Bell's notes

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Current and former Okies and amusement park enthusiasts from other parts of the world have been weighing in on Tulsa County's refusal to renew a lease with Bell's Amusement Park.

Dave the Oklahomilist posted a new entry yesterday, wondering about Expo Square CEO Rick Bjorklund's sudden decision to cut off all talk of renewing Bell's lease:

And this after, and in spite of, Bell's agreement, with a condition, to allow its books to be audited by an independent trio of accountants. The condition? That the information contained in Bell's business plan "not be disseminated outside" the fair board offices.

One is left to conclude that this was a deal-breaker for Bjorklund and the county commissioners. Why? It seems reasonable enough on the surface. Is it possible that the plan all along was to pass the Bell's information on to others? Is it possible that it was, in truth, the only reason for requiring Bell's to jump through this particularly hoop? And that the condition insisted upon by Bell's would put the fairgrounds officials in jeopardy should any information get to persons who have no business having it? People who, perhaps, are planning to go into business directly competing with Bell's?

Ms. Cornelius of A Shrewdness of Apes remembers the park from her childhood, including getting ride tickets for good grades and the old giant slide, and she's taken her own kids there the last two summers during visits to her parents.

Screamscape ("The Ultimate Guide to Theme Parks") has a whole page devoted to Bell's with a chronology that goes back to Bell's second coaster proposal in 2001.

Thrill Network has a forum topic from August devoted to the new coaster that Bell's finally got the go-ahead to build.

Finally, a word to friends in the neighborhoods directly adjacent to that side of the fairgrounds, some of whom have expressed surprise at my concern about the fair board's dealings with Bell's. I supported their effort to stop the expansion of Bell's to the west, closer to the neighborhood and in violation of the 1984 Expo Square master plan, part of the Comprehensive Plan, and the written expression of a commitment made by the fair board to the surrounding neighborhoods about what kind of development would be allowed in each section of the fairgrounds. I can understand why many of them hope to see Bell's gone from the fairgrounds, and they don't care how it happens.

It's probably the best for all concerned if Bell's relocates, preferably to a site within Tulsa's city limits, but this is the wrong way to bring it about. I have similar feelings about City Attorney Alan Jackere's situation: I'd rather he no longer be City Attorney, but the way Mayor Taylor is going about it has me and a lot of other people very suspicious.

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1 Comments

Adel Knode said:

It is not better for anyone if Bell's is seperated from the fairgrounds.

What this part of town needs is something beautiful.

The fairboard has just 'said' it does not need the money from Bell's by stating they would put a parking lot there.

Robbie Bell agreed to a great many noise reducing consessions when he proposed his park expansion.

The fact of the matter is, with 1/2 million to 1 million a year in rent if the origanal noise dampening was inadequate it could be improved annually. (I am not going to say bad things about the lady who got in the news by saying she does not know how noise dampening could posibly work. I promise I am not going to say anything: except... maybe we should throw some of the money we could get from Bell's into education so future generations can understand simple scientific concepts.)


MORE IMPORTANTLY when the noise is contained the beautification can begin.

People are not using their imaginations. We could have waterfalls, streams, wooden bridges, trees, rockscapes...

For nearly 1 million in increased rents the outside of the park, facing our community could be so terraformed and wonderous that people would flock to this part of town. Be dying to live near it. And, it could be at no cost to us.

This can be a win-win situation. That RV park makes me about sick because I can visualize what could be there if people would use their imaginations. And I gaurentee you that Robbie Bell would be one of the first to support the exterior beautification, even if he needed to pitch in on his own.

We could use this as a tool to increase our property values. When the sound dampening is done- and the terraforming is complete sell in the summers when the flowers are blooming and trees are full in our new center peice.

Imagine bigger...

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 22, 2006 11:02 PM.

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