Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers metropolitan area

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Fayetteville–Springdale–Rogers Metropolitan Area
Map of Northwest Arkansas

Common name: Northwest Arkansas
Largest city Fayetteville, Arkansas
Other cities Bentonville, Arkansas
Springdale, Arkansas
Rogers, Arkansas
Bella Vista, Arkansas
Population  Ranked 106 in the U.S.
 – Total 463,204 (2010)
Area 3213.01 sq. mi.
5170.84 km2
Country  United States of America
State(s)  Arkansas and Missouri
Elevation   
 – Highest point 2515 feet (767 m)
 – Lowest point 800 feet (244 m)

The Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Statistical Area (often referred to as Northwest Arkansas) as defined by the United States Census Bureau is a four-county area including three Arkansas counties and one Missouri county. The MSA is anchored by the Arkansas cities of Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville — the state's third, fourth, eighth, and 11th largest cities, respectively. The total MSA population in United States Census 2010 was 465,776 people. The US Census estimated the population of the MSA to be 482,200 in 2012.[1] From 1990–2000 the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers MSA was the sixth fastest growing area in the nation.[2] The metropolitan area is the home of Wal-Mart and Tyson Foods — global leaders in retail and meat and poultry processing, respectively. J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc., North America's second largest publicly owned transportation and logistics company, is also based in the area. Over 1,300 Wal-Mart vendors have added corporate branches or offices in the area as well, including: Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble, Unilever, Motorola, Nestlé, Dell, General Mills, Kellogg Company,[3] and PepsiCo.[4]

Constituent counties[edit]

Constituent counties of the MSA include:

Arkansas

Missouri

Cities[edit]

Partial view of Fayetteville's locally famous Dickson Street.
Partial view of the Pinnacle Hills Promenade, a shopping center in Rogers.
Monument in homage to James H. Berry, the Confederacy, and the Southern Soldier, located in the town square of Bentonville.

Primary cities[edit]

Fayetteville[edit]

Fayetteville is a city in Washington County and home to the University of Arkansas. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 76,899.[5] The city is the third most populous in Arkansas and serves as the county seat of Washington County. It's also known for Dickson Street, perhaps the most prominent entertainment district in the state of Arkansas, which itself contains the Walton Arts Center. Blocks from Dickson Street is the Fayetteville Historic Square, which hosts the nation's number one ranked Fayetteville's Farmer's Market.[6] Fayetteville was also ranked 8th on Forbes Magazine's Top 10 Best Places in America for Business and Careers in 2007.[7]

Springdale[edit]

Springdale is a city in Washington and Benton Counties. According to 2010 Census Bureau, the population of the city is 73,123. Springdale is currently Arkansas's fourth-largest city, behind Little Rock, Fort Smith, and Fayetteville. Springdale is the location of the headquarters of Tyson Foods Inc., the largest meat producing company in the world, and has been dubbed the "Chicken Capital of the World" by several publications. In 2008, the Wichita Wranglers of AA minor league baseball's Texas League moved to Springdale and play in Arvest Ballpark as the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Rogers[edit]

Rogers is a city in Benton County. As of the 2010 census, the city is the eighth most populous in the state, with a total population of 58,895. Rogers is famous as the location of the first Wal-Mart. In June 2007, BusinessWeek magazine ranked Rogers 18th in the 25 best affordable suburbs in the South. In 2010, CNN Money magazine ranked Rogers as the 10th Best Place to Live in the United States. The city is the home town of American country music singer/songwriter Joe Nichols, and Marty Perry, as well as David Noland. It is also where comedian Will Rogers married Betty Blake.

Bentonville[edit]

Bentonville is a city in Benton County. At the 2010 census, the population was 38,284, up from 20,308 in 2000 ranking it as the state's 10th largest city. Bentonville also is the county seat of Benton County and home to the headquarters of Wal-Mart, which is the largest retailer in the world. Bentonville has the location of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Founded by Sam Walton's daughter Alice Walton and designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie, this museum is home to some of America's finest works of art.

Suburbs[edit]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 347,045 people, 131,939 households, and 92,888 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 89.70% White, 1.22% African American, 1.53% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 4.03% from other races, and 2.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.32% of the population. Over the past decade or more, Northwest Arkansas has been one of the fastest growing regions in the south.

The median income for a household in the MSA was $32,469, and the median income for a family was $38,118. Males had a median income of $27,025 versus $20,295 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $16,159.

Economy[edit]

Booming prosperity accompanying a tremendous increase in the area’s population has made Northwest Arkansas a recognized economic success. Many migrants come from Northeast Arkansas, South-Central Arkansas, and North Central Arkansas, to work in this booming area. The area is now seeking residents from places like Southwest Arkansas, and even Southeast Arkansas. The state’s population grew 13.7 percent between 1990 and 2000, but the two-county metropolitan statistical area accounted for one-third of that growth. Benton and Washington counties grew 47 percent between 1990 and 2000.Almost all of the people who moved to those counties then were from California,Oklahoma, Missouri,Kansas,Texas and other parts of Arkansas.[9] Estimates put the two-county population at roughly 373,055 by December 2004. Even during national economic turmoil, Northwest Arkansas has experienced 8.2 percent job growth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in February 2008 the Northwest Arkansas region as a whole had an unemployment rate of 4.1%.[10] This unemployment rate gave Northwest Arkansas a rank of 41 out of 369 metropolitan areas in the United States. Per capita income in Northwest Arkansas is $31,191, according to the most recent figures from the United States Census Bureau.[11] This is approximately $7,000 below the average per capita income.[11]

Bentonville is world renowned as a retail capital of the world, as it is headquarters to Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated. Springdale is home to Fortune 75 company Tyson Foods, the world’s leading producer of poultry and beef, and second-largest producer of pork. J.B. Hunt Transport Services in Lowell, is the nation’s largest publicly owned truckload carrier, with international networks in Canada and Mexico.[3]

Entertainment and recreation[edit]

Outdoors[edit]

The Northwest Arkansas region is widely known for its natural beauty, and outdoor recreation. A local outdoor favorite is Devil's Den State Park, located outside of Fayetteville in West Fork, Arkansas. The park offers scenic camping, climbing, fishing, caves, trails, and hiking through the Ozark Mountains. The park is located just off Highway 74.

The favorite water destination would be Beaver Lake. Beaver Lake has some 487 miles (784 km) of natural shoreline. With towering limestone bluffs, natural caves, and a wide variety of trees and flowering shrubs, it is a popular tourist destination. Paved access roads wind through twelve developed parks. These parks have modern campsites offering electricity and fire rings with drinking water, showers, and restrooms nearby. Other facilities, such as picnic sites, swimming beaches, hiking trails, boat launching ramps, and sanitary dump stations are also available in the parks.

The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, which covers 86 acres (350,000 m2), is a new botanical garden now taking shape near Fayetteville. The site is located at the Fayetteville-Springdale border on Crossover Road (Highway 265) and currently includes seasonal plantings in a small area, a wildflower meadow, a lakeside hiking trail, and a self-guided tree identification tour. The garden's history dates to 1993 with a 2001 master plan. Construction will be undertaken in three phases. Phase 1 will build the garden gateway and entry road, parking area, visitor center, cafe and dining terrace, exhibit gallery, conference room, and 1/3 of the core gardens with 1/2 of the horticulture and maintenance facilities. Phase 2 will create additional gardens, offices, classrooms, boat rental facility, amphitheater, observatory, demonstration gardens, and the remaining core gardens. Phase 3 will add trails, tropical conservatory, and lakeside overlooks, with the western 50 acres (200,000 m2) dedicated to native woodland plant restoration and wayside interpretive stations.

Art and entertainment[edit]

Partial view of Fayetteville's Dickson Street.

Northwest Arkansas is also quickly becoming more and more of an urban recreation destination as well, many projects currently underway.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville has recently been completed.[12] The museum, funded by Sam Walton's daughter, Alice Walton, and designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie, is home to some of America's finest works of art and has immediately become one of the nation's premier art museums.

The Walton Arts Center is Arkansas' largest performing arts center. It is located in Fayetteville near the campus of the University of Arkansas and serves as a cultural center for the Northwest Arkansas area. The building was opened in 1992 in large part because of funds donated by the Walton family (of Wal-Mart). The center is host to many musicals, plays, and other artistic and educational events throughout the year. The Walton Arts Center is also home to the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, currently under the direction of Paul Haas.[13]

TheatreSquared is Northwest Arkansas's regional professional theatre. Its four-play season and annual Arkansas New Play Fest are attended by an audience of 22,000, including educational outreach program to approximately 10,000 students and their teachers. The company was recognized by the American Theatre Wing in 2011 as one of the nation's ten most promising emerging theatres.

The Arts Center of the Ozarks is the region's oldest community theatre. Since its inception in 1967, the ACO has grown from a small arts organization into a cultural center of regional significance. Located in downtown Springdale, the ACO offers a full season of mainstage plays and musicals, children's programs, visual arts exhibits, and classes in a variety of creative outlets.

Visitors to the area might also stop by the Wal-Mart Visitor Center. Located in Sam Walton's original Bentonville variety store, the Wal-Mart Visitors Center traces the origin and growth of Wal-Mart. The center was created as an educational and informative facility for those interested in this American retailing success story.

Anyone looking for a night on the town should head to the famous Dickson Street in downtown Fayetteville, just off the University of Arkansas campus. Lined with popular bars, restaurants, and shops, Dickson Street is always lively, especially after large sporting events. Dickson Street is home to the Walton Arts Center, the Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Festival, and many parades.

Sports[edit]

View of Razorback Stadium during a visit from ESPN's College Gameday

The sporting scene is large in Northwest Arkansas, primarily due to the presence of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas’ most successful, followed, and loved sports teams. The Razorbacks have a huge economic impact on the area, drawing fans from every corner of the state during football, basketball, and baseball seasons.

The Razorbacks currently field 19 total men's and women's varsity teams (8 men's and 11 women's) in 13 sports. The men's varsity teams are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field; the 11 women's varsity teams are basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and diving, indoor and outdoor track, tennis, softball and volleyball. The Razorbacks compete in the NCAA's Division I (Division I FBS in football) and are currently members of the Southeastern Conference (Western Division).

State of the art facilities include: Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Bud Walton Arena, Baum Stadium, Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center, and the John McDonnell Outdoor Track.

In early 2008, Northwest Arkansas welcomed a Double-A minor league baseball team, formerly known as the Wichita Wranglers, to Springdale, where they became the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The Naturals play at the newly completed Arvest Ballpark.

Festivals[edit]

Depending on the source, Fayetteville’s Bikes, Blues, and BBQ Festival is the third to fifth largest motorcycle rally in the United States. The relatively new festival, which is based around the famous Dickson Street and held each fall, drew 350,000 visitors in 2006 and 75,000–100,000 bikes. The festival includes live bands, a parade, bike show, bike giveaway, and barbecue contest, among other events.[14]

Since 1974, the Dogwood Festival has brought around 30,000 people to Siloam Springs and its parks for a 3-day event. Food, crafts, entertainment, flea market items, and KidZone activities make for a fun day for all ages. Held the weekend of the last Sunday in April each year.[15]

In 2009, the City of Fayetteville began assisting in the sponsorship of All Out June, Northwest Arkansas' pride festival for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The event is considered Arkansas' largest, and is organized by the NWA Center for Equality and the NWA Pride Parade Organization.

Education[edit]

Northwest Arkansas is home to a wide variety of public and private schools, as well as a few institutions of higher learning, including Arkansas flagship university, the University of Arkansas. Known for their state-of-the-art facilities, the area's public schools are also widely seen as some of the finest in the state, measured by academic and athletic success.

Higher education[edit]

Old Main, original University of Arkansas building.
Entrance of the nationally recognized Fayetteville Public Library.

Primary and secondary education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Benton County School of the Arts

Private schools[edit]

Transportation[edit]

The region is served almost solely by the undersized Interstate 49. I-49 has been the cause of much frustration in the area due to frequent traffic jams and accidents caused by the sudden growth of the area. Expansion of the interstate and its interchanges are currently in the planning and building stages. [3] Other major highways that serve the area include US 62, US 71, US 71B, and US 412.

Air traffic in the area relies on the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport for all commercial passengers. The airport provides nonstop service to thirteen US cities. The airport has seen a consistent rise in usage, with over 50,000 passenger emplanements per month.[4]

Two public transit agencies serve the area; Ozark Regional Transit is a general transit agency with around a dozen local routes, plus commuter, paratransit, and special purpose routes. Razorback Transit primarily serves University of Arkansas students, is fare-free, and has a service area limited to Fayetteville. It is also open to the general public.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 36°04′35″N 94°09′39″W / 36.076379°N 94.160912°W / 36.076379; -94.160912