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Double-decker travel to tour Tulsa

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From Tulsa World. By DAVID HARPER

Tulsans will soon have the opportunity to see the city from a unique and lofty perspective thanks to a pair of local attorneys and their associates.

Cheyenne Bus Company business partners David Warta (from left), Oleg Roytman, Donnie Smolen and Dan Smolen

Partners David Warta, Oleg Roytman, Donnie Smolen and Dan Smolen

Dan and Donnie Smolen are having a pair of London-style double-decker buses renovated with an eye towards having the twin 13-foot, 6-inch-tall, 30-foot-long, 70-seat vehicles on the city’s streets in early 2013.

Dan Smolen said he saw a similar type of bus parked at a local automobile salvage business, which got him thinking about the possibility of having such distinctive vehicles driving through the downtown Tulsa and Cherry Street areas to serve the weekday lunchtime crowd.

“It’s going to be a brand new option for public transportation and for private parties,” Dan Smolen said. “Everything is going to be first-class.”

Dan Smolen said it’s costing close to a half-million dollars to acquire and refurbish two 1978 Bristol VRT double-decker buses, which he said were formerly used in Minneapolis.

Jason Anderson of Anderson Classics & Kustoms in Claremore is leading the renovation effort. He said his crew is putting in long days with the goal of having the first bus finished by the end of the year and the second one completed by April. Read More

Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off in downtown Tulsa

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From Tulsa World. By DAVID HARPER

Tulsa attorneys Daniel and Donald Smolen are involved in an ongoing trial in Tulsa federal court, but on Saturday they were holding court in a different way just a few blocks from the courthouse.


Dan & Donald cooking

The Smolens were among the participants in the fifth annual Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-Off, which founding Chairman Tripp Haggard said included a record 55 teams from seven states.

Haggard said the event, which was held on the downtown streets near Trinity Episcopal Church, featured the preparation of about 2 tons of steak, much of which was devoured at what organizers describe as “the state’s largest steak dinner” on Saturday evening.

On Friday, the Smolens started a trial in which they are plaintiffs’ counsel in a civil rights case. Testimony will begin on Monday. On Saturday, however, they took time out from the courtroom to take part in a competition in which they received favorable verdicts in 2009 and 2011, when they were crowned champions.

Daniel Smolen said Saturday that experience has taught the brothers and the rest of the team from their firm of Smolen, Smolen & Roytman that “if you’ve got a good steak, you’ll usually win.” Read More

CBC in Tulsa People Magazine

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From Tulsa People Magazine

written by: JULIE RAINS

tulsa-buses-tulsa-peopleCheyenne Bus Co. started with a snow cone.

Tulsa attorney Dan Smolen and his family were en route to a snow cone stand when he saw a double-decker bus, looming large over everything else in a roadside junkyard.

Perhaps because the icy, summery treats were on his mind, Dan “became obsessed” with the idea of opening a snow cone stand out of a restored double-decker bus.

He brought the idea to his business partners Donnie Smolen (Dan’s brother),David Warta and Oleg Roytman, but the bus idea was met with more enthusiasm than the snow cones.

“We came up with all these ways you could use a really cool double-decker bus,” Donnie says. “Kids’ birthday parties, architectural tours, catered dinners, tailgates, wine tasting, speed dating …”

And so, the snow cone stand dissolved into a charter, tour and transit bus company.

The partners purchased two 1978 Bristol VRTs in July 2012. The buses were driven to Tulsa from Minnesota at what was then their maximum speed of 38 miles per hour — without air conditioning.

“No mechanic wanted to take on these buses,” Dan says. “Eventually we were referred to this company in Claremore called Anderson Classics and Kustoms.”

There, owner Jason Anderson and his team completed all the needed body, paint and upholstery work. Read More

Bus Renovation

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