In 2017, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Dirty Dancing in theaters, the hotel swarmed with throngs of movie fans and journalists from all corners of the globe who traveled to southwestern Virginia to celebrate the film. I was interviewed by such diverse publications as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Baltimore Magazine, as well as foreign outlets like Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and Danish, Dutch, English, and Canadian news and travel publications. I hope when reporters return to document the fortieth anniversary in 2027, the lake will be full.
What I’m trying to do in this book, as best as I can, is to convey the essence of a Dirty Dancing weekend via my experiences at Mountain Lake. For those unable to make the pilgrimage to our mountain retreat, I hope this will suffice. For those planning a vacation to the hotel, I hope this memoir serves as a handy reference guide for your future trip. And last, for those who have made the sojourn at some point in past years, I trust it will stir fond memories.
Whatever your situation may be, my intention is to elicit an emotional response in not only those who feel a deep affinity for the movie but also those who love Mountain Lake and this beautiful and inspiring part of the country. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time at the hotel, especially the time I spent interacting with the guests. Admittedly there is a breathtaking beauty to the daybreak on the mountain, and the clear night sky and its blanket of stars are true candy for the soul. But it was the guests I was blessed to meet and befriend that left the most indelible impression on my heart.
Now, together, let’s have the time of our lives.
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