Tulsans React To Bell's Troubles With Tulsa County

Monday, November 13th 2006, 10:52 am
By: News On 6

Public support is growing for Bell's Amusement Park, after a decision to make Bell's leave the Tulsa County fairgrounds.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says there have been rumors for years that Bell's might go elsewhere, but when the county decided to not offer Bell's the chance to stay - it stirred up a lot of people who love Bell's.

Debra Hargersilver and her daughters love Bell's. "It's a great place for families, and it's affordable even for low income families, it doesn't take that much to save up to make a day of it here." They were shocked by the news Bell's might be leaving - and disappointed with what they've heard since about how the decision was made. "I think it is a horrible decision, I think it's deceptive, what they're doing by the way they're treating Bell's in this matter. I think Bell's ought to fight it out in court."

This is just one family that will miss Bell's and wants to see the decision reversed. Tulsa County says they've been getting emails and calls and The News on 6 has as well. This viewer questions if the county can make more money off a parking lot than with Bell's. One e-mail mentions a common thought - he says he met his wife out at Bell's, a lot of people dated out at Bell's and this one says 'it's a travesty that the county won't renew the lease'. There is a common theme to all these emails and calls - viewers think it's just not fair that after all these years, the lease won't be renewed so Bell's can stay put.

Bell's is also getting lots of attention on the Internet. Bloggers are talking about it [Oklahomily] and like the e-mailers they don't like the non-renewal of Bell's lease and wonder if it won't end up in the suburbs. Even a couple of roller coaster web sites have picked up the story because of the impact on Zingo, a well-known wooden roller coaster.

Debra Hargersilver: "Bell's has been here for us." But it's the real Tulsa families who question if the fairgrounds would be better off with another parking lot instead of Bell's, and who had developed loyalties to this 55 year old amusement park and some of the classic rides they have at Bell's.

Tulsa County’s public facilities authority is the decision making body in this case and they won't meet again for another week, but in the meantime - they're getting lots of feedback on what people think of Bell's.