Rainbow Mountain Resort, Celebrating 40 years!
Updated: Feb 26
Welcome to the blog for the Rainbow Mountain Resort! Please join us for a tour of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going!
Located in the Pocono Mountains, the historical Rainbow Mountain Resort has served as a blissful getaway spot for the LGBTQ community and friends since 1981. Our guests regularly return for our sparkling pool, vibrant club, beautiful trails, and picturesque hotel.
Situated on 26 acres of Pennsylvania at its best, the Rainbow Mountain Resort has always strived to maintain a tolerant, fun, and unique atmosphere for every kind of person, from every walk of life. For four decades, we have been celebrated the world over for our boisterous Halloween parties, unforgettable drag shows, hysterical karaoke nights, and impeccable hospitality.
Vintage Rainbow Mountain Resort logos
Now let’s take a look at how the Rainbow Mountain Resort got here. In 1829, Antoine Dutot opened the Kittatinny Hotel, planting a flag in what would come to be known as the Poconos, one of the most popular tourist areas in the northeastern United States. Mr. Dutot could not have picked a better location, as the Pocono Mountains are nothing short of paradise, regardless of season. In the summer, there’s swimming, hiking, and boating. In the winter, the mountains offer a premier selection of slopes for all of your skiing and snowboarding needs.
Sky Hi Lodge in the Poconos travel brochures
Our story begins in 1902. This is when building that now houses the Rainbow Mountain Resort was erected. Truck Stop and Lodge was built Pennsylvania tough, on top of one solid rock, and it stands to this day. You can still visit and sleep in the old lodge building to get your share of Poconos history. Fast forward to 1920, this is when the Lodge took the name of North View Lodge because, who doesn’t love a north view! In 1931, after years of success as an idyllic getaway, the North View saw fit to build the world’s largest above-ground concrete pool. They really don’t make them like this anymore. To this date, our pool continuous to be one of our biggest attractions during the summer months
The Poconos was called “honeymoon capital of the world”
by Life Magazine in the 60's
For seventy years the popularity of the Poconos increased, and it became the hot spot for visitors from Philadelphia and New York City. By 1963, Life magazine called the area the “honeymoon capital of the world.”
It was around this time in 1951 when our resort was renamed Sky-Hi Lodge. Thanks to the huge pool and easy access to recreational activities, the place was a hit, all while the popularity of the Poconos exploded, thanks to the introduction of water sports, skiing, and shopping.
SkyHi Lodge vintage flyer
In 1981, the Sky-Hi Lodge was renamed Rainbow Mountain Resort - the mission: to become a haven for the underserved gay and lesbian community. The resort immediately cultivated a loyal following, as it was resolutely committed to good times, good friends, and perfect hospitality.
Guests to the newly rebranded “Rainbow Mountain Resort” 1981
Sadly, the 90’s and aughts brought decline to the Poconos, as some resorts closed, and others failed to upgrade. Through the many challenges of this era, the Rainbow Mountain Resort stayed strong, relying on its expansive web of friends, allies, partners, and beautiful clientele to maintain its commitment to superlative hospitality.
As they say, it’s always darkest before the light, and in recent years the area has seen an explosion of growth and activity, thanks to the migration of Brooklynites and a new wave of international visitors who have discovered this hidden gem. These news faces can’t get enough of our fresh air and endless attractions and we welcome them all!
The modern Rainbow Mountain Resort wants to honor its beautiful and complicated past, by establishing ourselves as a continuing source of inspiration and safety in the modern world. During the AIDS epidemic, Rainbow Mountain raised money for FACT (Fighting AIDS Continuously Together) through a series of world-renowned live events. This dynamic commitment to activism (and fun) remains with us through new challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic, which started in early 2020.
Guest to the resort during the Covid-19 Pandemic, 2020
When gay marriage was made legal in 2015, we saw that as a major milestone, and proof that hard work, determination, and commitment to change can accomplish anything. We here at the Rainbow Mountain Resort want to keep that spirit alive by finding new, effective, and dynamic ways to serve our community.
In 2019, we established the Community Care Initiative, which donates a percentage of our resort bookings to organizations supporting LGTBQ causes. In 2020, we sponsored and hosted the first annual Pocono PRIDE Community Day, an entertaining event that shared resources with the Poconos’ LGBTQ community. Drag Race competitions, Party Under the Stars, Pride on The Mountain, and Dive-In Movie Nights are just some of the many events we have hosted while reinventing ourselves as a source of modern fun and relaxation. Across the decades, people have gathered here to connect with nature, make new friendships, and build community. We want this to continue!
Reinvent, resurrect, rebuild, and relive – that’s our motto – and as we approach our 40th anniversary, what better way to honor the past than by designing the future? The Rainbow Mountain Resort has been a longstanding anchor in the LGBTQ community, and we are committed to keeping it that way to create a bright present and future by honoring our past. We will continue to foster an environment built on diversity, and to establish a home away from home where our guests are at the center of the next chapter in our history.