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WHO ARE WE?
The Pines Hotel website was started on Friday, September 13 2002. It was created to promote interest in archiving what has become one of the most interesting abandoned properties in New York, that of The Pines Resort Hotel in South Fallsburg, NY. We are a group of urban explorers that simply enjoy touring the building and studying what it has become. It is interesting to us because while it would seem that no one would go after it closed, the opposite is quite true. The Pines still has many visitors that come in many forms, ranging from curious teenagers to local the local homeless. It is interesting to take note of the slight changes that occur each time a new person visits. People take souvenirs for themselves and often destroy things, either accidentally or purposefully. Either way, it is a fun and often challenging exercise in forensic analysis trying to figure out why a person did something that they did, or even how. We merely enjoy trying to solve these mysteries.
WHY THE PINES?
The Pines was indisputably not the largest hotel in the Catskills. The Concorde, also now abandoned, boasts 1200 rooms. Why then, do we study The Pines and not some larger building? The Pines has existed for many years, and it's style of construction is interesting, to say the least. While The Concorde is laid out to utilize a great deal of vertical space, The Pines is laid out in a primarily horizontal direction, making the building somewhat of a giant compound. Also, while The Concorde is made primarily out of steel and concrete, many parts of The Pines are made of wood, such as the main building. The Pines evolved over the years as new wings were added. One other primary factor is that security forces actively patrol The Concorde, and The Pines was just left to die with only the supervision of the golf course groundskeepers. In addition, The Pines also has personal sentimental value to the webmaster, as he used to go there as a child.
ISN'T THAT TRESPASS?
It is reasonable to construe this as a possible trespass. At no time did we have express permission from the current owners, Fallsburg Estates LLC, to enter the premises. However, at all times, we entered through the open golf course gate, which leads to the main entrances of the building, and at no time was a no trespassing sign posted. Also, this is not breaking and entering, as there is no lock on any building or any device meant to keep a human out. Under New York State Penal Code Sec. 140.05-140.17, a person is guilty of trespass when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises. This form of trespass is a violation. Until signs are expressly posted, there is no clear reason to believe that no one is allowed on the property, especially when the golf course, which is still open, uses an easement (the access road) that runs through the building. Signs for the building are clearly posted on major routes leading towards the building. The ski chalet, however, which now has no trespassing signs posted, only had signs posted recently, and we have not returned to that area since then. It is our interpretation then, that since the new owners clearly did go through the trouble of putting up no trespassing signs, they intentionally did not post any around the hotel itself, and at no time did we cross paths with any sign express or implied, denoting that the property was off-limits to visitors.

It should be noted that our most recent visit was actually permitted, allowing us a much greater freedom in terms of being able to really see the whole hotel without fear of prosecution for trespassing. This was a special privelege granted to us for one time only, so it does not apply to the casual visitor or reader of this site.

Future visitors may want to keep the prior warning in mind. If you visit, and you see a no-trespassing sign, you are expressly forbidden from entering the property. Keep in mind what we have mentioned about the golf course and it's entrance and any visitor will agree, that there is no way a reasonable person would otherwise suspect that they were not allowed to enter the compound.

If you decide to go, you may want to speak with the groundskeepers at the golf course *first* to check and make sure that they don't mind that you're visiting. They're very reasonable, they'll make conversation with you about the hotel, and also will probably not hesitate to confront you if you are up to no good.
ARE YOU THE ONES TRASHING THIS PLACE?
Absolutely not. We are dedicated to preserving The Pines in every way we can. The motto of the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation is "Take only pictures, leave only footprints." Please respect this if you visit The Pines. Broken glass, fire hazards, and potential trips, slips, and falls are a real risk, even in the building's current state. From a safety perspective, the best thing to do is to not damage anything in the building. Something that you destroy could cause someone to get seriously hurt or injured in the future. Think about the consequences of your actions before you destroy what is, in reality, someone else's property. Think twice before you vandalize The Pines.
Last updated April 21 2010 09:52:40 PM
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