Author Topic: Bell's Developments  (Read 55310 times)

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #15 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...

chittlins

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #16 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.  :(

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #17 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #18 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...
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 01:15:22 PM by shavethewhales »

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #19 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

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #20 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.

StaceySue

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #21 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...

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #22 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #23 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. 

cowboy

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2013, 09:21:14 AM »
.............:-)
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 11:51:05 AM by cowboy »

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #25 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...

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #26 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.

shavethewhales

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #27 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.

chittlins

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #28 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.

cowboy

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Re: Bell's Developments
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2014, 08:08:42 PM »
........
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 11:51:29 AM by cowboy »