Lodge At Cockaigne Ski Area Burns To The Ground

2:21 PM, Feb 2, 2011   |    comments
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Video: Cockaigne "family" Mourns Loss

  • Courtesy: John Conti
  • Courtesy: John Conti
  • Firefighters battled a blaze Monday night at Cockaigne Ski Resort in Sinclairville, NY.
  • Courtesy: John Conti
  • Courtesy: John Conti
  • Firefighters battled a blaze Monday night at Cockaine Ski Resort in Sinclairville, NY.

CHERRY CREEK, NY -Skiers hoping to hit the slopes at the Cockaigne Ski resort will have to wait a little while longer.

The popular Chautauqua County ski resort was supposed to open Wednesday afternoon following a fire last week that destroyed the resort's main lodge.

A representative of the resort's owner says the ski area will now open Friday at 1 PM.

A fire investigator tells 2 On Your Side the blaze which destroyed a historic lodge building last Monday night does not, at first glance, appear to be suspicious.

Firefighters from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties spent several hours battling the fire.

A passing snowplow driver noticed smoke and flames coming from the Austrian Pavilion Lodge.

It took seven different fire companies more than four hours to put out the flames. The structure was a total loss. The lodge was not open at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.

Throughout the following day, many came to take pictures and mourn the loss of the lodge.

"It's just one of these things like seeing the Titanic...and you see this thing going down and it doesn't seem real," said John Carson of Hamburg, who told WGRZ-TV he'd been a patron of Cockaigne for 30 years and also was a member fo its ski patrol.

"When you see this it's just heart breaking for all of us", Carson said.

The lodge was showcased in the 1964-1965 World's Fair in New York City. Following the exposition, it was de-constructed and moved piece by piece by rail car to Cherry Creek where it was reassembled.

Photographer, John Conti, from Fredonia took some photos of the fire and sent them to our newsroom. They are located to the right of this story.

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