Wagoner County Voters To Decide Deal On Bell's Amusement Park

Monday, May 24th 2010, 10:33 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

COWETA, OK -- Bell's Amusement Park could be re-locating to Wagoner County as part of a much larger development that would include an expo center, fairgrounds and more.

Voters would still have to approve a sales tax hike to make it all happen.

5/24/2010 Related Story: Bell's Amusement Park Signs Lease With Wagoner County

There are still some hurdles before its a done deal, but no doubt about it, right now, Bells coming near Coweta is the talk of the town.

Just like Zingo, Bell's Amusement Park has had its ups and downs. Right now, things are on the upswing.

A deal is on the table for Bell's to move to Wagoner County, and become part of a large development that would also include fairgrounds and an expo center, animal shelter, and OSU extension office.

"Every county sort of has something that puts them on the map, and I think this is something that is really going to put Wagoner County on the map," said Tom Vincent, Wagoner County Commissioner.

The possibility of getting Bell's in Wagoner County is generating a lot of talk among people in the area.

"It would be good for Coweta to have an attraction of some sort," said Jill Van Tuyl. "So I'm all for it."

"Kids would love it," said Brenda August. "Because there's really not anything here in Coweta for kids to do."

Bell's gets a 50-year lease. The 40-acre site would likely be near the Muskogee Turnpike and Highway 51.

"A separate kiddie park, an action park that will have all the big rides for all of the big kids, said Robby Bell, Bell's Amusement Park. "We will do a year round facility, and we will do a water park."

Voters would have to pass a 10 year, quarter cent sales tax hike to pay for infrastructure needs for the complex.

"We've been working on this for about a year and a half," Vincent said. "And we figure that we can pull pretty good from Muskogee and pull pretty good from the Tulsa area too."

For a park that's been around since 1951, and has been shutdown and in storage for more than three years now, the new possibility provides hope for the future -- hope the Tulsa tradition will have new life, just in a different spot.

"Craig Day, The News On 6: "Would you ride Zingo the big roller coaster?"

Ryleigh Hale, Six-Year-Old: "Uh huh!"

Craig Day, The News On 6: "You would?"

Ryleigh Hale, Six-Year-Old: "Uh huh!"

The quarter cent sales tax hike is set for July 27th. If it's approved, the Bell family anticipates being open, at least on a small scale, for all or part of the 2011 summer season.