[toc]If a certain New Yorker gets his way, “Dirty Dancing” is going to be more than just a movie. Louis Cappelli is hoping to revive the Catskills resort Grossinger’s, which inspired the fictional Kellerman’s from the movie. He hopes the forthcoming Resorts World Catskills will renew enough interest in the region to restore it to its mid-century glory days.
Grossinger’s used to be the top Catskills resort
In the 1950s, Grossinger’s was the place to visit in the upstate New York area. The property even hosted scandalous wedding between Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fischer.
Now though, the property is, well, a dump.
The estate is in such disarray that Cappelli applied to the state to classify a portion of it as contaminated. He hopes the designation, and the government funding that comes with it, is the first step in its revitalization.
He told the New York Times he has high hopes that now is the time to bring Grossinger’s into the 21st century:
“For 17 years I’ve been a lone wolf trying to do this, and I really haven’t been able to accomplish it because of the enormity of the task. But now that the casino is in fact going to be opening up there, I think the opportunity now exists to have this kind of original dream come true.”
Cappelli and Grossinger’s have no affiliation with Resorts World. Nonetheless, the idea of a major Catskills resort rejunivating the area has plenty of people nostalgic for more than just Patrick Swayze.
Rather than create a retro version of Grossinger’s straight out of the 50s, Cappelli envisions a more modern hotel. Instead of ballroom dancing and Vaudeville entertainers, he hopes for yoga and contemporary fine dining.
Are the hopes for Resorts World too high though?
Certainly the idea of once again having the time of your life in the Catskills sounds appealing. However the numbers coming out of the other upstate New York casinos so far are not anything to dance about.
So far, the three new commercial casinos in the upstate area are universally struggling. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it is too early to jump to any conclusions about the new properties. He certainly hopes they find their way soon, as he is the one who okayed four new upstate properties.
Resorts World Catskills is the last of the group to open. When it opens, it will be competing with Tioga Downs, Rivers Casino, and del Lago, which all opened in the last year. Meanwhile, Resorts World is still not scheduled to open for another six months in March of 2018.
Those within the casino industry say the region is too oversaturated for these upstate casinos to succeed. The NY Gaming Commission is more optimistic though. Representative for the commission, Lee Park, told the Lockport Journal it would be more accurate to assess the success of these casinos after the third year of operation.
Senate Gaming Committee chair Sen. John Bonciac actually thinks Resorts World will help revenues. However, these current numbers are hard to completely ignore. In other words, don’t put on your dancing shoes and plan your trip to Grossinger’s just yet.