The Borscht Belt is burning: In the Catskills, abandoned resorts keep catching fire


By Luke Tress

(New York Jewish Week) — On a cold night last week, Barbara Hoff, the owner of an antique store in the Catskills, heard from a friend in the local fire department that the Nevele Grand Hotel was burning.

Hoff, who lives in the town of Cragsmoor on the Shawangunk Mountains, looked down into the valley below her home. She saw a smear of orange flames framed by the silhouettes of dark trees in the distance.

Hoff, 70, remembers another era, decades ago, when the Nevele was a bustling summer retreat for a largely Jewish clientele. At one time, this once-grand resort boasted 430 rooms,...

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