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Thunder Island

“The most fun in the sun, Where you meet everyone, Here on Thunder Island!”

Maybe you remember that jingle from years past when summer included a trip to Thunder Island in Fulton, New York?

New owners Ron and Elizabeth Falise want to be sure it’s your destination of choice this summer —and all year round— for parties, banquets, events, picnics, and water park fun for the entire family.

New owners Ron and Elizabeth Falise want to be sure Thunder Island is your destination of choice this summer —and all year round— for parties, banquets, events, picnics, & water park fun for the entire family.

We took the less than half-hour drive from Syracuse to the park on the sunny first day of summer as the team was setting out lounge chairs, checking pool temperatures, touching up plantings, and making sure the park was looking both the way you remember, and a brighter, fresher, newer “wow!” as the summer season gets under way.

But Ron Falise, who met us at the park, explained that though he and his wife/business partner had taken ownership of the park last fall, this was far from the first of their events. Dozens of weddings, corporate events, and private events have already been hosted in the Oasis banquet hall, just one part of the entertainment complex, which now includes the banquet hall, park, water park, miniature golf course, go-cart track and zip line!

It’s their goal, Falise explained, to help you and your family relive old memories, and make new ones, as well. To that end, they have worked hard to maintain some of the look and feel of the park’s tradition, but with a clean, fresh, and expanded footprint.

Officially, the company is Chestnut Event Services, DBA Thunder Island – and that will give you a clue about the owners and what they bring to Thunder Island and its future in the Fulton area.

Ron Falise is a “local,” if by that we can include growing up in the area and working on his grandparents’ muck and potato farm. As owner of a security company, he developed a knowledge of the inner workings of events – Harbor Fest, Taste of Syracuse, at the Landmark Theatre. And an event rental company made the details of running attractions like a Bounce House, or engaging Face Painters, part of the repertoire. Oh, and another clue: he was a teacher working in middle school technology classes. Put them all together, and they add up to a team committed to the local area, with expertise in handling crowds of people out for a worry-free fun time, and a special commitment to families and kids.

The Oasis banquet hall is just one part of the entertainment complex, which now includes the banquet hall, park, water park, miniature golf course, go-cart track and zip line!

Falise explains that he remembers his own good times at Thunder Island as he was growing up, and wanted to bring that experience to more families, and at the same time to help the community he cares about prosper. He plans to see Thunder Island woven into the fabric of the area: buying local, and providing a place where Fulton area families can enjoy events and fun all year long. He envisions the Oasis (what he calls Oswego County’s hidden gem) busy with themed dance evenings —a “Sock Hop,” or a Roaring Twenties party— private events for local companies, country line dancing, a comedy club – if you mention an idea he nods and says, “We’d try that. If someone wants to come and try an event, we’d like to bring it to the area.”

Jungle Golf is the shady jungle-themed miniature golf course at Thunder Island.

The Falise’s have the facility ready to offer all the options already named, and have in the works plans to double the size of the outdoor area, with more slides and a 150-acre RV park so patrons can come, park, relax, and enjoy a summer stay all in one location.

But with all the excitement and expansion, Falise stresses that there are two things Thunder Island promises to keep just right: the size and relaxed atmosphere, and the owners’ hands-on involvement.

“We want our guests to be able to relax and know their kids are nearby in an area designed just for them,” he explains. “And we plan to be out among our guests, talking, mingling, saying hi. We don’t want this to be a corporate-type park where you don’t know the people who own it.” The Falise’s are committed to the area, and to taking Thunder Island to the next level.

And as we walked the park, from the shady jungle-themed miniature golf course, to the big-big-big water and tube slides, to the kiddie pool lined with parent-friendly lounge chairs, to the child-friendly zip line and bright enticing snack bars – we could hear the summer sounds of water splashing, children laughing, and kids of all ages making enduring memories.

The kiddie pool is lined with parent-friendly lounge chairs.

Let summer begin – Here on Thunder Island!

Nancy Roberts
Writer, voice over artist, information achitect, very curious person.