At least when the Housemans put Baby in a corner, it was a sanitary and safe space. Now the corners at Kellerman’s aren’t even fit for a lowlife like Robbie Gould. Grossinger’s Catskills Resort, a bucolic family playground in New York said to have inspired the setting in “Dirty Dancing,” sits in a state of crumbled, rotted emptiness, according to the Daily Mail (via Abandoned NYC).
The wholesome summer vacation depicted in the movie, one of privileged families learning the fox trot together and dressing up for dinner, was ancient history by the film’s 1987 premiere, and accordingly Grossinger’s had closed the year before, according to Abandoned NYC. Since then, the property has been left to decay. Where once vacationers had the time of their lives, debris covers the floor, mattresses lie bare and wallpaper slumps to the ground. But there are also signs of its former beauty, such as Mondrian wall tiles remaining in the salon.
“Dirty Dancing” was filmed at a different mountain lodge, but reportedly a summer at Grossinger’s inspired the story. Will Ellis of Abandoned NYC, who took the photos used by the Daily Mail, wrote last year that the resort had another claim to fame besides its connection to Baby and Johnny: it was the first place to use artificial snow, in 1952.
A few commenters on the Daily Mail photo gallery call the story fake because some of the images also appeared in the paper’s photo gallery of Creedmoor State Hospital, a former mental hospital in Brooklyn. Abandoned NYC provided the Creedmoor photos, too, and Ellis confirmed that the Grossinger’s photos are authentic. It appears as though the paper mistakenly labeled some of the resort photos as the psychiatric center. The explanation makes sense, as Ellis points out: “It’s the first I’ve heard of a luxury spa and swimming pool in a state-run mental institution!” Here’s hoping the Creedmoor patients at least got to meet a hot dance instructor every now and then.