Known for being the home of Wal-Mart Corporate offices, Bentonville AR has received much national attention in 2013 for it’s community development, first class attractions, and job growth. According to The Washington Post “Bentonville’s Downtown, which is undergoing a cultural and culinary renaissance, fits into a gift box of a square. Stout brick buildings dressed in bright awnings form a circle of friendship around a neatly landscaped park with a marble fountain, towering trees and the frequent dog on a leash. Main Street feels very “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” USA today referred to Downtown Bentonville as “Manhattan dressed up like Mayberry” Both statements would be true. Although there is plenty of corporate influence here, the town has not lost its quaint charm that gives Bentonville the “hometown USA” feel and appearance. Organizations such as Downtown Bentonville, Inc. strive to preserve this atmosphere through business and community involvement.
From the National Media to Hollywood stars, all eyes seem to be on Bentonville these days. Bentonville Mayor, Bob McCaslin’s State of The City address on January 28, 2014 gives us a lot of insight as to why. Financially, Bentonville has remained “in the black”, maintained a balanced budget and actually flourished during some of the hardest economic times in history. Commercial building permits are up 65% from 2012, sales tax revenue was 7% above budget and unemployment is at 4.6% and on the downslide In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Northwest Arkansas 4th in the entire nation in job growth! The latest census reports show Bentonville’s population has reached 40,000 and is expected to reach 65,000 by 2030. The 21C Hotel opened in February 2013 and has been named in TripAdvisor’s Top Ten Traveler’s Choice Awards coming in at #6.
The accolades go on and on leaving no wonder as to why Mayor McCaslin referred to Bentonville as the “preferred place for work, play, and living life”.