In April 2015, I spent a weekend in Northwest Arkansas, specifically in Bentonville, Springdale, Rogers, and Fayetteville. I was amazed at how the area has boomed in population, stores, restraunts, museums, and housing. It appears to be a major new urban metro area. But, saying Northwest Arkansas or Bentonville or Fayetteville is a bit too much and not quite accurately encompassing the metro area. There ought to be a shorter moniker. The boom is a result of Sam Walton keeping his headquarters in the area.
Great idea: combine the communities in Northwest Arkansas under one more appropriate name - Walton.
View with North on the left towards Missouri and South to the right. Below: Walton with North at the top. Major metro areas surrounding Walton.
Metro Area Population
The Walton Metropolitan Statistical Area includes three Arkansas counties and one Missouri county. The area is located in The Ozarks and has five principal and several minor municipalities within metro Walton:
• Fayetteville: 73,600
• Springdale: 69,800
• Rogers: 56,000
• Bentonville: 35,300
• Bella Vista: 26,500
• Lowell: 7,300
• Farmington: 6,000
One of the fastest growing metro areas, Walton doubled in population between 1990 and 2010. Growth has largely been driven by the three Fortune 500 companies based in Walton; Walmart, Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt Transport, who totaled over $500 billion in revenue in 2012.
Like many US metro areas, there is no single centralized downtown, but numerous retail/office centers throughout the area. Walton already has world-class museums, town squares, shopping centers, and amusement areas. The Ozarks, Eureka Springs, and Branson are close by. The NWA airport is already metro size. Future freeways will help to connect the community neighborhoods within Walton.