Bell's Says Tulsa County Treating Them Unfairly

Friday, November 10th 2006, 6:14 pm
By: News On 6

The owner of Bell's Amusement Park is trying to decide if they'll fight the county's plan to kick them off the Tulsa County fairgrounds.

Robby Bell tells News on 6 anchor Jennifer Loren that his family business is being treated unfairly.

Now, he wants to set the record straight even though the Tulsa County Commissioners say their decision is final.

Bells Amusement Park is a landmark in Tulsa. It’s also a family business, one that Robby Bell says doesn't deserve the hand its been dealt. "But we feel that right now our credibility and our good name is being drug through the mud and we need to defend ourselves," said Bell.

After more than 50 years in the same midtown location, Tulsa County has given Bells 120 days to clear out. The reason? Tulsa County Commissioner Randi Miller told us they looked over Bell's business plan and declared they weren't financially viable. "The business plan was very weak. The fiscal officer, the questions we asked concerned us a great deal," Miller said.

That claim is what has Bell upset, "Our business plan I think is rock solid and I know if we were given the opportunity we would succeed," Bell said.

Bell sites the recent addition of two new rides as proof the park has money. Plus, he says, a bank just loaned them $750,000 for another new ride that would open next season. "A business can't get those kind of loans if they're not financially viable. You got to be in the black," said Bell.

Bell suspects something else is going on here and he wants to get to the bottom of it. "It goes a little bit further I think than just the harm that's being done to us and our family. I think you've really got to question what's happening."

But, if Bell's is forced out as the county says it will be, Bell says he always has the option of picking up and moving. "Everything that we own could be disassembled, moved and relocated. All it takes is time and money."

Bell says he's been approached by several other venues in the past several days. He says moving is certainly something they're considering.