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November 19, 2017, 08:24:32 am
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Author Topic: Parking Lot for Bells? Reaaaaaallllly?  (Read 8298 times)
tim huntzinger
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« on: November 10, 2006, 09:01:23 am »

If Commissioner Miller & Co. have no better ideas for the Bell's property than a parking lot, cannot Bell's or some citizen's group make the case in a lawsuit that this harms the taxpayers of Tulsa?

There must be something else they have in mind like a grand new entrance or other commercial endeavor.  And how can Miller advocate for the Channels taxpayer subsidy and then claim Bell's is an unfair subsidy?
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Rico
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2006, 09:32:18 am »

Glad you started this thread...

There are several houses on the corner across from Bells that are being taken out for what I understand to be an office Building...

If the residents of that neighborhood were upset because of the noise at Bells.... Maybe they will be pleased to see an ocean of tail lights and bumpers as they have their morning coffee.?
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2006, 10:10:13 am »

Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I'm starting to think Ms Miller knows of someone wanting to open up in Tulsa and they needed Bells to be gone.
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Chicken Little
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2006, 11:55:31 am »

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I'm starting to think Ms Miller knows of someone wanting to open up in Tulsa and they needed Bells to be gone.

This isn't going to turn into another Disneyland thread, is it?[Wink]
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2006, 12:23:50 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Chicken Little

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I'm starting to think Ms Miller knows of someone wanting to open up in Tulsa and they needed Bells to be gone.

This isn't going to turn into another Disneyland thread, is it?[Wink]



Nope, nor six flags.

Theories:
1. Someone else says they can run Bell's better than Robbie can. They have money to invest. Bell's gets evicted, is forced to leave the lion's share of their assets, making it easy for the new owners to be up and running by the new season. (ie Casa Bonita/Casa Viva)

2. Miller's "secret plan" mentioned in the paper several days ago that is supposed to be announced this month features a riverside amusement park and the investors believe Tulsa can't support two of them.

3. The county wants to put in an semi-upscale hotel/convention space adjacent to the expo center.

4. I got more but I'll stop here.
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Ibanez
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2006, 01:05:21 pm »

Keep going.....sounds plausible so far
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patric
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2006, 01:39:58 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by sgrizzle

The county wants to put in an semi-upscale hotel/convention space adjacent to the expo center.


Oops...

(excerpted in part from a 12/31/2004 article:)

Ralph L. Jones Jr.'s management company will be paid a $215,000 settlement because Tulsa County officials will not allow the Tulsa developer to build a second hotel at the fairgrounds.

Records show that American Management Inc. had an option to lease 2.5 acres for a second hotel on a mutually agreeable site near Gate 12 on 21st Street. But fairgrounds officials and AMI could never agree on a specific location.

Jones owns and operates the Microtel that was built at the fairgrounds in 1999.

"Granted, it said in a mutually agreeable place, but mutually agreeable means you can't be unreasonable, and the fairgrounds said we don't want to build a hotel anywhere out here," said Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority member Bob Dick. "I believe in good faith. I think when we signed the original contract, that was probably what was envisioned. I think that contract had some value and I didn't want to test it in a court of law."

AMI president Chris Knapp informed Expo Square in March 2003 that the ideal site for a second hotel would be in front of the Exposition Center on a long, narrow strip of land encompassing most of the parking lot.

Dick said having a hotel built in front of the Exposition Center's facade wouldn't work for aesthetic reasons.

"I just didn't think it was in our best interest to give up 21/2 acres of prime parking right next to the Expo building," said Expo Square President Denny Tuttle.

The May 1997 agreement predated a master plan that was later developed for Expo Square that focuses on it being a family entertainment and events center with an emphasis on livestock facilities. Since then, Dick said, the whole landscape at the fairgrounds has changed.

"The highest, best use of land, I don't feel would have been another hotel. That's kind of our entry way," Dick said.

As a result of the settlement, AMI will be paid $215,000 and a second hotel will no longer be an option. AMI will pay $65,000 in past-due rent on the hotel that it withheld from the fairgrounds during the dispute.

The fairgrounds receives $42,200 annual rent for the hotel, plus a percentage of gross room revenues. The fairgrounds was projected to earn about $100,000 a year, but actual reve nues have ranged between $69,000 to about $98,000 a year, records show.

Jones' financial relationship with the fairgrounds is complex. Jones put up the money to construct the $2.1 million simulcasting facility at Fair Meadows and in return was allowed to build a $4 million, 103-room hotel on the fairgrounds.

His company holds food and beverage rights from the sports bar in the simulcast facility and retains the $2 admission revenues to pay the debt on the building.

AMI owns the simulcast building but leases the land from the Public Facilities Authority. Tom Hilborne, the authority's attorney, said the lease was transferred in January 1998 to Fair Meadows Racing and Sports Bar LLC, which was signed by Jones as manager. A limited liability company does not have to disclose its members.

Jones is listed as an officer of the not-for-profit Revival America Association. The group's Web site posts the same address as the simulcasting facility.

AMI also owns the hotel building and pays a lease to the fairgrounds for the land. AMI records list Knapp as president, Carl P. Hall as vice president and Audrey Williams as secretary. Tuttle said AMI assigned the hotel lease to Jasper Development, which is also an LLC. Knapp signed as president in that agreement.

Jones' proposal to build the Microtel was controversial at the time because the Public Facilities Authority did not seek competitive proposals from other developers. Jones was campaign manager in Dick's unsuccessful bid for mayor of Tulsa in 1994. Jones has been one of Dick's top political contributors in the past.

But Dick said that Jones' building of a simulcast facility kept the fairgrounds from closing its doors during hard financial times. Fairgrounds buildings were in poor condition. The racing simulcast operation was previously run out of the old Trade Center.

"The simulcast facility is what kept the doors open to the fairgrounds for a long time. Now with the improvements we're making, other things are starting to kick in, but had we not had a simulcasting facility, there was talk of shutting down a lot of venues and reducing a number of shows we had out there because we were losing money on them," Dick said.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2006, 01:53:43 pm »

Wasn't Ralph Jones the campaign manager for Bob Dick?
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2006, 02:05:50 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by recyclemichael

Wasn't Ralph Jones the campaign manager for Bob Dick?



(From above)
Jones was campaign manager in Dick's unsuccessful bid for mayor of Tulsa in 1994. Jones has been one of Dick's top political contributors in the past.
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RecycleMichael
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2006, 02:39:58 pm »

I should try reading the whole story...

Did you read the Robbie Bell blamed the fairgrounds decision to build an RV park on 15th street for his financial problems in 2003 and 2004?

He said it drastically reduced the foot traffic in the area. Explain to me how some RVs parked a quarter of a mile away from his gate reduced his foot traffic.

No, Robbie. That was the same time as you stopped maintaining the park even closing the miniature golf course. That was also the same time that your patrons started shooting at each other.

No Robbie, the RV park patrons were not to blame. Look in the mirror. Bell's is a rundown and unsafe place to take families.

They should leave or make dramatic improvements.
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ttown_jeff
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2006, 04:09:33 pm »

Why why why would a proposal to create level parking lot in Tulsa ever surprise anyone???

Parking lots are good at the fairgrounds or anywhere else for that matter. Here are the top ten reasons we need more parking lots, generally.
 
1. In the event of a gang war, there is no place to hide in an empty parking lot. They either kill each other, or they all run away.

2. More parking allows everyoneto park sideways, taking two parking spots.

3. It's much easier to charge $5 for a parking space than it is to pay $1.25 for a bus ticket.

4. The asphalt companies need the business, or they will be forced to relocate to another state.  

5. Parking lots are good places to meet to sell drugs, have flea markets, and velvet paintings.

6. Parking lots are more fun to kids than amusement parks are.

7. It would give Paul Tay a safe place to ride his bike.

8.  It would eliminate the bothersome chore of watching kids have fun in the summer.  They need more time to play xbox anyway - good for eye hand coordination.

9.  Some of the most beautiful parts of the fairgounds won't be obscured by the unsightly amusement rides.

10. Everyone knows that Amusement Parks are the main cause of global warming. Hot, smelly asphalt actually  helps heal the ozone layer.
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Oil Capital
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2006, 09:16:31 am »

I am confused.  I thought they had just recently and finally, after many years, come to terms on allowing Bells to expand.  And now we're talking about kicking them out and replacing them with a parking lot?  What is going on???
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carltonplace
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2006, 12:47:57 pm »

I think sgrizzle theory number one is probably closest to the mark. The park won't go away, it just won't be called "Bell's" anymore.
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YoungTulsan
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2006, 02:09:05 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Oil Capital

I am confused.  I thought they had just recently and finally, after many years, come to terms on allowing Bells to expand.  And now we're talking about kicking them out and replacing them with a parking lot?  What is going on???



Because part of Robbie's business plan was to skimp on keeping the park clean and squalor-free, and to lowball the Fairgrounds on rent.  He thought he could get away with it, but the fairgrounds has other ideas?

Thats how I see it, could be wrong.
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AMP
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2006, 09:51:41 pm »

Indian owned and operated Casinos do not have to be on Indian land.  There are 3 operating in the US currently that are not on Indian Land.  

Because the casinos in Oklahoma seem to be enjoying huge profits at this time, why not replace existing space at the Expo with a business that would increase the revenue stream 10 fold.

My question, which has not been answered by the Tulsa World and the 4 TV station News departments is: When was the Expo Square Master Plan written, and why is it not public information?  

Second Question is if the Expo Master Plan was written prior to VISION 2025, why was Bell's Amusement Park not included in VISION 2025.  

And what of the donation by Murphy Brothers to Randi Millers campaign and Murphy Bros long term non compete contract bid with the Fair Grounds.  Why no investigation into that?

As our tax dollars are streaming out to build a modern Water Park in Broken Arrow, Remodel Main Street in Collinsville and various other projects outside of Tulsa.  

Spending all the money on other projects while allowing our existing Tulsa City/County park neighborhood swimming pools to sit empty with no water and no lifeguard on duty.

And now to decide to evict a Tulsa Historical Landmark off the County Fair Grounds after leading the owners on and allowing the to pursue a legal battle in District Court for years regarding a major improvement to their facility.  May want to look at the definition of “Unconscionable” agreements as used in Commercial Real Estate contracts.  

I would be hauling the County and everyone involved into Federal Court if I were Bell’s attorney.  

I recall the Fair Board and that group being taken to court over many things that have gone on there.  Including specific show producers that have had “Exclusive Rights” and blocked dates from competitors.  

The Fairgrounds is intended for the entertainment of the community, small medium and large events should have equal rights on that facility.  Bell’s and the other tenants have all experienced lower numbers as have the majority of most businesses in the Tulsa area over the past years since the 911 attacks.   Price of Energy increasing 33.3+ percent did not allow too many families to have the extra entertainment money to spend these past years.  

I submit there are more businesses going out of business in Tulsa than going into business.  Especially locally owned businesses.  Sure you have the giants like Wal Mart, National Chain fast food joints and a few others those that come and go like the wind.  But overall lets see the numbers of New vrs closed businesses.        

Best Economy in 50 Years!    For Who?  

I say let Bell’s be part of the all mighty VISION 2025 PLAN.   Oh, forgot they are not located outside of Tulsa, and the City/County does not handle the ticket booth.

Many communities would love to have an Amusement Park.  There are two in the US that are National Historic Landmarks.   Seems the Tulsa Area has lost a few over the past years.  Skyline, Crystal City, Lakeview, Orcutt Park now Swan Lake, Sand Springs Amusement Park,
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