June 22, 2021

Catskills Summer Season Begins Early with Crowds, Traffic

Monticello…It was only June 18th, but it very much looked like mid-Summer. Traffic from New York City was heavy with some trips taking nearly 4 hours, almost double a normal trip. Route 42, one of the main roads in the Catskills, was at a virtual standstill due to construction. The parking lot at both the Shoprite Mall and the nearby Walmart were filled, well beyond a regular Friday afternoon. At Mountain Food, Abe waited nearly 90 minutes to reach one of the cashiers. The Catskills, which is slowly evolving into a year-round community with many kosher stores open, appears to be preparing for a record post-Covid summer, fueling unprecedented sales. The upscale Brooklyn-based Breadberry Supermarket will be selling many of their gourmet items in Landau’s in South Fallsburg, one of the busiest kosher supermarkets in the Catskills. A large new supermarket opened in Liberty, NY. The early start to the season was largely due to a shortened summer season with the eve of Rosh Hashanah falling on Labor Day this year and many Jewish schools planning to begin classes in late August, rather than early September. In fact, Kosher Today has learned that many developments are planning to be open for Rosh Hashanah and Succoth. Retailers say that the summer population in the Catskill Mountains appears to have nearly doubled in the last five years. Many new developments were built, and others slated for construction in the coming years, straining local resources in some cases. Chasidic Jews are flooding the Catskills with some even beginning to take up permanent residency in the Upstate kosher enclave. At least one developer is planning to build year-round housing and commercial support.