty Dancing.”

The fire broke out Tuesday evening in a three-and-half story building on the old hotel property. Firefighters who responded to the scene had to cut through a gate and were hampered by overgrowth and concrete barriers.

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An excavator knocked down the structure after the fire was out, according to a Facebook post by the Liberty Fire Department.

At 7:10 PM Tuesday evening the Liberty FD was dispatched to an unknown type fire in the area of Route 52 and Sullivan…

Posted by Liberty Fire Department on Wednesday, August 17, 2022

It was not immediately clear what the building had been used for, though Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild said the main building was torn down about four years ago.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Large buildings on the grounds of Grossinger’s Resort in Liberty, N.Y., on Nov. 6, 2013. (AP/Seth Wenig)

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

Fisher not only made his debut at Grossinger’s, but married fellow entertainer Debbie Reynolds there in 1955.

Other big names to appear at the resort were Joel Grey and Leslie Uggams, as well as boxers Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey.

Under the appreciative eye of a troop of scouts from Downsville, N.Y., Barney Ross, welterweight champ, tapers off workouts at Grossinger Lake, N.Y. (AP Photo)

Grossinger’s operated for nearly 70 years before closing in 1986, suffering the fate of many local hotels after the region’s appeal faded. The site fell into disrepair amid efforts to redevelop it.