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ICYMI: From Forbes to City Lab to CNBC, the cities and towns that make up our polycentric region have been making headlines for their unique appeal to people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests.

Cover photo by @pedalingpinkpanther on Instagram

We noted last month that just four larger metropolitan areas in the U.S. are growing at a faster rate than the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area (Northwest Arkansas). With most of this growth stemming from migrants who move to our region from other states and countries—the natural question becomes, “Why?”. There may be no single answer, but these recent headlines might offer up some good clues.

15 cities where business is booming and salaries are rising

While wages remain stagnant for many Americans in other states, according to CNBC, Fayetteville made it to the “15 U.S. growing cities where the business is booming and salaries are on the rise.” The home to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, together with other towns like Bentonville, Rogers, Siloam Springs and Springdale, will continue to put Northwest Arkansas on Americans’ radar, providing newcomers with a lower cost of living and a higher quality of life.

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Even for the we’ll-do-it-our-way Baby Boom generation, retirement usually means two predictable changes: less income and more freedom to live where you please. That’s why so many folks at least consider moving in retirement and why Forbes’ list of The Best Places To Retire In 2019 highlights 25 locales that offer both affordability and a high quality of life.

Forbes

Best Places to Retire in 2019

For the third year in a row, the scenic Ozark foothill town of Bella Vista has been recognized by Forbes as one of the 25 best places to retire. A pleasant community surrounded by nature and beautiful lakes, Bella Vista’s low median home prices offer particular advantages for people seeking to retire in one of the more peaceful corners of the world.

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Best Places to Retire in 2019

For the third year in a row, the scenic Ozark foothill town of Bella Vista has been recognized by Forbes as one of the 25 best places to retire. A pleasant community surrounded by nature and beautiful lakes, Bella Vista’s low median home prices offer particular advantages for people seeking to retire in one of the more peaceful corners of the world.

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Eureka Springs has a mysterious effect on people [...] the city has flair like no other. This Victorian village boasts the country’s only entire downtown on the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas are painstakingly preserved Victorian homes that hug the slides of cliffs and hillsides.

Group Travel Leader
@xthroughz on Instagram

Visit Eureka Springs, A “Top 25 Arts Destination”

If you are an art enthusiast, you might want to take a look at Eureka Springs’ arts, architecture, history, and music scene which make this town one of the best places to live in or to visit in Northwest Arkansas. Eureka Springs has been ranked as a top 25 arts destination by the American Style Magazine: “[v]isitors can enjoy nightly music shows, music festivals, a big cat sanctuary, the country’s largest outdoor drama, and the country’s oldest folk festival. There are free outdoor concerts in the park, shows at the city auditorium and colorful parades for every occasion!” reads The Group Travel Leader’s website.

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State of the Art x 2

Bentonville is no stranger to turning heads in the art community thanks to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. In 2014, Crystal Bridges debuted a groundbreaking exhibit, “State of the Art”, which showcased 102 artists redefining the American aesthetic. To select the artists, museum curators visited over 1,000 artists across the country. PBS recently aired a documentary film on the initial exhibition, which you can view HERE.

In addition to the documentary, we were thrilled to learn that Bentonville will see the debut State of the Art II in early 2020 at Crystal Bridges as well as at the Momentary, its satellite contemporary arts venue currently under development. State of the Art II will be the Momentary’s inaugural show!

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State of the Art x 2

Bentonville is no stranger to turning heads in the art community thanks to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. In 2014, Crystal Bridges debuted a groundbreaking exhibit, “State of the Art”, which showcased 102 artists redefining the American aesthetic. To select the artists, museum curators visited over 1,000 artists across the country. PBS recently aired a documentary film on the initial exhibition, which you can view HERE.

In addition to the documentary, we were thrilled to learn that Bentonville will see the debut State of the Art II in early 2020 at Crystal Bridges as well as at the Momentary, its satellite contemporary arts venue currently under development. State of the Art II will be the Momentary’s inaugural show!

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In the heart of Northwest Arkansas, the small town of Eureka Springs has become a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ people in the rural South, for folks who can’t afford to or simply don’t want to move to big coastal cities.

NBC News

Gay-friendly towns in red states draw LGBTQ tourists

As NBC News recently noted, Northwest Arkansas is “trying to build an oasis for LGBTQ visitors”—a region where all can be themselves and feel accepted, and welcome. Eureka Springs, in particular, has become a center for diversity in rural America: it is a town of 2,000 people, with 30 percent of its residents belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. Eureka Springs is not alone–Fayetteville is also among the places in Northwest Arkansas with a thriving LGBTQ+ community. Our region celebrates people’s right to love whomever they please and identify according to the gender of their preference.

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America’s Tech Hubs Still Dominate, But Some Smaller Cities Are Rising

Although large American tech hubs are still dominating in tech employment, smaller tech hubs are leading the way in offering high-paying jobs while taking “advantage of lower costs of living, different talent pools, and geographic diversity,” reads CityLab’s recent piece. We couldn’t agree more, and were pleased to see our region mentioned in the article under the “Rise of the Rest”.

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America’s Tech Hubs Still Dominate, But Some Smaller Cities Are Rising

Although large American tech hubs are still dominating in tech employment, smaller tech hubs are leading the way in offering high-paying jobs while taking “advantage of lower costs of living, different talent pools, and geographic diversity,” reads CityLab’s recent piece. We couldn’t agree more, and were pleased to see our region mentioned in the article under the “Rise of the Rest”.

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The area offers a little bit of everything in terms of cycling conditions and challenges, and so it is not entirely surprising that the area is starting to emerge as one of the new hotbed destinations of U.S. cycling.

Velonews
@jeremywitek on Instagram

Come for a Job, Stay for the Trails.

Northwest Arkansas has emerged as a prime destination for cyclists thanks to both the paved and multi-surface trails that weave through and connect the entire region. And the benefits of the region’s cycling culture extend well beyond recreation as the recent piece entitled, “Come for a Job, Stay for the Trails” by Singletracks highlights—referencing a study by the Walton Family Foundation which found $86M in total health benefits to our region’s economy stemming from biking.

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Whether you are an art enthusiast, retiree, member of the LGBTQ community, tech talent, or a cyclist, you might want to check out the opportunities that Northwest Arkansas has to offer because chances are, they will lead you to the inevitable conclusion that this region is the place to be—whoever you are, wherever you come from.

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