One day when the park was young and small, the Army national Guard Reserve wanted to have a family day and asked if they could have an area to set up for cooking. I thought it was a great idea. My current cooking area consisted of a 28" flat grill offering hot dogs, a small fryer, (single orders) and popcorn.
When they arrived in what I learned as the "typical army setup" with a 3000 sq ft mess tent and enough equipment, food, and organization "for an army", the wheels began to turn.
The following year I built the pavilion, now called The Oasis outdoors. With a cooker I built that could do steaks, roast chickens, and bake whole pigs, a 6 burner single oven and some used under bar coolers I was in the party business. Me grilling, my grandmother making salads, my grandfather cooking chicken and pasta, and a helper. The public loved it. Being Italian and loving to eat, the food was
restaurant quality, the entertainment was miniature golf, go-karts and an occasional band. Group business doubled every year for 7 years and group sales with or without food became 50% of the business. At conventions and trade shows sporting group sale seminars the speakers asked me why I was listening and not talking.
Things change and we had to also. A huge downturn in outdoor parties, companies leaving the state, factories closing, unions cutting back, lives going in different directions dictated our direction. The year previous to this when we reserved a late season outdoor party and feared inclement weather I had taken a 6000sq. ft. warehouse 100' from the pavilion and cleaned it up a little, poured a concrete
floor, and set up an old antique bar that my father acquired some years earlier just to get it out of the way in case I needed it. I didn't, but the addition brought a few new events. A suggestion to me was my food was great, maybe it was time for an expansion into a different market. So with a growing habit of expanding and spending money when everyone else is cutting back, the Oasis indoors
was born. Weddings, x-mass parties, and the fun continued year round.
With frequent changes and upgrades and some unique qualities like the 120 year old Brunswick bar refurbished, hard maple wood floors recycled from the old armory in Syracuse where the Syracuse Nats (a basketball team)used to play, being a private facility, and reoccurring events happy to have a place to call home makes the Oasis a popular venue.
Always with a smile produce corporate events, host wedding
receptions for the kids and grandkids of our first weddings, grill 1 lb. steaks, cook more prime rib than most and help make great memories surrounded by smiling faces, The Oasis indoors and/or out with or without water slides, continues to grow with the rest of Thunder Island.