Are the Catskills Always in Season?

  |  August 27, 2012

The Old Kutsher’s

Well, we hope so, because “The Catskills: Always in Season” is the winner of the tourism-promoting Catskills slogan contest.

That’s not a surprise. It’s a safe slogan, and it speaks to the need to promote year-round tourism up here. Does it do the trick of distancing the region from its Borscht Belt past? Of recreating the place as an upscale, modern destination that can compete with global travel?

Well, we’re of the mind that the Catskills should embrace its Borscht Belt past, and figure out a way to repackage it for the future, sort of the way the Kutsher’s resort — while ailing on its original site upstate — is now an upscale Tribeca restaurant.

We’re not saying $12 matzoh ball soup is the answer, not unless six bucks of it is donated to the restoration of the Borscht Belt (which, by the way, is a great idea if we do say so ourselves). Rather, we think that wealthy New Yorkers should take an interest in the fate of the Catskills, especially the poorer parts, in Sullivan and Delaware Counties. Buy up and restore and old bungalow colony. Make an artists’ and writers’ retreat. Open a survival skills camp for city kids with too much money and not enough outdoor time.

The possibilities are endless, and the one percenters are looking for good places to put their cash. Buy the expensive soup, yes, but why not pick up a bungalow colony, too?

Read On, Reader...