With a new MTV series filmed in Tannersville set to air at the end of the month, locals have mixed feelings concerning the impact the show will have on the town.
“Winter Break: Hunter Mountain,” a reality show follows eight, single, 20-somethings spending their winter break skiing, snowboarding and partying in the town of Hunter. SallyAnn Salsano, the creator and executive producer of Jersey Shore, along with MTV, brought their reality show format to upstate New York.
The cast frequented many restaurants and bars in Tannersville including Slopes Nightclub, The Spinning Room and Ronni MacGregor’s Pub. Many locals hope the show will attract publicity from tourists and snowboarders.
“A lot of people are tired of all the powdery snow on the West Coast. said 22-year old Dustin McDonald, lifetime resident of Tannersville. “They want to come to the “Ice Coast,” and get some speed.”
Mike Ausanio, a 20-year resident of Hunter witnessed the cast’s appearance in the pub. One night, he saw some cast members getting frisky on a pool table.
Slopes Nightclub manager Christopher Hack commended the show’s contribution to local businesses. Cast and crew members always came with their own money and spent a large sum at local businesses.
“Everyone saw an uptick in business,” said Hack. “They’re not trying to promote or destroy this town by any means.”
However, some residents remain skeptical of the impact the show will have on the town.
Tannersville is known as “the city painted in the sky,” for its early years as an artist’s colony. Those who wish to uphold this reputation fear the show paints an ugly picture of a town with rich artistic culture.
Laura Lanchantin, 26, is a three-year resident of Tannersville and a SUNY New Paltz graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting. She was adamantly displeased with the cast of the show.
Lanchantin recounted the MTV crew parking in front of The Spinning Room with large black SUVs that blocked her car in. When she approached the crew to ask them to move, they laughed at her and dismissed her request. She was late to work that day.
“They rolled up here like they owned the place and did not try to assimilate at all,” said Lanchantin. “It’s sad to see people disrespect the land I love.”
Lanchantin also witnessed cast members running around Main Street in Tannersville, intoxicated and throwing glass bottles at each other.
MTV was able to keep many of their antics within the town while filming. Those who wished to be involved signed contracts and waivers.
“It was chaos anytime they filmed,” said Karen Quam, a four-year resident of Hunter. “We were all having breakfast at Selena’s Diner and we had to sign waivers whether we wanted to be filmed or not.”
These waivers made many residents and local businesses hesitant to make statements about the show. Hunter Mountain, where all of the snowboarding and skiing was filmed, declined to comment as well.
Holly Velez is a member of the Hunter Foundation, located in Tannersville. It is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to refurbishing the local and neighboring communities. She claims the outcome is ultimately unpredictable.
“The show has not aired so we are not sure how it has impacted our town as of yet,” said Velez.
Winter Break: Hunter Mountain will air on Feb. 27 at 10:30 p.m., followed by an international release. Several members of the cast will be promoting the show at Slopes Nightclub this Friday night.