Work stopped on Tulsa Sky Ride removal


By John Dobberstein, Editor

Multiple sources say a contractor hired to remove the Sky Ride from the Tulsa State Fairgrounds has stopped work and walked off the job, and no activity has taken place on the ride's removal in several days.

Iraq-based GT Amusement Service purchased the iconic ride from the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority earlier this year and planned to ship it back to the Middle East. 

Amanda Blair, the TCPFA’s chief operating officer, confirmed Thursday that a change was being made but Tulsa County wasn’t responsible.

“The purchaser and owner of the ride, GT Amusements, is who has selected/determined the removal contractor,” Blair said in an email response. “This decision is at their discretion, and we have been informed they are changing contractors and the work will resume.”

The contractor involved reportedly had a deadline next week to remove the ride from the grounds. TCPFA would not confirm that Thursday. 

TCPFA sought bids in December for an entity to operate the popular ride, which has been mothballed since the State Fair season of 2019. But the county received no formal bidders, although a few vendors inquired about the ride and reportedly balked at the RFP's terms.

TCPFA voted in a regular meeting this spring to negotiate with the Iraq company for purchase of the ride. 

All of this came after the Sky Ride has been deemed to be eligible last October for the National Register of Historic Places by the Oklahoma Historical Society State Historic Preservation Office.

The Save Our Tulsa Skyride group also unveiled a list of potential solutions to the Skyride's operating future.

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