'Welcome to Kutsher's': The Resort With a 'Dirty Dancing' Connection
"Caroline Laskow and her husband Ian Rosenberg directed and produced the documentary, “Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort,” which explores this [Dirty Dancing] connection, offering an immersive, fly-on-the-wall look into the Kutsher’s Hotel and Country Club, from its beginnings as the Kutsher’s Brothers Farm House in 1907, through its heyday in the mid-20th century, and then to its closing last year."
"Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels ... must see the new documentary, Welcome to Kutsher's. Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost
forever. ... Thank heavens for this wonderful documentary.... Do not miss this film.
"This is the real deal!"
"After closing in 2013, the former Borscht Belt hotel — famed as the inspiration for the fictional “Dirty Dancing” resort — is to be reincarnated as a $250-million yoga center. Kutsher’s continues to live on through film: The documentary Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort was released on DVD and on-demand services last week."
14 NOT-SO-DIRTY FACTS ABOUT DIRTY DANCING
"One of the last bastions of the Catskills’ Borscht Belt, Kutsher’s closed in 2013. At least the doc acts as a relic to the halcyon days of dancing and escapism."
"At some point this summer, there will be rain, or a traffic jam, or a sharknado, and you’ll decide to stay home. And when you do, we recommend making a brisket and watch Welcome to Kutsher's. It won’t be quite the same as a trip to the Catskills, but you also won’t have to worry about Patrick Swayze shtupping your daughter."
"Goodbye, borscht. Hello downward-dog pose.
Kutsher's Hotel starts its journey from Catskills legend to yoga, wellness retreat."
"We saw the film and got a lot of nachas from reliving our days of vacationing in the Catskills."
WLRN's Christine DiMattei interviews husband-and-wife filmmaking team Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg, the directors of "Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resort." (Listen to the
radio feature and read the online article at the link above.)
"Filmmaker Ian Rosenberg has created a loving tribute to the last Catskills resort in his film, Welcome to Kutsher's." Listen to The Book of Life's Heidi Estrin interview Director Ian Rosenberg at the film's opening in Delray Beach, Florida.
George Bettinger, host of the digital radio program The Mom & Pop Shop, interviews the directors of Welcome to Kutsher's. (Listen to the audio file by clicking the
blue arrow below.)
Sullivan County Democrat - Documentary captures last days - and enduring legacy of - Kutsher's
"Welcome to Kutsher's: The Last Catskills Resorts captures more than the rise and decline of a Monticello fixture. Filmmakers Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg caught the final vestiges of a singularly American way of life, of vacationing, of escaping not just urban chaos but centuries of oppression."
Kutsher’s is "celebrated in an elegiac 2012 documentary, Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort, which is being updated in December with a final section chronicling the hotel’s demolition to make way for a yoga retreat.'"
The directors of Welcome to Kutsher's are interviewed by NPR to talk about Kutsher's legendary sports history and its current demolition. (Listen by clicking on the arrow below. Full article linked above.)
The Wall Street Journal
"Examines the history, influence and ethos of the fading Sullivan County resort with an eye and ear for the hotel's legacy that transcends East Coast American Judaism."
"Lovingly lays out the history of the Borscht Belt vacation with a grand smorgasbord of history, photos and film footage, and an appropriate dollop of nostalgic schmaltz."
The Jewish Voice
"An extraordinary historical documentary .... a wonderful family film!"
"The joy of Welcome to Kutsher’s is that it captures what was unique and special about the hotel while also expounding on the larger significance of the Catskills in the American Jewish consciousness."
"The film honors the legacy of those who made summer memories so colorful for so many generations, and sheds new light on a vibrant chapter of the American Jewish experience."
"A witty look at the history and sociology that made the Jewish hotels and resorts of the region rise and, more recently, vanish.... Welcome to Kutsher’s has a great deal of charm and makes a fitting closing-night film for this year’s festival."
“A great documentary about the hotel's heyday and its current faded glory.”
"One priceless moment in the film that's worth noting is the footage of a young, seven-foot-plus Wilt Chamberlain who, while working as a bell hop at the resort, wouldn't bother to climb the stairs. He'd simply wait for you to open your window, then hand your luggage up to you on the second floor."
"This entertaining documentary traces the socioeconomic history of the Borscht Belt, Kutsher’s role as hotbed of Jewish humor and the Kutsher family’s dedication not only to its hotel guests but to its staff—including the tall, young bellhop Wilt Chamberlain, for whom the Kutshers built a special bed. Great archival footage makes you yearn for more."
"In Welcome to Kutsher’s, the multi-talented Midwesterners give viewers a taste (kosher, of course) of the last Jewish resort in the Catskills."
"Last of the Borscht Belt Leaves a Sports Legacy"; an interview with the directors of Welcome to Kutsher's
Julia Moskin comments on how Welcome to Kutsher's is, in part, "a documentary about how the traditional foods of Eastern European Jews were served (and preserved) with American abundance in New York's borscht belt resorts."
"Tighten your borscht belt and prepare for Wilt Chamberlain sightings."
New Jersey Jewish Standard
"A well-crafted look at American Jewish life in transition. Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg not only place a lens on the Borscht Belt era and its profound impact on American life and culture, but like skilled anthropologists they study what in fact is one of the last remaining “artifacts” and its significance."
"Best Picks" of the New York Jewish Film Festival; "This is an amusing portrait of the rise and fall of the Jewish hotels in New York's Borscht Belt."
New York Press
"For those who have harbored a soft spot for Catskills resorts ever since they first saw Dirty Dancing, be sure to see the closing night film, the world premiere of Caroline Laskow and Ian Rosenberg’s Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort, a documentary about the last surviving Jewish resort in the Catskills and its overarching influence on sports, entertainment and “Borscht Belt” comedians."
MetroFocus - Thirteen.Org
“Last Resort: ‘Dirty Dancing’ and the Catskills Legacy. Two documentarians explore the lasting comedic and cultural legacy of the Catskills resort Kutsher’s where the likes of Sid Casesar and Jerry Seingeld launched their careers....”
The Jewish Channel - TV
TJC's Jewish News Week in Review: January 6, 2012 (Kutsher’s story starts at 5:12 in)