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TimeQuest Adventure Park celebrates 25 years

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LOUISVILLE — For the past 25 years, children and their parents and grandparents have enjoyed the offerings at TimeQuest Adventure Park, whether it was a trip down the water slide, up to 36 holes of mini-golf or an adventure in the 50 Acre Woods as part of the TimeQuest Safari Ride.

Thomas R. Dishaw Sr., who operates the park with his wife, Jean, and son, Thomas Jr., said, “We’re the longest-running family fun park in Northern New York. The one in Alex Bay will turn 25 next year.”

The park opened in 1988 as a nine-hole miniature golf course. Expansions included the addition of a water slide, which was removed under state order. Though Mr. Dishaw said he was told later by the state that he could keep the water slide, it already had been taken down and would have faced onerous state regulations if put back up.

“So we ended up closing the slide and going with mini-golf. It’s been a challenge, but it has worked out great, every year, except for this year, which isn’t the course’s fault, but because of the weather.”

So far, the course has been closed or had to close early 19 times because rain, Mr. Dishaw said.

“Last year we only got rained out twice,” he said. “Some people would play in the rain, but we can’t allow it; it’s too risky.”

Both of the golf courses and the petting zoo, with pygmy goats, ducks, geese and several other varieties of birds, are open for business. But Mr. Dishaw hasn’t yet been able to take any guests on the park’s safari ride through what he likes to call the 50 Acre Woods featuring Winnie the Pooh: Much of the land is under water.

“Last year by this time we had already brought more than 300 people through on the safari,” he said.

With forecasters calling for another week of hot weather and a few days in a row without rain, Mr. Dishaw said, he’s optimistic about opening the safari ride.

“If we get a couple of more days like this one, it will help dry things up,” he said recently during a hot and muggy afternoon.

The owners pride themselves on low prices. Eighteen holes of mini-golf is $4 per person, and soda and ice cream are 75 cents.

As for the safari, Mr. Dishaw names off beavers, deer, fishers, otters, groundhogs, muskrats and even a wolverine.

While the Dishaws are happy to celebrate TimeQuest’s 25th anniversary, Mr. Dishaw said, this year could be the park’s last.

“My wife and I are getting too old, so we’re probably going to try and sell it,” he said. “What I would really like to see is someone come in and put in a bigger petting zoo, especially since we have 60 acres to work with.”

Although many recreational businesses struggled over the past few years, Mr. Dishaw said, TimeQuest’s low prices amount to a “recession-proof” business.

“The last four or five years have been great,” he said.

Asked why he decided to open a family fun park, Mr. Dishaw said he and his wife at one time owned and operated the Lighthouse Restaurant next door.

“We had the land and it was something I always wanted to do,” he said. “We have more land here than the original Disneyland in California. I guess you could say this was our dream come true.”

TimeQuest Adventure Park can be found on Facebook by searching for “TimeQuest Mini Golf.”

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