Bell's gets help

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Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from the proprietor of Super Steve's Super Site, a Tulsa-based website devoted to amusement parks. He had some happy news about Bell's Amusement Park's progress toward clearing the fairgrounds location and getting their rides stored in hopes of reopening elsewhere.

Tulsa Steel Services Corporation volunteered a day of free services -- "tools, manpower, and expertise" -- which enabled them to get the White Lightning Log Ride dismantled. If Bell's gets at least half of the Zingo roller coaster and White Lightning down by May 15th, the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority will give them an additional month to finish clearing the site:

If half of both said rides are not taken down by May 15, Bell's will not be able to stay and finish the job, but if they can meet the deadline, they will have another month. Why this deadline is in effect beats me, as you would think the fairgrounds would want Bell's to completely remove everything for free, but remember how smart those in charge of the fair are. (Honestly, who kicks out a growing amusement park and puts a trailer park next door? And on fair property!?) Luckily, with Bell's extra help, meeting the deadline won't be a problem, and better yet, because of the skills and expertise of TSS, the ride will be able to be set up again after this removal - this would probably not have been possible before.

With some hope of retrieving their biggest rides for future use, the Bell family has announced that the park will reopen in 2008. Where hasn't yet been announced.

White Lightning is actually a bit of Forgotten New York in the heart of Tulsa. It is half of the log flume from the 1964 New York World's Fair. (The other half used to be at Dollywood in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.)

Stay tuned to Super Steve's Super Site for continuing coverage of the Bell's situation.

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Joey Author Profile Page said:

"Honestly, who kicks out a growing amusement park and puts a trailer park next door?" -- Super Steve

growing? You may disagree that Bell's was evicted, but let's do be honest. There were more attractions when I visited Bell's as a kid in the 70's and 80's than there have been in recent years.

SuperSteve said:

^That may have been true when the park was booted out Joey, but the fact is that Bell's had massive revitalization plans. The park was already somewhat in the process of a complete re-hab as of last year, and the 2007 season would have brought more of that. More interestingly though, Bell's was going to spend $750,000 on a new thrill ride for the 2007 season, and let's not forget the multi-million dollar rollercoaster the park wanted to build in 2008. So yeah, the park wasn't at its peak in the years leading to its closing, but it was coming around again - with a force. I guess it all turned out good though, now the fair gets a chance to do something better (more trailer parks?) and Bell's can finally exist somewhere where they are free of land constraints (at least for now).

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 4, 2007 12:30 AM.

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