Bell family not officially involved in development plans despite amusement park announcement

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. –Three months after Robby Bell announced plans to reopen Bell’s amusement park, 2 News Oklahoma learns his family isn’t officially involved in the development.

Bell held a press conference in November, announcing its plans for the park on 102 acres of land in Broken Arrow.

“In the very near future, we’ll have a timeline of what we think will open first and when,” Bell said during that November press conference.

At the time of the announcement, Bell presented a plan for the park.

“Right now the lot we’re standing on, which is closest to 71st Street, will likely be a children’s park,” Bell said in November. “While the Thrill Park will run parallel to the Creek Turnpike. The Water Park will be back around 81st Street.

Now we learn that the park may not exist. And the Bell family isn’t officially involved.

The initial update came earlier this week from Broken Arrow City manager Michael Spurgeon. At a city council meeting, he said he heard about the Santa Cruz Seaside Company, which purchased the land advertised as the new Bell’s. Spurgeon said company chairman Karl Rice told him they wanted to do market research before deciding how to develop the land.

READ MORE: Bell theme park plans slow as owners debate Broken Arrow land use

Spurgeon and other city officials were at Bell’s announcement in November. Looking back, he said it was premature.

“Based on what we know now, yes absolutely,” Spurgeon said. “Mr. Bell basically asked the city to attend and we did because there’s obviously huge potential to have an amusement park in Broken Arrow.

2 News Oklahoma has contacted the Santa Cruz Seaside Company about the development. It said:

“The Santa Cruz Seaside Company is excited to explore development opportunities on the land we purchased in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. In the coming months, we will be working closely with the City of Broken Arrow to investigate the feasibility of various development opportunities for the site, and we look forward to the process unfolding as we learn more.”

Santa Cruz Seaside Company

Without mention of the Bell family, 2 News asked about their involvement.

The Santa Cruz Seaside Company said:

“The Bells are not part of the ownership group that purchased the land. They have no official role in future development plans at this time. We’ve talked about working with them on development opportunities, but we don’t have a formal agreement with them.

Santa Cruz Seaside Company

Spurgeon said he was told the Bell family had contacted the Santa Cruz Seaside Company about the land. He said he and other townspeople are excited about the opportunity to work with the company, which owns the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, among other businesses.

“It relieved the city of potentially dealing with a company that had decades of experience in this area,” Spurgeon said.

Spurgeon said there is currently no timeline for development plans; however, he said the Santa Cruz Seaside Company intended to develop it into something.

“In fact, this property may or may not include an amusement park,” he said. “It could be a combination of mixed use with an amusement park. That’s something they’re still working on right now.

2 News contacted Robby Bell, but did not hear back.

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