by Wendy Kagan
The transformation is the brain child of Indian media mogul Subhash Chandra, chairman of Zee Entertainment and one of the richest men in the world. Last fall, Chandra's company Veria Lifestyle purchased the 1,310-acre Kutsher's property for $8.18 million.
The Kutsher's legacy dates back to 1907, when it opened as a midsize hotel outside of Monticello in Sullivan County. But it wasn't until the 1940s that Kutsher's grew into a destination of legend. That's when Milton Kutsher, a sports enthusiast, expanded the property into a 400-room hotel with an 18-hole golf course, two lakes, and a collection of bungalows. The property soon attracted not just East Coast Jews but also many big names from the sports world. Boxer Muhammed Ali trained at the resort, and basketball star Wilt Chamberlain (who apparently once worked as a bellhop at Kutsher's) considered it his Catskills home. During the resort's heyday, entertainers from Duke Ellington to Jerry Seinfeld graced Kutsher's stages.
In its new incarnation, the property will feature a 265-room resort where guests can spend anywhere from 3 to 21 days enjoying wellness services, indoor and outdoor sports, and biodynamic restaurants. Plans for the property include a 37,000-square-foot spa which will also offer Ayurvedic medical treatments, while activities will range from golf and tennis to yoga.
It's all part of Kutsher's journey from "Oy" to "OM." Stay tuned!