Bentonville: Museum's Influence A Work Of Art, Design (Tourism | Winner 20,000+)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 12:00 am  

Because of its success, other northwest Arkansas cities are considering the program, she said.

Crystal Bridges’ Impact

Crystal Bridges has attracted thousands of visitors to Bentonville and northwest Arkansas.

“The museum has outpaced its own projections for attendance in the first six months by exceeding its annual estimated attendance of 250,000,” Kerr said.

But visitor numbers are only part of the museum’s influence.

Bentonville has received more revenue from its taxes on its hotel and motel rooms, she said. That revenue has jumped 6 percent between 2010 and 2011. And it is up 12 percent so far this year, Kerr said.

The museum also triggered the growth of eateries downtown.

Downtown Bentonville Inc., worked with investors to bring in the right mix of restaurants.

Since 2009, five restaurants and several street vendors have opened in downtown, offering everything from espresso to seafood.

The museum also brought the community together, Kerr said, and Crystal Bridges also sparked more interest in art.

Bentonville ArtsFest, which is held in June, expanded from one week in 2011 to a month of art-related events in 2012. Themes ranged from music, theater, culinary and traditional mediums of paint and sculpture.

“In Bentonville, tourism development is largely guided by the Bentonville Convention & Visitors Bureau,” Kerr said. “But it is the teamwork of an entire community that makes Bentonville a place where successful business travel transpires and vacation memories are made.”



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