I love your review. Keep up the good work.
Not to nit-pick on technicalities, but the Catskills were the Borscht-belt well before the 1950’s. I think the Catskill grand hotel tradition got started in the 1890’s, although that wasn’t specifically a Jewish-oriented trade. Things really took off with Jewish summer crowds during the 1920’s, and I think the heyday is generally agreed upon as being the late 1940’s. By the 1960’s the downward slide had already started, as airliner travel made it feasible to go further abroad. (And why go to a beautiful location nearby when you can go to a beautiful location thousands of miles away?) So by the late 1970’s, things had already pretty much devolved to the moribund economic state you see the area in today.
If it’s any consolation, most of the rest of Upstate New York is in even worse shape economically than the Catskills. (Yes, that is possible!)
Want to know the saddest recent occurrence? The Catskill Game Farm closed last summer. That’s part of my childhood–gone forever. I was there on closing day. People were crying as they left at closing time. I was very sad saying "bye" to all those animals (some of them rare and on endangered species lists) and wondering if they were going to end up being used for a "canned hunt" somewhere down in Texas.