Bentonville stakeholders say city is mountain biking capital of the world

Bentonville stakeholders say city is mountain biking capital of the world

When you suppose one thing is actual, say it out loud.

That’s the strategy taken Wednesday (July 1) from Bentonville metropolis leaders, tourism officers and different backers, who’re staking a declare that Bentonville — already with an rising status as a vacation spot for biking and mountain biking — is the mountain biking capital of the world.

Wednesday’s announcement stated Bentonville’s mountain biking expertise didn’t come via happenstance. It took a concerted effort by the neighborhood and its leaders, together with a transparent imaginative and prescient and a basis for what was potential.

“This unbelievable distinction has come after years of intentional work from Bentonville’s metropolis leaders, path builders, upkeep groups, new and skilled riders and numerous others in our nice neighborhood,” stated Tom Walton, an avid mountain biker and co-founder of Runway Group in Bentonville. “From the outset of our shared imaginative and prescient to rework our metropolis as a mountain biking paradise distinctive from different locations, the town authorities and neighborhood leaders offered the assist and balanced management we wanted to assist make the dream grow to be a actuality.”

Runway Group is a non-public however rising enterprise workforce primarily based in Bentonville led by Walton and his older brother, Steuart Walton. They’re grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton and the sons of Jim Walton, chairman and CEO of Arvest Financial institution Group Inc.

Runway Group makes strategic investments in a number of areas together with actual property, hospitality, biking and aviation.

A fast Google search reveals a number of locales all over the world that stake an identical declare because the “capital” vacation spot for mountain biking. In the USA, Moab, Utah, which has lots of of miles of accessible trails, is on the prime of most tourism lists.

Bentonville’s profile in that enviornment has been on the rise lately, with quite a few nationwide publications taking discover. Eben Weiss, a New York Metropolis–primarily based bike columnist, visited Bentonville this previous fall and reported his expertise for Exterior journal, an American journal centered on the outside.

“I’d learn tales of how the Walton household (heirs to Walmart founder Sam Walton) was turning the area right into a mountain-bike paradise, so I eagerly accepted, however past that, I actually didn’t know what to anticipate out of the city,” Weiss wrote in an article entitled, “Bentonville, Arkansas Is Disneyland for Mountain Bikers.”

“What I received was not solely a extremely satisfying weekend bicycle escape but in addition a shock infusion of artwork and tradition I hadn’t realized I wanted and fairly presumably a preview of my subsequent household trip.”

The Wall Road Journal also took a deep dive last year into the Walton-backed effort to assist the town’s mountain biking profile.

“Over the previous decade, our neighborhood has constructed a status amongst mountain biking lovers and athletes because the premier world vacation spot for the game,” Mayor Stephanie Orman stated. “We’re the guts of the trailhead within the Ozarks, and headquarters to essentially the most progressive mountain bike path designs constructed wherever.”

Bentonville has roughly 130 miles of singletrack linked to downtown Bentonville, with entry to greater than 250 miles of regional trails in a community that sits on the coronary heart of the state’s OZ Trails system.

OZ Trails launched in 2016 to showcase the event of multi-purpose trails in Northwest Arkansas.

“Bentonville is the birthplace of a contemporary mountain biking panorama, very like a ski city is out West, solely we’ll be using all 4 seasons,” Go to Bentonville government director Kalene Griffith in Wednesday’s information launch. “Simply someday of visiting right here and also you’ll shortly study why there’s no different place fairly like Bentonville that continues to convey you again again and again.”

Wednesday’s announcement additionally touted the town’s path system proximity to lodging, eating places, drinks or artwork museums. Graham Cobb, Higher Bentonville Space Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, stated the native economic system has embraced Bentonville’s position as a pacesetter in mountain biking tourism and has developed and attracted quite a few high quality bike retailers, rental and retail distributors, bike guides and producers, together with skilled riders and out of doors lovers.

“Scientists have confirmed a direct correlation between human publicity to out of doors areas and well-being,” Cobb stated. “The mountain bike trails of Bentonville organically weave the outside into our on a regular basis lives. Prime financial expertise flocks right here, to allow them to journey world-class, function constructed single-track from their entrance porch to their workplace door. We’ve redefined rush-hour.”

A Runway Group spokeswoman stated a nationwide advert marketing campaign is scheduled to comply with Wednesday’s announcement.

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