Mountain Lake Hotel
Moviegoers in the 1980s went wild for “Dirty Dancing,” a movie based on a dance competition at a picturesque mountain resort. That resort is Mountain Lake Hotel, a property in southwest Virginia beloved for its lake and scenery.
The film crew spent three weeks shooting there in 1986. Today, “Dirty Dancing” continues to attract visitors and guests to the property, and the staff maximizes this draw with tours and annual movie-themed events.
“We have 11 of the film locations here at Mountain Lake,” said director of sales Anita Hines. “Our ‘Dirty Dancing’ tours are conducted by our general manager, who actually started working here the day that they began filming. He tells them all of the tidbits that aren’t published anywhere.”
During a tour, participants see the hotel lobby, the front porch, the cottage, the gazebo, the kitchen and other locations that appeared in the film. Some of the key areas, such as the dining room and Baby’s cottage, have been maintained to appear almost identical to how they looked in the movie.
In a typical year, the hotel hosts five “Dirty Dancing” weekends. This year, it will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film’s release with nine special events.
Mount Hood, Ore.
Built as part of the public works initiative of the 1930s, Oregon’s Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood is a unique publicly owned resort property. Every winter during ski season, the property welcomes 350,000 guests. In warmer months, more come to see the historic building they remember from the movies.
“The one that people tend to think of first is ‘The Shining’ with Jack Nicholson,” said Jon Tullis, the resort’s public affairs director. “Stanley Kubrick had an 8-by-10 black-and-white photo of Timberline Lodge, so he came and took some aerial photography. He liked it so much that he built a full-scale model of Timberline Lodge on a soundstage in London to shoot the film.”
Before “The Shining,” Timberline Lodge was featured in 1952’s “A Bend in the River” and “All the Young Men,” a 1960 film starring Sidney Poitier. Today, the hotel and its mountain surroundings also show up in many fashion photo shoots and catalogs from the likes of L.L. Bean.
Many groups staying in Portland visit the lodge during tours of the Mount Hood Loop. In addition to the beautiful scenery, visitors enjoy seeing the Cascadian-style architecture and the hotel’s impressive collection of American art.