"Welcome to Kutsher's"
  • "Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort" is a documentary that follows the rise and fall of the Kutsher's Hotel and Country Club throughout its 100-year existence. As with the fictional Kellerman's Resort in "Dirty Dancing," the large outdoor pool at the real life Kutsher's, which was located in New York's Catskill Mountains, was the focus of summer fun (and flirting) for the resort's guests and the lifeguard staff.
    Mark Kutsher
  • Although it's never been officially decreed that Kutsher's was the inspiration for "Dirty Dancing," the Kutsher family, members of the staff and long-time guests say there are similarities that the film borrowed from the hotel and other Borscht Belt resorts in the region. Shown here are teenagers at Kutsher's in the 1960s.
    Sheldon Goldstein
  • Dance lessons were a regular part of the nightly entertainment at Kutsher's, which was family owned and operated for more than 100 years until it was sold in 2014. Decades before "Dancing with the Stars," Kutsher's had a regular Champagne Hour dance competition where guests showed off what they learned and competed for a bottle of champagne.
    Howard Sann
  • The Dining Room staff at Kutsher's pose for an annual picture in 1964. Much of the wait staff was made up of students working summer jobs to help pay for college or graduate school, appealing to the daughters of guests, just like the not-so-trustworthy Max Cantor character in "Dirty Dancing."
    Mark Kutsher
  • Kutsher's indoor pool is shown here in the 1980s, around the time "Dirty Dancing" was released. The resort's owner Helen Kutsher commented that even for guests who didn't swim, they wanted to know that their hotel had both indoor and outdoor pools. "They wanted everything" she recalls in the documentary, "Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort."
    Mark Kutsher
  • In summer 1954, a high school basketball star named Wilt Chamberlain worked as a bellhop at Kutsher's Country Club by day, and at night played on the resort's basketball team made up of top college talent. The Kutsher's team, led by then-Kutsher's athletic director and Celtics legendary coach, Red Auerbach, would compete against the teams of other Catskill hotels to entertain the guests. For Chamberlain, it was the beginning of a life-long friendship with the Kutsher family.
    Mark Kutsher
  • A rare quite moment at a Kutsher's Country Club lounge is shown in this late 1960s photo. Although the guests at Kutsher's had the opportunity to participate in almost non-stop activities, sports and entertainment, many often chose to just relax, gossip and watch everyone else run around by sitting in one of the resorts many open gathering spaces.
    Sheldon Goldstein
  • The Maurice Stokes Charity Basketball Game, co-created by Milton Kutsher, was first played at Kutsher's in 1959 and lasted for nearly 40 years. Lew Alcindor, before he became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, had his pro-debut at the charity game in 1969. In this photo, he can be see playing with Walt Clyde Frazier and Wilt Chamberlain on Kutsher's indoor basketball court.
    Sheldon Goldstein
  • Kutsher's had a long tradition of hosting championship boxers during their training periods before title fights. Floyd Patterson is shown here during a post-workout interview, and other boxing greats who trained at Kutsher's included Ezzard Charles, Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks.
    Howard Sann
  • Kutsher's was part of the Borscht Belt circuit that gave birth to American stand-up comedy. Classic comedians that played Kutsher's included Joan Rivers (seen here backstage with the Kutsher family), Jerry Seinfeld, Sid Ceaser and Andy Kauffman (who wrestled women from Kutsher's audience one Thanksgiving weekend).
    Mark Kutsher
  • In its heyday during the mid-20th century, Kutsher's guests had nightly entertainment from the biggest stars, which was part of the all-inclusive nature of the Catskills experience. Jazz giants like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, seen here with Kutsher's then-CEO Milton Kutsher, provided music for Kutsher's guests to dance the night away.
    Mark Kutsher
  • Friars Club Dean Emeritus Freddie Roman brought down the house when he performed in 2007 for Kutsher's 100th anniversary season. Freddie is seen here on the Starlight Ballroom stage at Kutsher's in an image from the documentary, "Welcome to Kutsher's."
    "Welcome to Kutsher's"
  • "Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort" is an award-winning documentary film that captures the full "Dirty Dancing"-era Catskills experience through a close up look at Kutsher's over its 100-year rise and fall. Available on DVD and VOD starting June 23, 2015.
    "Welcome to Kutsher's"
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