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Upstate New York, especially the Catskills has always been a desired area for vacationers. In the 60’s and 70’s it was the driving force behind the economy in many small, otherwise tourist-less towns. Many resorts and hotels popped up to serve the masses of business men and woman and their families who were looking for a bit of the “Country” for their summer vacations. Resorts like The Concord, The Pines, and Swan Lake were huge. Some like the Grossinger Resort were over 1000 acres and even had their own post office and airport. All amenities were thought of right down to the food being 100% Kosher. And  these resorts were not just for the New York City Jewish communities mind you, but they were definitely built around them. For many years these wonderful places were the jewels of upstate. But whether it was money, or casinos, or whatever, those days are gone. The once thriving resorts are now nothing but vandalism and scrapping graveyards slowly being swallowed by nature.

There are still a few that are guarded by time and make for wonderful photo opportunities. A time-capsule into another era. In this case it’s straight out of the 70’s. (Cue the Eagles, Hotel California)


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Not much 1970’s going on here on the outside. In fact, it looks more like something of a grand hotel from the 1930’s.


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In fact, The Hotel Adler in Sharon Springs was built by Louis Adler for a reported $250,000.00 and opened sometime around 1927. Adler was somewhat of a hotel mogul and after selling the property in 1951 for exactly what he built it for, he later owned and operated several famous hot spot hotels in the Miami Beach, Fla. area. The hotel closed for good in 2004.


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The first floor interior sure had an “Overlook Hotel” feeling to it. Like most of these old resorts everything here seems frozen in time like this old switchboard unit. Looking as though it’s operator just stepped out for a bathroom break.


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The big draw in Sharon Springs was it’s mineral springs and spas. After a good soak entertainment was on hand at one of the two stages located in the hotel.


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This one located in the west wing of the hotel was also the main dining area. A little dinner theatre perhaps?


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At the other end of the building is another hall with a stage. Seems “The Chair Show” is going on there.


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Though the audience was rather small.


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Time to take a look at some of the upper floors. To the first floor we go!


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The first thing I notice is a considerable rise in temperature. We had gotten there early and it was around 70°F at the time. Warm and stuffy up here. Creepy shining twins where are you?


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As we explore, I am astounded at the decor in these rooms. There has obviously been someone squatting here. Hope we don’t run into them. This room seems fairly empty.


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The lower floors are “renovated” in some of the most awesome 70’s decor EVER!


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Everywhere there remnants of amenities. Some moved and placed by other explorers. I tend to shoot only what I find. There is no fun in it for me setting up a scene. The mystery comes from finding this stuff and wondering how it got that way.


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I kept picking up these phones, there were a lot of them, and listening for a dial tone. My mind is really playing tricks on me in this heat. In one of the rooms we come across an obvious set shot by a previous explorer.


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Even though it was just someone exploring the place, you have this constant eerie feeling that you are going to turn a corner and look down a hall or peer into a room and someone will be there.


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After about 45 minutes on this floor we start to make our way to the second floor. At this point the temperature outside is pushing 85°F. Inside however is closer to 100°F now. This building is sealed tight so there is no ventilation. As the heat and humidity rise, your brain and body start to feel it. More and more I get the feeling we are not alone here.


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That feeling is amplified when I step into the first room on the 2nd floor and see this on the wall:


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The rooms on 2nd and 3rd floors are older decor but look more recently occupied. Does this scene look warm to you? It wasn’t. It was HOT!


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The outside temperature was now hovering around 96°F. We guessed the temperature was nearing 120°F now and because of the immense heat and humidity, I was seriously not thinking straight. Must. Push. On. This room looked a little cooler. It wasn’t.


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Apparently the 2nd floor had an entertainment horder. This is one of my favorite shots.


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So much to see, so little oxygen!


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This is one of those day that I really wish I didn’t carry all 60lbs of my gear with me! Despite my brain telling me that I was dying from heat exhaustion, we press on to the third floor.


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If the lower floors were all about the rooms, the upper floors were all about the psycho bathrooms.


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At this point I am checking all of these showers to see if there is any water on! Unfortunately, there is not. Soaking wet with sweat and smelling worse than the bathrooms themselves did, it was time to make our way out. Just going down one floor seemed like stepping into a freezer. Maybe a few more shots.


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With it’s tin ceilings and ornate fixtures, this place must have been high class in it’s day.


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It’s hard to believe this place stayed open until 2004. Hardly up to spec with what we expect from accommodations today. You can see that the owners tried to keep up with times but the tourism just was not there to support it. At least most of the stuff here was real and not some plastic facade like you find in a Holiday Inn Express.


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Time to bid farewell to this old hulk. A grim reminder of small towns bypassed by big highways. But I find, the best roads to get from point A to point B, are the ones that don’t have lines on them. And that is where you find amazing places like these. Next time though…I am visiting in the Winter!

~AD

See the whole gallery HERE.

Comments (3)

  1. Angie Bailey Benjamin

  2. So neat

  3. Very cool would never have thought it was still open in 2004

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