TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority met Thursday morning inside Armory Hall at Expo Square to unanimously approve further talks to sell the Skyride.
Chief Operating Officer for Expo Square Amanda Blair says the board voted to “authorize further negotiations” with Iraqi-based GT Amusement Service Company.
Blair says the county received just a single bid to buy the Sky Ride for $175,000, and that there is no one with the proper qualifications or safety certifications to qualify for the necessary insurance that Tulsa County would need to operate the ride.
“On our staff, we do not have ride operators. It is a very specific skill set that the Department of Labor oversees. At this time, we don’t have anyone with those qualifications, and it would take many years to get through that process,” Blair told us at this morning’s meeting.
“Expo Square and the Tulsa State Fair is not in the business of operating rides. That’s why we contract North American Midway Entertainment to operate all of our rides during the Tulsa State Fair. They were also given the opportunity to come in and operate the Skyride and they also declined.”
Blair says the county is exploring asking for more than the $175,000 bid to make sure “that the ride is taken and left in an aesthetically pleasing way at Expo Square.”
GT Amusement Service Company says they plan to buy the Skyride and ship it to the United Arab Emirates where it will be rebuilt at a park there.
Blair says she expects the next stages of negotiations to play out over the next few months.
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