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General Category => Other Parks => Topic started by: shavethewhales on May 24, 2010, 10:35:45 PM

Title: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on May 24, 2010, 10:35:45 PM
After many long years of waiting, Bell's Amusement Park is finally on the move!

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=322&articleid=20100524_11_0_WAGONE360286

It's a terrible location, but I'm willing to drive it a couple of times a year to hit up Zingo again. I can't wait to see what new rides will be added to the mix.
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: Swoosh on May 24, 2010, 10:46:34 PM
Call me a pessimist, but I'll believe it when the gates to the park finally open... and even then I might not believe it (yeah hi WWW - looking at you).

Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: Junior on May 25, 2010, 06:30:57 AM
Any idea why their lease was not renewed where they are? Seems like it would benefit the landowners to keep a popular attraction going where it is at?
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: Swoosh on May 25, 2010, 07:35:18 AM
^Politics.  It was a mess
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: Junior on May 25, 2010, 09:29:04 AM
Yeah, politics. People playing their little games. Seems like a lot of people never get over the kindergarten thing where they gotta fight in the sandbox. Good people go down, the bastards usually gain...in the shortrun. Someday they get to stand tall before the man, and then what will they say? No lies that day, only confession.
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: Tony from Tulsa on July 10, 2010, 10:16:04 AM
The City of Tulsa annexed the fairgrounds from Tulsa county, and said that Bell's was behind on their lease payments, I believe. Then the city voted to remove Bells from the premises to make way for a big, fancy parking lot. Politics, indeed. I just discovered that I use way too many commas in my writings. I, need, to, stop, doing, that.,,,
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: marolinesdad on July 10, 2010, 11:38:52 PM
WE WILL KNOW SOON IF IT WILL BE BACK.  The 27th is just around the corner.

The deal is contingent on Wagoner County voters approving a quarter-cent sales tax increase on the July 27th ballot.

Wagoner County would use the money generated by the tax to acquire property where it would locate the amusement park, an expo center and other attractions
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: shavethewhales on July 11, 2010, 12:52:36 AM
Actually, it's already been defeated. The measure was taken off the ballet due to a bunch of Tea-partiers who don't understand how city infrastructure projects work. I wish they would have at least allowed the vote so people could have decided for themselves what would have been better for the city. It was not at all out of the ordinary for an entity such as Bell's to require tax-payer funded infrastructure like water lines and roads to be built in order for it to come to Coweta. Many surrounding communities have spent far more to entice strip malls and super-targets to come in...
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: marolinesdad on July 11, 2010, 01:13:31 AM
Well that sucks....
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: shavethewhales on July 11, 2010, 01:24:50 AM
We'll see if this is the end of Bell's or not. I thought they were finished a long time ago, but they're still at it. Maybe they'll push for a vote again, or maybe they'll get another community to try. Or maybe, just maybe, they'll get an actual investor to get them off to a good start. I'm kind of scared for Bell's to come back now because Robby keeps talking like spending $5 million will be enough to rebuild the entire park. Maybe he's only planning on bringing back Zingo and a handful of rides...
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: shavethewhales on January 11, 2011, 11:41:50 AM
Well, Bell's is pretty much official dead now. In a last ditch effort, Robby has put what remains of Zingo on sale on Ebay, hoping to get a cash infusion to jump start the rest of the park. Problem is, without Zingo there's hardly anything else to start a park with. The two newer rides at the park were sent back to their manufacturer due to not being completely paid for. The awesome Bill Tracy dark ride and the two water rides are both completely gone. All that he has left, I'm assuming, are a few kiddie rides, a tilt-a-whirl, and a swinging ship.

I guess he plans to restart his business as a kiddie park like the old Bell's? Somehow I doubt that's going to work out for him.

Here's the newstory: http://www.newson6.com/Global/story.asp?S=13818460
and ebay listing: http://cgi.ebay.com/Wood-Roller-Coaster-Sale-400-000-Best-Offer-/280614399329?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4155ebed61

Sounds like he has until May to get rid of Zingo's remains.
Title: Re: Bell's to relocate near Coweta
Post by: rubedugans on January 11, 2011, 12:06:34 PM
I find it funny that he will sell all parts, but no plans to accompany the pieces. Good Luck Mr Bell! I understand the copyright they have on Zingo, but really? He says it is just lumber and bolts...will he ever again have the funds and park to rebuild this?
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: StaceySue on January 11, 2011, 08:58:33 PM
What sad news.  Looks like a piece of my childhood is gone.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: rubedugans on January 12, 2011, 09:28:46 PM
 Not unless you have a spare $400,000.000 lying around StaceySue! They could always auction off pieces of the ride for smaller amounts of money. The Arena-where the StL Blues played was imploded in 98' and bricks were sold, wood was sold in planks/ pieces, & after Busch stadium was demolished, pieces were sold. I think they could make some money, and only would have to sacrifice a minimal amount of timber. People capitalized on the idea and items like this came out including stats and pieces of the old structures.
http://stlouis.craigslist.org/spo/2118225166.html (http://stlouis.craigslist.org/spo/2118225166.html)
(http://i649.photobucket.com/albums/uu218/rubedugans/3nd3o43l55Y25V15U3ach9366f324c113181d.jpg)
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: StaceySue on January 15, 2011, 08:01:06 AM
Hmm.  That's interesting.  I didn't know they did that!  I could have my own little box of Zingo.  Although my favorite ride was Phantasmagoria.  But I'm sure they don't even have pieces of it anymore.

As for the $400,000,000--you do remember I'm a teacher, right?  :D
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on June 22, 2011, 10:12:49 PM
Zingo's remains are now on sale through IRM, with optional pairing with the new Topper Track system similar to what The Texas Giant received this year. It sounds like he's pretty much giving up the idea of ever rebuilding it at this point and will take what he can get for the trains, plans, mechanics, and salvageable wood. I doubt anyone will want to rebuild it, but the trains might sell.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.175677172446122.47292.159151417432031

Word is that Robby Bell is nearly broke at this point, and the leases on his storage areas are coming due. He's sold a lot of stuff, including the old Hymalaya which was a fixture at the far corner of the park for almost 30 years. From what I can tell, the only rides he has left are a couple of kiddie rides, the octopus, and the scattered remnants of other rides which were so damaged during the tear-down that there's no sense in rebuilding them.

Doesn't look like there's any hope left for any remnant of Bell's to come back at this point...
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: chittlins on August 20, 2011, 02:42:28 PM
This reminds me so much of fate of Libertyland in Memphis. Amusement Park at the fairground with a classic Woody called the Zippin Pippin. Had a minor league stadium as well and exibit halls. No crappy horse track but had a 9,000 seat Mid South colusium and Liberty Bowl Stadium. Difference was the park was govt. owned

Libertyland closed, some park up in Wisconsin bought the Naming rights, plans and trains of the Zippin Pippin and rebuilt it. I had hoped that the city and fair could have found a good park management company before it got too bad but nope.

The Mid South Fair is gone from memphis(Tunica last I heard), the land where Libertyland stood is now a tailgating area for the Liberty Bowl where one of the worse teams in D1 plays. The Mid South Colusium lays in waste and disrepair with a no compete clause with the FedEx Forum and the city too broke to demolish it. The ballpark gone(although the stadium downtown is the Jewel of AAA) and  just a couple of the Exibit Halls remain.

In Tulsa, the ballteam is downtown now, the race track is a dump, and the amusement park is gone.  Expo Square seems dumpy to this day, and I go to the big spring gun show.

I would have liked to see Memphis find a new home for Zippin Pippin in town.  :(
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on May 18, 2012, 02:00:30 PM
I haven't been updating this thread as much as some of the threads on other sites about Bell's, but for anyone interested in Bell's (and Tulsa's) situation at the moment:

I drove around the Gunboat district in Tulsa again a couple of days ago and most of the remnants are still there. I am steadfastly amazed that no one has hauled that stuff off. It looks like they just loaded the stuff up, drove to the first empty lot in Tulsa that they could find and just dumped it. The log flume pieces are off in a lot next to some historic old houses and they just look like a pile of abandoned scrap metal. Another lot around the corner holds more log flume pieces, part of the Round-Up, and the smaller chairlift supports. The only lot that actually has a fence around it and looks somewhat presentable contains part of the carousel barn, pieces of the octopus, and a kiddie ride as well as a few odds and ends.

Right now Robby Bell is setting up the remaining kiddie rides in his possession at a local flea market. I've been by a couple of times, but it's been a few months since my last visit. It looks like it will be a fairly permanent setup, but it still looks quite ghetto. The market is actually quite large and it attracts a lot of people on the weekends, so they'll have some steady business at least, but not enough to actually get back on their feet or anything. It's taken them months to set up. Last time I drove by the rides still weren't ready, and they've been working on them for like six months now. The flea market changed hands in that time, so maybe they keep having to renegotiate their contract...

In other news, a new amusement park was proposed at Turkey Mountain, but the plan turned out to be so poorly put together and the chosen location was so hotly contested that it has pretty much died out already.

Long story short, it doesn't look like we'll be seeing any quality amusements in Tulsa any time soon, but these little developments here and there keep things interesting at least.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on September 11, 2012, 01:14:38 PM
I find it interesting that Bell's is being more and more promoted with the market now. Looking at their new website, http://www.saturdayfleamarket.com, it looks like Bell's is becoming an integral part of their business rather than just a weird side add-on. What's even better is that they are still touting the concept that this will grow into a larger park of some sort.

Last time I went by the place in June it looked like they were STILL getting the 5th ride up and running. I didn't bother going by since then, so I hope they at least have their first set-up complete now and are doing good business. I noticed they had an inflatable something or other out there as well, so that's some sort of progress at least...
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on May 27, 2013, 01:19:33 PM
Robby Bell is still going at it. The helicopter ride has finally been setup, and he is currently working on the Tilt-a-whirl. The base frame of the tilt-a-whirl is in place and looks like it has been refurbished, but progress is slow. I've been by twice this summer and nothing seems to have changed, but they are probably working on the components at an off-site shop. I'm continually amazed that they keep charging forward with this. Once the tilt-a-whirl is up and running Robby plans to move on to another ride, even getting into larger rides. He's even talking about getting Zingo rebuilt.

Here's a great news article from a couple of months ago: http://www.fox23.com/news/local/story/Bells-Amusement-Park-rebuilding-slowly-but-surely/4YVCc3spSUqv4b8cJuIrYg.cspx
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on June 05, 2013, 09:35:05 PM
Who knew Bell's had a facebook page? https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bells-at-the-Saturday-Flea-Market/227315583990587

It looks like one of his family members has been updating it pretty regularly. Lots of progress on the Tilt-a-whirl that I didn't know about.

I once thought that there was no way he could keep going with this for much longer, but he keeps surprising everyone and won't quit. He works a fulltime job in addition to working on rebuilding Bell's. It sounds like he is definitely planning to bring back as much of the park as he can. After the tilt-a-whirl, it sounds like he plans to tackle the carousel, and then who knows what else.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: StaceySue on June 25, 2013, 12:41:43 PM
Great news!  I would love to ride Zingo again.  Maybe someday!  Now if they would bring back Casa Bonita...
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 11, 2013, 06:40:54 PM
Bell's now has an official fundraiser set up through paypal for fans to show support. They are currently working toward refurbishing both the tilt-a-whirl and the spider. They don't need as much as you'd think - it sounds like they only need about $3,000 for the spider, and a lot has been done on the tilt-a-whirl already. Robby is still pretty much working on this effort by himself, with I think one or two other part time "employees" who are probably just friends helping out. His family is helping a lot with the fundraising efforts.

Here's a page with the fundraising count and a donate button.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bells-at-the-Saturday-Flea-Market/227315583990587?sk=app_208195102528120

I'd encourage any amusement park fan support this effort. Even just a couple of bucks would make a huge difference. Part of it is just showing that people care. I know it's not a charity, but sometimes it's good just to rally around someone who's trying to do something cool.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on August 02, 2013, 09:45:27 PM
This is interesting, the Bell's facebook page has changed to state "Bell's is Back" and they've posted a teaser video: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152119326749097

A new announcement is forthcoming, but from their other postings they are saying that they are planning on adding several more kiddie rides, three adult rides, and mini golf. It sounds like they are getting some semi-major financial backing from somewhere and are simply ramping up their efforts from tiny to small scale.

Honestly, I wouldn't get too excited yet. I think most people are seeing these posting and are thinking that a brand new amusement park is being built in Tulsa. The reality is that Robby and a handful of staff are setting up a few rides in the parking lot of a flea market. It's nice to see them be able to get a few more rides setup, but it's still a tiny operation that is pretty rough around the edges.

I still think it's very cool that they're able to do this after all they've been through, but I worry about people's reaction to the harsh reality that they're in. If you're expectations are set right, it's pretty neat.

Oh yeah, the three "adult rides" are the tilt-a-whirl, the spider, and possibly Pharaoh's Fury? I had been told that Pharaoh's Fury was damaged when it was taken out, but maybe they think they can replace it. I can't imagine what else the third ride could be since the Himalaya was sold off and I don't think the Round Up can run again. 
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on August 21, 2013, 09:21:14 AM
.............:-)
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on April 23, 2014, 09:38:11 AM
So much has happened since I last posted on this thread, I'm not even going to try to recap it all - but for anyone interested, here is what seems to be going on right now:

Kiddie coaster is under construction - looked to be about half way done with the general steel erection when I drove past on Easter. The Tilt-a-whirl is complete except for the cars. I think they've run into some sort of mechanical issue on the tilt that's causing them a lot of grief, cause it was supposed to be done a long time ago and not much progress seems to be getting made on it. The carousel and snack food stand will follow after they get these two rides setup.

I also drove by the gunboat district on Easter to see how much of the boneyard was left. It looks like everything that was in the fenced-in lot has been removed to the backlot of the flea market. The old log flume is still just sprawled out on all the empty lots across the gunboat district.

So there's progress, it's just slow...
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on May 16, 2014, 11:03:24 PM
Update from today: http://imgur.com/a/CAjQV

Coaster still isn't fully put together - there are more pieces to it than it looks, but it is getting close. A few more good weather weekends and I think the structure will get done. The tilt hasn't changed at all from the outside...

Robby was out there doing maintenance on one of the kiddie rides. I didn't really take many pictures or snoop around too much since it was a Friday and they don't like people poking around too much then. They are open for a bit on Fridays, but its really for the vendors to setup for the weekend. I live in Tulsa now though, so I'll stop by every couple of weeks or so as these rides get developed.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 02, 2014, 12:32:07 PM
Last month the park said that both the tilt and the new coaster would open in June. That didn't happen, and no obvious progress has happened on the coaster in at least two weeks. The tilt has been in the same position for months. They said they just needed to repair their lifting equipment to get the cars on the tilt and then it would be done, but apparently their repairs didn't work or something. Most of the coaster structure has been put together, but there are still a few miscellaneous pieces around and the cars hadn't even begun the process of being refurbished the last time I saw them (which was admittedly at least a couple weeks ago).

The good news is that they finally fulfilled all of their pledge donation perks, so they don't have to worry about being hassled over that anymore. Too bad they didn't pick up another $10,000 or so... I have a feeling that's all it would take to get them over the edge here. I kind of doubt they're even making money right now with four kiddie rides and an inflatable slide. The coaster and tilt would be just enough to attract a few extra people to bells itself, and the concession stand would actually make them money.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: chittlins on July 02, 2014, 01:44:02 PM
Last month the park said that both the tilt and the new coaster would open in June. That didn't happen, and no obvious progress has happened on the coaster in at least two weeks. The tilt has been in the same position for months. They said they just needed to repair their lifting equipment to get the cars on the tilt and then it would be done, but apparently their repairs didn't work or something. Most of the coaster structure has been put together, but there are still a few miscellaneous pieces around and the cars hadn't even begun the process of being refurbished the last time I saw them (which was admittedly at least a couple weeks ago).

The good news is that they finally fulfilled all of their pledge donation perks, so they don't have to worry about being hassled over that anymore. Too bad they didn't pick up another $10,000 or so... I have a feeling that's all it would take to get them over the edge here. I kind of doubt they're even making money right now with four kiddie rides and an inflatable slide. The coaster and tilt would be just enough to attract a few extra people to bells itself, and the concession stand would actually make them money.

It's a shame they couldn't relocate near the new ball field like right behind the outfield or out on the river in Jenks near the aquarium.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on July 02, 2014, 08:08:42 PM
........
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: chittlins on July 02, 2014, 08:49:46 PM
 I posted what I post because of the little area in Ft. Smith with the carousel and ferris wheel, a diner in a train car and a snack stand in a double decker red bus. Dollar a ride. Rides in the outfield, along with splash pads, playgrounds and even little fields for whiffle ball are a growing trend in minor league sports heck Detriot's stadium has 50 ft ferris wheel with baseball gondolas along with a carousel featuring Tigers.

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/t1.0-9/c0.156.851.315/p851x315/406244_10151105818026321_683991089_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on July 02, 2014, 10:13:27 PM
........

Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: chittlins on July 02, 2014, 10:47:30 PM
...

I was in Tulsa a couple weekends ago with my Mom from Memphis. It was her first trip to T Town. We went to Jenks and hit the antique shops and then I took her downtown to show her BOK and the new Ballpark, the landmark buildings like Cain's and so on and the ballfield was packed. It was a nice day so that's very understandable.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: History Buff on July 02, 2014, 11:14:43 PM
A Ferris Wheel and carousel like these would make a nice addition to Branson Landing.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: chittlins on July 03, 2014, 09:47:02 AM
A Ferris Wheel and carousel like these would make a nice addition to Branson Landing.

Another great ideal  HB.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 03, 2014, 02:43:01 PM
...

Well put. It took me a long time after the fairboard debacle to really objectively understand how terrible Bell and co. are at business. I still think the fairboard sucked in so many ways, but if Bell's had any lick of sense they would still be there today. I keep rooting for them because I really just want something ride-oriented to work out in the Tulsa area. Seems we either get stupid proposals or nothing.

You and I think a lot alike chittlins. I'm always thinking about how to turn places around with place-making attractions. I think there are dozens of places around the country that could really be bettered with some interesting mixed attractions. A few rides, a movie theatre, etc. in one nice urban setting. It seems like most entrepreneurs in this industry want to go big or go home, and that simply doesn't work in most cases. We also get a lot of idiot developers like the Wild West World guy and the Turkey Mountain guy in Tulsa who give the whole concept of ride-based attractions a bad name.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: History Buff on July 03, 2014, 03:19:26 PM
I agree.  A couple of permanent, classy, even romantic, attractions can enhance a destination.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on July 09, 2014, 04:11:21 PM
........
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 09, 2014, 05:34:02 PM
The tilt and coaster both look like they were put together up to a point, but now they don't know what to do to finish construction. I'm an optimistic person, so I'll give Robby and crew the benefit of the doubt, but it's going to take a lot of work, and a lot of time.

That seems to be the case more and more these days. Progress has pretty much halted. They're always so close yet so far. They simply need at least a couple of people to be able to work full time on this, and they need working equipment. They have been just scraping by, but they simply don't have enough assets to be profitable. They have a plan to get there - they had announced on facebook their intentions to open the kiddie coaster and tilt by now with the carousel, mini-golf, and a snack stand following. That might get them to profitability, but they can't get there at this pace.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 18, 2014, 08:37:54 PM
Went by again today. There's a new wooden fence up about half the way around the kiddie coaster. I think that's basically all that has changed since the last time I drove by at least two weeks ago. Maybe they'll get it open by Christmas.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on August 03, 2014, 08:40:46 PM
Progress was agonizingly slow all July. I stopped by yesterday and virtually nothing has changed over the last month besides a little more progress on the fence. I was starting to get worried, but then I spotted Robby and someone else working on painting more fence pieces in the back lot. So they're still going at it, but at this rate it'll be Christmas before they get even the fence completely up.

I don't know what's going on with the tilt, but it looks like all their focus at the moment is on getting the fence done around the little dipper. The little dipper still seems to have a couple of random pieces missing, and no motor or chain. I haven't seen the cars in awhile, but they needed to be completely redone. I'm just wondering when they'll focus on that, or if they even have the ability to handle those aspects...

The good news is that they still had a number of kids coming out to ride stuff, even in the oppressive heat. They also had a pony ride this weekend. I think it's a separate person operating that, but it's a nice little addition to this crazy, eclectic place.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on August 14, 2014, 06:46:10 PM
...
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on August 14, 2014, 08:37:50 PM
Nice, only a month or two after they said they sent them out... and what, a year since the kickstarter? Hey, like always, they get stuff done, you just have to be willing to wait 100x longer than usual.

I've still been checking the place out every weekend for the heck of it. Last weekend it looked like they had most of the fence finished, but I was only driving by. Hopefully they'll get the station done by next spring.

The flea market occasionally has some cool stuff though. A couple weeks ago I almost bought a new (but opened) cordless drill set for $75 with a few other tools included.

I'm starting to wish that they would just come out and be frank with us about their situation. I just want an actual timetable to follow, even if it is disappointingly draw out. It was a major fail to announce that the coaster and tilt would be open with more on the way in JUNE and then be no closer to opening them in August with nothing to say about it. At least they're still doing something...
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: DeweyBald on August 15, 2014, 07:52:57 PM
Where is it located?
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: DeweyBald on August 18, 2014, 07:41:34 PM
Bump!

Where is this new Bells located?  I'm in one of those areas where I'm closer to Tulsa, but I have Oklahoma City television channels so I'm out of the loop with what going on in Tulsa.  I've spent many an hour walking around the old Bells at the fairgrounds.  Was the Zingo moved as well?
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on August 18, 2014, 10:21:49 PM
It's at 5802 W 51st St, Tulsa, OK. Map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/5802+W+51st+St,+Tulsa,+OK+74107/@36.088284,-96.057171,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x87b6956807419253:0xbe8c8e463c089f20

Don't go too far out of your way to see it. It's just a few kiddie rides in the gravel parking lot of a really rough flea market. Right now they are struggling to get even the basic pieces of a Herschell Little Dipper together, so I don't think rebuilding Zingo is ever actually going to be a reality. Heh, robby actually did say that he wanted to rebuild it though... at the flea market! I don't think he quite realizes that if he ever gets $3 million to rebuild it, perhaps the flea market isn't the best place to put it.  :D
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: DeweyBald on August 19, 2014, 10:15:23 PM
Cool.  Thanks Shave!  Well, maybe someday we'll see the old Zingo again!  LOL
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on October 05, 2014, 11:28:10 PM
Drove by Bell's again today to see if they have made any progress in the last month and a half or so. Nope. Looks like literally nothing has happened, except maybe they finished the fence. The tilt and the kiddie coaster are still apparently hopelessly stalled, and no sign of them getting started on all the other stuff they promised would be open by now.

However, the park is getting active again on social media, and is trying to advertise itself as part of the fabric of the flea market in general rather than as the literal reincarnation of Bell's in progress. With the lack of progress on the ground, I have to wonder if this is a ploy to keep the flea market owner and shop keepers happy. I know there's been some tensions with Bell's setting up shop in the parking lot and promising all this stuff that apparently isn't going to happen.

My hope for the place is starting to die down again. There's just no reason the tilt shouldn't at least have it's cars on it by now... it's been like this for at least a year, and they've already promised it would be open over three months ago. It feels like reality is starting to catch up with Robby Bell.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on October 21, 2014, 09:49:42 PM
I ended up making contact with whoever runs Bell's blog recently. They invited me to give Rob a call to talk about Bell's situation.

Anyone have any pressing questions? I mostly just want to know what their major issues are with the two rides currently on their plate and if they will ever actually be able to get them open. If they can get that much accomplished, they can get a little momentum going. I guess I'll also ask about what he still has left from Bell's. Maybe also see if he'll explain a little about how his relationship with the market is going and where he sees that going vs. pursuing a new place again.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on October 22, 2014, 08:43:42 AM
I'd like see if he has a plan, I know he has a lot of stuff (miniature golf course, rides, etc.) just sitting around the site or in a stage of unfinished installation. He'll have a lot of ideas on what he'd like to do....but try to find out what he really can do next.

Have you ever been out there when the rides have been operating? I wonder how many people actually ride?

Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on November 01, 2014, 03:00:32 PM
Haven't been able to get mine and Robby's schedule to intersect yet, but I might try again later today. He's been very busy with his other job and supporting his family lately, so that explains some of the slow progress with Bell's.

^I have been out there a few times when the rides are going. There's usually a handful of kids there and a single ride operator.


I went out there again this morning for the first time in months (other than drive-bys). Again, progress is just barely noticible, but there are some signs of them chugging along. Like I noted earlier, the fence around the coaster was completed, and there's another fence/barrier thing that helps separate the rides from the vendors. It looks like the coaster is slightly more complete, with part of the chain return in place and a few other things tidied up. There is a new station platform in place now too.

The biggest sign of progress is the fact that the coaster cars are in the back area half-way through being refurbished. That's the main thing that needs to be done now. It also looks like the have a working forklift/lifter thingy again. Once they get the cars repaired and on the tracks they'll be in the home stretch. If they can get this thing open it will at least triple their income, for what it's worth.

All-in-all, it's not much but we still have something to watch in Tulsa. At least going to the flea market itself is always entertaining. I bought some decorative plates and a brownie pan today for $5.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on November 15, 2014, 02:07:01 PM
Bit more progress. They got a few more pieces of the station together, and the trains have been painted a bright yellow. The chassis look really rough, but they're spread out on a table being worked on. I wonder how they'll get them in working order. Now that I'm seeing them work continuously on this, I'm willing to be they can get the coaster open by spring. If they can get the tilt finally finished soon afterwards, they can start to get things really rolling.

The season for Bell's is pretty much over, though I guess they turn on the rides again whenever the weather is nice.
 
One of these days I'll remember to get some photos.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on November 18, 2014, 08:07:30 PM
The Zingo cars and log flume boats are once again listed on IRM rides for sale. Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but they're also "leasing" the log flume, which is bizzare. Maybe they mean something like a rent-to-own scheme? That ride is nothing more than a pile of rough fiberglass at this point, and I'm talking old-fashioned fiberglass from the 60's. It's a piece of history for sure and I LOVED the ride, but why on earth would they seriously list that thing for "lease"?

It would be tremendous if they could sell the Zingo trains and a few log flume boats though. A little cash in robby's pocket and they could hire a few people to finish the coaster and tilt, then get the mini golf, carousel, and snack booth setup. At that point they'd be a full FEC.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on January 24, 2015, 05:54:07 PM
I finally ran into Robby today and got to chat with him for just a little bit. He was busy cutting up some old metal poles for scrap - I couldn't even tell where they came from in the park, but perhaps they had lights mounted to them or something. He did mention that they are close to putting cars on the Little Dipper - I think he said possibly next month?

Nothing has visually progressed on anything since before Christmas, at least that I can tell. They did have the rides running today though, and the flea market was fairly busy.

Sometime soon I hope I can catch him when he has time to talk and see how much potential he really sees in the current setup at this point.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on May 06, 2015, 10:21:07 PM
Just in case anyone was wondering, nothing is happening at Bell's. The rides are still being operated, but I don't know what's happened to Robby. Literally nothing has moved in the backlot since February that I can tell.

The coaster track is still connected but missing little parts and connections here and there so it looks super sketchy. The chain is still draping off the lift hill. The cars bodies still don't have anything done to them other than being painted. The chassis have sat rusted on a table for months - I don't know how he's going to be able to fix them. He definitely needs to order wheels...

I'm sure he's super busy at his job with graduation right around the corner, but we're approaching the anniversary of his original declaration to have the tilt and coaster open by. I'm not visiting as often anymore since I've bought all the flea market crap I can stand for awhile. I'll probably check back in again sometime in June and see if anything has at least moved.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on June 13, 2015, 01:57:53 PM
June update:

This is probably the first time I've noticed things definitely sliding backwards. No noticeable improvements have been made since last month - it looks like Robby hasn't even been here and is just letting it go. One of the kiddie rides has lost it's awning, which really makes it and the entire rest of the area look even more trashy. There are weeds growing up around the rides, the fences are helter skelter and falling over, and everything is just getting that much more faded, worn-out, and ugly looking. No progress whatsoever has been made on either the coaster or the tilt-a-whirl. I haven't seen Robby out here since February - I wonder if life has simply caught up to him? Two or three weeks ago someone was replying to posts on the FB page saying things were being worked on, but as usual nothing seems to have ended up happening.

It kind of reminds me of myself and this site - every time I start planning to do some big things, I end up getting busy with my job, family, getting in shape and other life stuff and time starts to move faster than I can get ahead of it. It's about setting priorities, and I think at this point the Bell family doesn't have room for Bell's as a priority anymore.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on August 06, 2015, 05:32:24 PM
https://www.facebook.com/bellstulsa/videos/10200625284416892/

A nice video of the Bell's story.

Still hoping that one day we'll hear something about Bell's being reborn.

Jay
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on January 31, 2016, 10:00:52 PM
Just for the sake of anyone still wondering about this, I went out there last weekend to see if anything moved.

Nope. Zilch. Nada. Nothing has moved an inch. The only change I noticed is that now both of the canopied kiddie rides are missing their canopies. I'm not sure this place could look any worse at this point and still be operational. On that note, I'm not even sure it is still operational. Nothing was running that day, but it is January, so we'll see if anything is fixed up by March.

The last sign of life on their facebook was back at the end of Nov. when they replied back to someone who was asking for a status report by saying something about them still working on "plans".

Here are some pics, for the curious: http://imgur.com/a/CY46I

Not pictured is the backlot, where everything is still sitting as it has been for over a year. The coaster car bodies were painted, but it doesn't look like they know how to put them back together, not to mention how to fix the rolling stock. Not that that matters since the track itself still hasn't been completed in over a year.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: DeweyBald on March 06, 2016, 09:58:11 PM
Were you talking about the Zingo car bodies?  What ever became of all of that?  It still breaks my heart to drive down 21st and see that big parking lot....I sure miss Bells.  Sad that my kids never got to experience it.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on March 07, 2016, 09:58:14 PM
No, I was talking about the cars for the kiddie coaster.

I know what you mean about the empty lot. I've actually avoided going that way for the past 8-9 years now cause it always makes me grit my teeth. The good news is that the Murphy's have finally been shown out of town completely, though they never did get properly exposed.

What's left of Zingo was hanging out in a warehouse in Texas as of a few years ago. I think Larson was holding the cars as collateral and IRC was in charge of selling them? I'm not sure what happened to them, but they're either still there or they've been torn apart for scrap.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on April 23, 2016, 05:50:21 PM
So bells hasn't opened this year, and it looks like Robby really has called it quits. Still no movement on site since something like over a year ago. The paint on the fences and coaster station platform is already blistering off, and all that painting took him months the first time around. I guess its all finally gotten away from him.

Sounds like no one from the flea market has heard from him in months. Speaking of, the flea market seems to be on a downward trend anyway, if that's even possible. Not as many vendors anymore, though there's still a lot of interesting and cheap stuff.

I guess we're back to hoping for something new someday. The only bright spot is that at least frontier city is on the way to becoming an awesome place.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: sdcfan88 on April 24, 2016, 12:56:05 AM
Sad to hear. Went there a few times when the family would take day trips to Tulsa when I was a kid. I think it was after they got ran out of town that the city really started going downhill. (lived there from '08-'12)
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 17, 2016, 05:28:55 PM
I drove past the flea market again today because I heard that some of the rides are disappearing. Sure enough, the coaster is gone. If I recall correctly, that coaster was on 'loan' from one of the owners of IRM who felt bad for Robby. Robby painted it and sandblasted the cars, but was never able to even get started on all the moving parts.

The other rides have clearly not operated this year and at this point it all looks like a junkyard. Weeds have grown up through everything, the covers that fell off a year ago were never put back on the kiddie rides, and of course nothing has moved on the Tilt-a-whirl since work stopped on it two years ago.

It's kind of a shame - Robby put so much time and work into just making a nice fence to go around the coaster, which is now useless. The little station platform he built also looks roughed up - like they tore it apart to get the track out.

So it looks like the rest of it will be scrapped soon?
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: DeweyBald on July 17, 2016, 09:56:35 PM
That's a shame.  I drove by there quite a while ago this year, and it sounds like it looks the same as it did when I saw it.  I sure miss Zingo.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: CoasterWrangler on July 22, 2016, 07:20:05 PM
I have been told that Bells is done at that location. Robbie is moving everything out. Hopefully they find a permanent location.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 22, 2016, 08:24:21 PM
If I wake up in time I'll head out there tomorrow to get a final look with the place actually open. If Bell's is really being forced to move out that's kind of sad to see Robby going through that again. He had so much trouble after Bell's was kicked out finding a place to put it all, and it was a huge deal for them when he was able to land the deal with the flea market to store all that crap out there. Moving it all out there was a huge process and took him something like a year to accomplish and now he'll have to find some way to do it all over again....

The thing is, most of it is worthless, especially after sitting out in a junk yard for years. I doubt his relationship with IRM is good enough anymore for them to help him sell any of the old rides for parts.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 25, 2016, 11:24:17 PM
So it turns out the roller coaster is still on site after all. Some of the pieces are in the back parking lot. If I had to guess, I'd say the flea market owner is starting to disassemble it himself to clean it up and make room for more parking again. It looks like it was lifted in sections and dragged over there without being properly disassembled. The little oval train kiddie ride was taken over there as well.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on January 09, 2017, 11:55:49 PM
Just wanted to add a note in case any enthusiasts are still tempted to venture out here: most of the park seems to have been cleared from the parking lot now. They seem to be keeping one tiny kids ride - maybe a gift to the flea market owner? The tilt-a-whirl base is also still standing in a corner for the time being. There's not much to see anymore - not that there ever was much.

I think all the old Bell's stuff that is left is still scattered around the bone yard behind the flea market. The coaster track is probably still back there unless that IRM guy bothered to repossess it. I haven't been back to check since July but I have driven past several times. If it ever gets warm for a weekend I'll try to stop by one more time just to see what is left and if Robby is still around at all.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on July 26, 2018, 03:43:18 PM
I don't really want to raise any hopes here, but there was a little tidbit from Robby at the end of this recent article remembering Zingo: https://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/features/zingo-turns-beloved-tulsa-roller-coaster-is-gone-not-forgotten/article_ae20c4f6-ab5c-5b59-bc30-bfb5a9cbe7de.html

So they apparently have new plans... But probably still no money or any real assets. The family name is worth something at least. It would be incredibly exciting to have something even as simple as the Branson Fun Park in Tulsa. We're starved for amusements in this state.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: cowboy on July 26, 2018, 04:21:08 PM
I have worked with Robby on at least six different potential locations, but something happens each time and things don't quite work out. He's had a couple really close transactions - on the brink of making an announcement, then bad luck strikes again. I'm hoping he's getting close to making this happen but I'm not sure how much more heartbreak he can endure (but he keeps trying).

Here's a picture of the current state of Zingo - I'm hoping for a miracle.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: Kemotblue on July 26, 2018, 09:40:23 PM
I hope he makes it happen I'll keep praying it would be nice to ride Zingo again I only rode that coaster once. Wish it was still around it was a great woody. 
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: sdcfan88 on August 12, 2018, 02:14:32 AM
I don't really want to raise any hopes here, but there was a little tidbit from Robby at the end of this recent article remembering Zingo: https://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/features/zingo-turns-beloved-tulsa-roller-coaster-is-gone-not-forgotten/article_ae20c4f6-ab5c-5b59-bc30-bfb5a9cbe7de.html

So they apparently have new plans... But probably still no money or any real assets. The family name is worth something at least. It would be incredibly exciting to have something even as simple as the Branson Fun Park in Tulsa. We're starved for amusements in this state.

This really makes me wish the Hershends would enter into some kind of partnership (if Robbie agreed on moving operations) and just let him move the park up to the old CC site in Branson and lease out the land or profit share or something. That way at least his assets wont be rotting away as shown in the photo above and it would also put the remaining CC structures back into use. I would love to see Zingo in the spot Ozcat used to occupy. Bells Branson has a nice ring to it. It just seems like Tulsa just doesn't want him anywhere. The Hershends can kinda relate as SDC is currently sitting on land with a still active 99 year lease. Who knows what might happen afterward.

Again I know its wishful thinking and I know it will probably never happen.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on August 13, 2018, 08:14:00 AM
lol, do you not remember how crazy HFEC went when Branson USA opened? They literally bought an entire park and ultimately closed it just to keep the competition out. I'm surprised they didn't try to buy up the Branson Fun Park too, but it probably closed before they even got a chance.  ;D

Robbie's assets rotted away a long time ago. He had multiple chances to get something worked out with several different municipalities and businesses, but he just doesn't have the capability. If he had any sense he wouldn't have been kicked out of the fairgrounds in the first place. Anyone else would have raised a stink and gone after state, city, and county officials until the decision had been reversed. He didn't even file a lawsuit...

I like the guy, but there's a few reasons why no one will work with him. Tulsa DESPERATELY wants Bell's back. It is at the top of every list of things people want/miss in Tulsa. Unfortunately it will take someone else to do it.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: sdcfan88 on August 14, 2018, 05:04:00 AM
I haven't heard the whole story on that issue... thats quite unfortunate. I just thought it was just a simple case of the city council being bullies to the man because like most politicians, money and special interests talk more than anything and anyone who gets in the way of that gets elliminated.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: shavethewhales on September 12, 2019, 02:12:54 PM
Out of the blue last night the Bell's Amusement Park facebook page was updated again... today a new message was posted:

Quote
“Hello from the Bells team!! Thank you for liking the official Bell's Amusement Park Facebook page. We are as excited as you are to bring the park back. Here is what YOU can do TODAY to help us make that happen. Like, Comment and Share our page and posts. Tag your friends in your comments. Invite your friends to like our page. Help us spread the word and keep checking for exciting updates! Post your Bell’s pictures and share your memories! Thank you, Robby and the Bell's team.

So, has someone reached out to Robby again about rebuilding Bell's? Are they just getting their flea market operation going again? Lots of questions here, but I'm not holding my breath this time.
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: Kemotblue on September 12, 2019, 02:47:26 PM
This is awesome news but SO many questions but it's a pretty confident post?  I reached out to Robby. See if he replies.  This is great news the park is returning hopefully better then the attempt in 2013.   It been 6 years since that attempt has he found the right support this time around to bring the park back to life.  Tulsa area a park is needed hope it's more solid foundation then a couple of kiddie rides at a local Flea Market.   
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: Okiebenz on September 12, 2019, 07:32:28 PM
Here is an article in the TW that came out today.  I really will not believe it until I see it.  I am not sure what all rides they still have sitting around but it have to be deteriorated pretty badly by now. 

https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/it-s-just-a-question-of-where-bell-s-amusement/article_9cc062db-e578-5627-b62a-753170d31895.html
Title: Re: Bell's Developments
Post by: sdcfan88 on September 23, 2019, 04:28:07 PM
Yeah I too will file this under the "I'll believe it when I see it."  catagory.