Author Topic: Bell's Developments  (Read 24057 times)

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #45 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

DeweyBald

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #46 on: August 19, 2014, 10:15:23 PM »
Cool.  Thanks Shave!  Well, maybe someday we'll see the old Zingo again!  LOL

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #47 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #48 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.

cowboy

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #49 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?

« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 03:56:52 PM by cowboy »

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #50 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #51 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #52 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #53 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #54 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #55 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.

cowboy

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #56 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

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #57 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.

DeweyBald

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #58 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #59 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.