Moving Day For Bell's Amusement Park

Sunday, June 24th 2007, 4:49 pm
By: News On 6

Sunday was moving day for a Tulsa landmark. The owners of Bell's Amusement Park had until midnight Sunday to vacate the Tulsa County Fairgrounds. The News On 6's Chris Wright reports the Bells were scrambling to haul away everything they could, but they say that unfortunately they had to leave some things behind.

For the past 30 years, Jeff Gorishie ran the famed Himalaya. On Sunday, he paid one more visit to Bell's to help dismantle what's left of the amusement park.

"Always come back, always run it for them during the fair,” said Gorishie. “These people are like family to me. I'm kind of like one of the family."

The family hauled off what it could on Sunday. After midnight, the property and everything on it officially belongs to the county. While most of the rollercoasters are intact and in storage, the Bells estimate that it will cost about $5 million to replace what they couldn't or didn't have time to move.

The Bells say one of the reasons they'll leave so much behind has been the recent rainy weather. It's created a lot of mud at the site, and they say it's made dismantling rides extremely difficult.

"It slows everything down when you're doing this type of work,” said Bell’s owner Robbie Bell. “You get equipment stuck. I don't know how much time it's cost us, but it's been a bunch."

The welding torches weren't the only things making noise on Bell's last day. Robbie Bell Senior, who has been personally dismantling rides, is still upset over how the expiration of his lease was handled.

"People want to know why Bell's is getting kicked off to put in a parking lot. That's almost laughable," said Robbie Bell Senior.

And while Bell's is leaving Tulsa after more than 50 years, Robbie Bell Senior says you'll hear from his family again soon.

"You ain't seen the last of this,” he said. “This is just getting started."

The Bells still plan to open a new park and say it will be the park they've always wanted to build.

The family says trying to meet Sunday’s deadline had consumed all of their time, but they will begin working on finding a new location this week.

Watch the video: Dismantling Bell's Amusement Park