The Jewish resorts were a popular vacation spot for many New Yorkers between the 1920s and the 1970s. Although they ware associated with the Catskills, none of these resorts were within the Catskill Mountains. The term “Catskills” was used broadly at that time to describe a much larger region than the region geographically defined by the Catskill Mountains of Greene and Ulster Counties.
As New York City expanded and changed demographically, t
he Catskills were largely divided up into ethnic regions. There was the Irish Alps, the Italian Alps, the German Alps and the Jewish Alps and they became tremendously popular for the city’s expanding middle classes. By the 1950s, there were more than 500 hotels and 2,500 bungalow colonies and small resorts.
But as ethnicities assimilated the getaways catering to specific ethnic groups were no longer needed. Financial troubles started to plague some of the resorts, some of the old hotels became white elephants unable to upgrade and adhere to more stringent safety laws. Cheaper airfare travel allowed travelers to venture elsewhere. By the 1970s, sadly many of the Catskills resorts were closed, abandoned and left to decay. The area entered a long period of decline.