(from November 2021)
If you’re new here, you are not alone.
The soft opening of our new location in Bella Vista happened Nov 1, even before all the furniture was in and the walls were decorated. In the space of a month, half our Dedicated Cubicles have been spoken for. All but one of our Team Offices are gone, as are 3 of our 6 Individual Offices. A quick survey of our new members reveals a good many – our calculations show close to half – just moved here from out of state. Some followed a spouse here for a new job, and needed a place to do remote work. Those in our Team Offices shared that several of their new staffers are not native Arkansans. And our first Virtual Office member needed a place to transfer mail ahead of a planned relocation from the east coast. Reports are he loves it here, and he won’t stop talking about how clean the air is, even in town.
As for Bella Vista, the city, growth here has been explosive, and it shows no sign of abating. The completion of a new interstate, I-49, connecting Ft. Smith with Kansas City and beyond, redirected traffic and instantly made our location easily accessible from anywhere in NWA (For you newbies, that’s short for Northwest Arkansas). Recent transplants have no idea how lucky they are to have missed nearly 6 years of active construction in this part of town! Now that the semi-trucks can stay on the interstate rather than traverse through town, navigating Bella Vista on hwy 71 is, I daresay, a joy and a pleasure.
Official stats say about 30 people a day are moving to northwest Arkansas. Bentonville alone saw a 77% increase in the ten years 2011-2021. The vast majority are here to work either for Fortune 1, or for a vendor or supplier in direct support of them. As of 2019, transportation behemoth JB Hunt employed 29,000 people. Chicken processor Tyson and the University of Arkansas employ a similar number. Add in another 70,000 students, and it’s easy to see where all those people are going.
Bentonville is not all work, though. Our outdoor culture is an added bonus. Mountain, road, and gravel biking, hiking, canoeing, golf, camping, swimming, RVing…try one or all. Our mild weather and “two weeks of winter” in February make being outside appealing year-round.
And have you heard of our little museum, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art? Walmart heir Alice Walton has poured over a billion (with a “B”!) dollars into a collection of world-class art, angering collectors the world over for bringing the planet’s most important pieces here, instead of to established museums on the coasts.
Also worth your time is The Momentary, and for families with children, the hands-on Scott Family Amazeum will become a regular minivan stop.
*ORIGINALLY POSTED NOVEMBER 2021