Holidays

Abandoned Places: Ghosts of Vacations Past

by Colleen Clark

Grossinger's Resort, Liberty, New York

As you drive past the close-clipped greens of Grossinger's Country Club, you'd never guess that on the same grounds are the decaying remains of what was once one of the country's most famous resorts. In its heyday, the 1,200-acre Grossinger's Resort entertained 150,000 guests per year and had its own airstrip and post office. As a ski resort, it was the first in the world to use artificial snow, and its summer boom times inspired the film Dirty Dancing. Now, as you push open the creaking doors to its indoor pool, the stench of rotting wood and mildew is overwhelming. Orange and white deck chairs sit vacant on a spreading carpet of moss and ferns. In the gutted bar, a row of green stools that once held the likes of Lucille Ball and Elizabeth Taylor sits vacant. In many of the guest rooms, telephones still rest on hooks, Champagne glasses collect dust, and wisps of lace curtains droop on rotting rods. The endless procession of human ephemera—'80s beer cans, desiccated newspapers, abandoned ice skates—is an unsettling portrait of life frozen in time.

[Note: While there are no fences or locks to prevent trespassing, this is private property, and the structures may be unsound. Enter at your own risk.]

Grossinger's Resort
Liberty, New York

Picture courtesy of Walter Arnold Photography

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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