Bell's Amusement Park Is Now History At The Fairgrounds
Monday, June 25th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6
It's not the way they wanted to leave it, but Bell's Amusement Park has officially come to the end, at least at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. After several extensions the deadline was midnight Sunday. It also ends the sometimes stormy relationship between the Bell's and county leaders. The News On 6â€™s Steve Berg reports Bell's was at the fairgrounds for 56 years, and in just a few months they were gone. But Robbie Bell hopes not for long.
The background looks starkly different without the Zingo rising up in the distance. But it's still out there says Robbie Bell, along with most of the rest on the rides, in pieces.
"Fortunately we were able to secure all of our rides, except for the Chili Pepper Plunge, and all of our concessions, games, and equipment, all of our tools, y'know we have a huge maintenance area. We do all of our own maintenance and stuff," said Bellâ€™s owner Robbie Bell.
Even though it's a moot point now, Bell says he's still mystified why the county wanted them to move.
"I think the entire process was wrong," he said. â€œWe're probably the best tenant the fairgrounds has ever had. In a single season, Bell's will pay more than the ballpark and the water park combined. I'd love for somebody to explain to me the financial sense of why this was a good move."
It's been an emotional rollercoaster for the Bell's, and a physical strain as well.
"My dad is out here with a cutting-torch in his hand and he's 67-years-old, and he's working like he's 27," said Bell. "It is definitely a relief to have this part of the nightmare behind us."
Bell estimates it would take $5 million to replace the infrastructure they could not take with them, and set up a new amusement park. He doesn't know where that money would come from, or where they might relocate.
"Hopefully we'll be able to regroup and get reestablished somewhere else, and I know that if we do that our customers will come back," Bell said.
The News On 6 made calls Monday to county officials, but did not hear back from them. In the past, they have said the space will be used for parking for the fair and the Arabian horse show, and then there might be other uses after that. We're also waiting to hear the final price tag for taxpayers for the cleanup.
Watch the video: Bye-Bye Bell's
11/8/2006 Bell's Amusement Park Lease Expires
11/9/2006 No Change Likely On Bell's Amusement Park Decision
11/10/2006 Bell's Says Tulsa County Treating Them Unfairly
11/11/2006 Complaints Begin After Tulsa Amusement Park's Lease Isn't Renewed
11/13/2006 Tulsans React To Bell's Troubles With Tulsa County
11/15/2006 No Decision Yet On Bell's Amusement Park Financial Review
11/19/2006 Interest Soars In Tulsa Amusement Park
11/20/2006 Bell's Amusement Park Looking To Move
11/22/2006 Tulsa County Fairground Rent Payments
11/28/2006 Bumpy Ride For Bell's Amusement Park Continues
11/29/2006 Bell's Amusement Park Asking For More Time To Move
12/19/2006 Bell's Future Still Vague
1/17/2007 Bell's Amusement Park Sells Ride To Tulsa County
1/26/2007 Rides Disappearing At Bell's Amusement Park
2/26/2007 Dismantling A Tulsa Landmark
3/8/2007 More Time To Dismantle Bell's Amusement Park
3/25/2007 Amusement Park Icon Coming Down
6/24/2007 Moving Day For Bell's Amusement Park