Axios has a story about how Northwest Arkansas - not that long ago known as the birthplace and headquarters of Walmart - has evolved into "the 15th-fastest-growing area in the U.S. and is on pace to hit nearly 1 million residents by 2045," more than double its size today.
The story notes that Bentonville "boasts a world-class art museum, a flight school and a culinary center, and is getting a Cleveland Clinic and a med school. It's a test market for drones and driverless trucks, is home to burgeoning advanced mobility and holistic health industries, and is a booming entrepreneurship hub."
Axios notes that "Bentonville's growth has been driven by the Walmart magnet — and by intensive involvement and investment by Walton family members, who live there and are focusing their money and power to conjure America's next great metropolis … The Walton Family Foundation, based in Bentonville, is an unofficial incubator-accelerator that has poured billions into this grand experiment.
"The bottom line: Bentonville, the 'mountain bike capital of the world,' aims to rival Silicon Valley with its intersection of innovative commerce and enviable quality of life."
Part of the current development of the region as being "cool … a surprising hotspot for delicious food and innovative art," is Walmart's new campus, "a modern, amenity-laden workplace" that Walmart believes "will help attract and retain top talent."
- KC's View:
It has been awhile since I've been in Bentonville - pre-pandemic, when I went down there to give a speech - but I remember being absolutely charmed and impressed by the area. And that was way before Walmart started building its new campus.
Not sure I'm quite ready to open an MNB office there - I am, after all, a child of New York and New England with the Pacific Northwest deep in my soul. But it was totally cool.