BENEFITING: COMMITTEE FOR CATSKILL RESORT MUSEUM INC
For 150 years, the Catskill Mountains have served the changing needs of Americans seeking a nearby vacation paradise. Their seasonal visits have transformed a hunting and agricultural landscape into an intensely developed tourist mecca. In 1823, the Catskill Mountain House stood alone as a specialized tourist hotel; now bungalow colonies, hotels, country clubs, boarding houses and motels were virtually everywhere.
Films like ‘Dirty Dancing,” “You Can Count on Me,” “A Walk on the Moon,” and countless others were set in or based on the Catskill Mountains and all that it embodies for those that had the pleasure to experience it first-hand. Many comedians, actors, and musicians got their start there, entertaining and delighting vacationers and locals alike.
Since its heyday, many of its surrounding towns, communities, and villages have been depressed
The future Catskill Resort Museum, set to be built in the heart of the Ellenville business district, will resurrect the Catskill resort-era and preserve the memories of those who grew up in it. Its mission is to spread awareness about the era and its impact on 20th century American culture. With efforts to reach people of all ages and backgrounds, the museum will be an interactive, multi-media experience, featuring personal stories and profiles, exhibitions, educational events, and fostering inter-generational dialog and insight to the Catskill’s broad impact.
The 42,300-square-foot museum is designed to evoke the spirit of the grand resorts and will be comprised of:
6,400 sq. ft. auditorium for live performances
3,300 sq. ft. lecture hall for movies, seminars, and live performances
4,300 sq. ft. Hall of Fame
11,000 sq. ft. exhibit space on two floors
2,900 sq. ft. gift shop
5,000 sq. ft. of offices on two floors
Features of the project will include a two-story lobby and exhibit area, second-story outdoor spaces and verandas, a two-story waterfall, and a green, walkable roof.
Exhibits within the museum will showcase the Bungalow Resort Era, complete with a full-scale Bungalow containing artifacts resembling the peak time of the Borscht Belt. It will also highlight the famous comedians who will be enshrined in a Comedy Hall of Fame, as well as and legends of the entertainment industry, including sports, who patronized the famous hotels like Grossinger's and the Concord. Interactive kiosks, photo timelines, films, and more will also be throughout the museum for patrons to enjoy and immerse themselves in the heyday of the Catskills.
This project – one created not just for its historical preservation - will serve as an important impetus to the economic revitalization of the not only the community, but also the surrounding region.
According to the American Alliance of Museums, economically, the “nonprofit arts and culture industry annually generates over $135 billion in economic activity, supports more than 4.1 million full-time jobs, and returns over $22 billion in local, state, and federal tax revenues.” The percentage of leisure travelers that participate in cultural or heritage activities and their indirect spending related to those activities, which is 63% higher than other leisure travelers, is a number that would surely be the boost that not only Ulster County’s local economy needs, but also the entire region..
Join our mission to cherish, celebrate and preserve the great history of the Catskill resort era. Every donation will contribute to the needed finances getting us closer to completing our objective of building the museum. Please support this extremely worthwhile endeavor.
“Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something!”