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One of the main draws for me in my travels to America has been the Catskill Mountains area of upstate New York and it's many abandoned Jewish holiday resorts. I hope to cross a few more of them off my list on my next trip over but the one which always captured my imagination and the one I was very happy to see last year, Grossingers, is also one of the largest and most famous. Thirty years of decay hasn't been kind. This is one part of 20th Century American society/history which absolutely fascinates me, the meteoric rise and mid-1980s fall of dozens of these resorts as cheap package holidays and cheap flights swamped the market. Unfortunately I don't know the rough dates for the comparison images but most of them likely stem from the 1960s heyday. The first comparison is Grossinger's most iconic area, the indoor swimming pool. This second shot shows the Olympic sized outdoor pool. After the resort closed in 1986, the Cabana buildings and changing rooms were demolished. This next pair shows an often overlooked area of the resort as it's separated from the main site by a road. This was the ski lodge, during the winter when it was snowy there was also a toboggan run down the slope. During the summer months Grossinger's became the first place in the USA to use artifical snow on it's slopes. This pair shows the inside of the Tennis Lodge, located between the all-weather outdoor courts and the indoor courts which were accessed up the small staircase. And whilst it's not a direct comparison as none of my photos show the perfect angle, this last pair shows the then recently constructed 'Jennie G' hotel building with what it looks like today. After closure in 1986 the two-storey walkways between it and the main complex were demolished. I hope this provided some interest to you guys
So here we are, the final chapter in my American urbex adventure. When I first started planning my trip in December 2013 I was browsing around for places to see and one place immediately caught my eye - Grossinger's Resort, in the middle of the Catskill Mountains area of New York. The photo of the iconic indoor swimming pool captivated me and from that moment I knew I simply had to see it. As the plans progressed I found someone who could make it happen and all was set, until a week before the day we were due to go and the matey with transport pulled out. So I hastily managed to reorganise it and we ended up getting a bus to a town in the middle of nowhere, with a real back-woods feel and began the mile-long walk to the resort. Before long we could see the famous high-rise accomodation block 'Jennie G', named after Jennie Grossinger one of the resort's founders. With the sounds of us trampling through the trees towards the site drowned out by some noisy roadworks on a nearby bridge we were in undisturbed. I couldn't believe I was finally stood in somewhere I had dreamed about seeing for so long. Even in it's massively trashed state, I was elated. A bit of background to the location... Almost as soon as it closed in 1986, Servico set about the demolition of eight of the buildings in preparation for the planned remodelling/redevelopment that never happened. These included the Playhouse, the Conference Centre, a few of the accomodation buildings, buildings around the Olympic-sized outdoor pool and the original main entrance lobby building. Currently nearly thirty years later the majority of the buildings are in a terrible state, the water damage is the worst I have ever seen on any explore anywhere, most of the buildings were constructed with mainly wooden floors of which many are collapsed or too weak to walk on any more. Still the site is massive, we spent five hours there and saw pretty much everything we could working our way around the areas too unsafe to walk through. In one building that doesn't seem to get much attention as from the outside its a pretty non-descript bland thing we found a room full to the brim with boxes and boxes of Grossinger's stationery, luggage tags, brand new logbooks and receipt books still wrapped in cellophane and a draw full of the promotional booklets produced by Servico publicising the renovation and new buildings that were going to be built from 1986 onwards which was really rather poignant as it never happened - so many 'what if?'s.... The Catskills area is littered with abandoned Jewish resorts and other such buildings but Grossinger's is the largest and most iconic ruin of a bygone holiday era. In the month before my visit, Louis Capelli's plan for a casino to be built where Grossinger's currently stands was rejected in favour of another location so for now at least the buildings on the massive site will continue to slowly fall down. The Jennie G, the walkway between the main buildings and itself was demolished in 1986. Big thanks for following all my adventures from America, I can't wait to go back as there is so much left to see. Many more photos from Grossinger's here https://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157649180368615/