“Northwest Arkansas has seen an explosion in the outdoor economy due to strategic investments in infrastructure and experiences,” Tom Walton said. “There’s no reason a person couldn’t start a small business or make a career in the outdoor industry here. And it’s the council’s job to make those opportunities visible to all Arkansans. We used to be called the Land of Opportunity, and now we are the Natural State. There’s no reason we can’t be both.”
Third-generation heirs of three of the state’s biggest businesses spoke with the Rotary Club of Little Rock Tuesday to discuss the future of Arkansas. Steuart Walton of Walmart, Annemarie Dillard Jazic of Dillards, and John Stephens of Stephens Inc. all moved away from Arkansas, but told the audience they decided to move back and all seemed pleased with their decisions.
Walton said his reason for moving back to the state was wanting to create an impact and help improve his home state.
“The communities that outperform are inevitably communities where resources are being reinvested,” he said.
Wearing ball caps and smiles, first gentleman Bryan Sanders and Runway Group co-founder Tom Walton met Axios NWA at OZ1 Flying Club last week to discuss the Natural State Initiative.
“I really think Arkansas has the potential to be the equivalent or better than Colorado [in] 10 years’ time in terms of owning the outdoor rec experience,” Walton told Axios.
Paddlesports industry leaders gathered in Bentonville, AR, January 25-27, for a leadership summit where the group approved the formation of a new national trade organization. The Paddlesports Trade Coalition will bring together manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives, retailers, and media to grow paddlesports in North America as well as monitor and engage in relevant federal and state legislation, water access issues, sustainability practices, and other matters related to the category.