It's a bit surprising that Bell's wasn't able to get everything out by the deadline, but I'm wondering if it was stuff they didn't really want and will probably claim as a loss. I wish the article had specified what had to be left behind. I'm hoping that sign was saved- that would be a terrible loss.
That baffles my mind. If I was Robby Bell, I would have filed a lawsuit long before it was time to pack up and leave. It's not like things seem a little shady- this sounds like a downright sour deal made behind closed doors and motivated by a lot of money and politics. I can't imagine letting that go without some kind of response.
^I've said the exact same thing from the outset, Jeff. The "Fair" offer of a few thousand dollars ($10K, IIRC), at the LAST minute, to try and get Bell's off their site, reeked of the Board trying to suggest that they were "helping" the Bells to vacate their precious space...as if to mitigate the award in the *eventual* settlement.
If no lawsuit is filed before the appropriate deadline passes, I will be *shocked*...and frankly, disappointed.
^What would they file a lawsuit for? They leased land from the fair, and the fair decided they wanted it back. There's nothing illegal about it at all, but mind you everything behind the situation went beyond unethical.
Everything completely important made it out (I.E. - the log flume and Zingo) but I'll miss the Chili Peppers, Phantasmagoria, and the old car ride. Was the sign really toppled though? They said before that they wanted to set it up at the new park.
However tragic this situation is, you must admit that Bell's is set to win out, if they can get investors, and the fair will lose all around. The fair will get a huge drop in attendance, plus a load of bickering for years to come, not to mention a huge loss in lease money and everything else Bell's brought. Bell's on the other hand, will probably be able to start a whole new park, and Robbie will be allowed to set it up just the way he wants, with all his old classic rides and a mess of new ones as well. So I guess it'll all turn out - eventually.
It was the implied relationship between someone on the fair board (or maybe the executive, I don't remember) and possible alternate concessionaires that I found suspicious. How could everyone be OK with that?
^Ah yes, you mean things like the $5,000 'campaign grant' given by the Murphy Bros. (owners of Big Splash and almost all the fair rides) to county commissioner Miller. That same Miller happened to be not only the one who started the idea of kicking Bell's out, but also the one the granted the Murphy Bros. unprecedented free reign over the Tulsa State Fair with a ten-year, no-bid contract to be the main midway operator. They also get to use most of Bell's old land. Coincidence? Well, they don't exactly have much to go on for a lawsuit. Don't get me started on the Expo manager...
Still, when the fair gets screwed over in the coming couple of years, maybe the records will be reviewed and justice will be served.
The whole thing reeks of b.s. The park was negotiating to extend the lease, and all of a sudden the park is ordered to vacate the premises? For the fair board to do a complete 180 clearly implies that something had gone awry.
Remember the Wildcat accident in 1997? The lawyer who represented the families against Bells was Mr. Clark Brewster.
This is the same Clark Brewster that sits on the fair board.
I have personally heard Clark's partner DeAngelis say very negative things about the Bell family. I have never met or spoke with Clark, but if her opinion is a reflection of Clark's, then I wouldn't doubt he wasn't out to "get" the Bell family.
Lawsuits cost money...something the Bell family just doesn't have. They could have borrowed money for new rides (new coaster, etc.) while they had a viable business, but now there isn't a "source" of revenue.
Also, I don't think $5 Million was left behind...it was mentioned elsewhere that it would take about 5 Million to get things back up and running the way they would like.
^^^ Damn, so there it was, but maybe they got it moved off at the last minute. They did say they wanted to take the sign with them, but if they couldn't save it I'm sure we'll see a new one that will resemble it.
^ I think you have it switched around, it would take much more than $5 million to get things back up and running, like say, $30-$40 million. $5 million hardly covers the water slides, log flume facade, buildings, arcade, and equipment that was stolen from Bell's.
I hope they just leave big piles of crap all over the site for the fair to have to clean up.
Maybe Bell had to make a decision- spend time and money on a lawsuit, or spend time and money getting the park rebuilt. I'm sure I would pick the latter, as a lawsuit is never a guarantee. Just trying to think of reasons why a lawsuit was never filed when one should have been.
^I'm telling you guys, there's absolutely nothing to sue over. Now, the taxpayers should definitely start something against the fair, but there's nothing Bell's can do.
Bell's leased their land, and the land owners decided they didn't want to lease anymore, it's that simple. It might have been 'wrong' but it wasn't illegal.
Still though, the tax payers will pay well over half a million just to clear out Bell's and build the parking lot. From there, there will be a loss of over $150,000 a year from the fair's income, a massive loss in tourism and interest in the area, and the drop in fair attendance. Thus, there should be some kind of protest, just for the sake of the poor taxpayers.