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NEWS: Bell's Amusement Park to reopen in Broken Arrow, OK

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After closing their original park in 2006, the Bell family has announced plans to build a new park in Broken Arrow ten times the size of the original. 



It’s official! Robbie Bell, and members of the Bell family, announced plans to develop a new Bell’s Amusement Park on more than 100 acres in east Broken Arrow, on the south side of Kenosha St., near the Creek Turnpike gate.  

Locally owned Bell’s Amusement Park was a Tulsa entertainment staple for more than 50 years at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds until it closed in 2006.  

Bell said that with the purchase of the 102-acre property, the new Bell’s Amusement Park will be 10 times the size of their previous park.  

“We will have the freedom now and the tools to put in an entertainment facility that will be second to none for this entire region of the United States,” Bell said.  

According to Bell, plans for the park include a thrill park featuring Bell’s favorites such as Zingo, the iconic wooden roller coaster, the log ride, the Phantasmagoria, and the Himalayan, as well as a kiddie park, high-speed go-carts, and a water park twice the size of any in the area.  

He also plans for the park to be open 10 months out of the year.  

“Broken Arrow is the community to be in if you want to put a business together,” Bell said. “They’re extremely aggressive in trying to develop the city, both commercially and residentially, with a lot of new neighborhoods going up on a weekly and monthly basis.” 

Mayor Debra Wimpee expressed her excitement for the new project. 

“It’s new and exciting for the city,” Wimpee said. “It’s economic development that is going to generate jobs and a better quality of life for our residents.” 

City Manager Michael Spurgeon reminisced about growing up in Tulsa and spending time at Bell’s Amusement Park.  

“Some of my fondest memories were spent there on Zingo and to be able to make this announcement today is an absolute blessing,” Spurgeon said. 

Bell plans to build the park in phases over the next several years. The property is undeveloped and will require infrastructure to accomplish his goals. 

“There is a lot to be done here, and this will take a lot of work. This doesn’t happen overnight,” Jennifer Conway, Broken Arrow Chamber and Economic Development President said. “But the vision is absolutely phenomenal!”

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I expect that he will build a small kiddie park with a few carnival rides and whatever few things he has left over from Bell's and call it good. I think it's impressive he has stayed with it after so many years and so many setbacks, but I just don't think he has it in him to get very far. It does sound like some major investors are involved, but we will see if they stick around this time or if they pull out like others before. The problem is that Robby and his family really don't understand business, hence why they got kicked out of the fairgrounds without so much as a whimper. They didn't even fight it or work out a deal because they don't understand how anything works.

Back in 2013 they declared themselves "back" as Robby set up a grand total of three toddler rides in the parking lot of a crappy flea market. He made big pronouncements back then of building all kinds of stuff at this flea market - lots of rides, mini golf, maybe even a roller coaster or two? A year later he was kicked off the property, leaving a ton of stuff behind. That's why few trust him. 

Don't get me wrong,  I am rooting for him and no one wants Zingo back more than me. I learned to love classic parks at Bell's and still seek out classic wooden coasters to this day. I am just keeping my expectations grounded after 15 years of disappointment. If a kiddie park gets built, that is awesome. If they get any thrill rides built and stay in business, that would be tremendous. 

It's worth noting that neighbors are already complaining as if a giant disney park is being dropped into the community. Robby made it sound like they were building everything at once in his press conference and a lot of people don't remember how small Bell's was back in the day. There's going to be a bunch more harsh public comments in the days ahead...

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This is very interesting: https://basentinel.town.news/g/broken-arrow-ok/n/65448/market-study-likely-bells-property-amusement-park-not-guaranteed

The owner's of Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the entity actually behind all this. With all the backlash against Bell's, they are taking a step back and re-evaluating if Bell's is quite what they want to do or open it up to other developments. Robby Bell really dropped the ball on this as usual. The neighbor concerns were never addressed and now his backers are having to come out and slow everything down and take control from him. His communication with everyone is so poor and he has no business sense. I feel sorry for him, but damn, after 15 years you'd think he'd be ready to handle some of this. 

If we get a nice outdoor mall with a few rides, that could be a good compromise. I still want the amusement/water park though obviously. 

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Ugh, that's disappointing. Tulsa deserves a theme park. Really every city of Tulsa's size should have one. I want for this to happen, but it keeps seeming like Bell gets in his own way. I keep going back and forth between I will support him whenever this opens, and giving up entirely on the dude as a lost cause. 


I don't know. Do or do not, there is no try.

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