The Walton brothers appeared last month on a panel with AOL co-founder Steve Case during Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s policy forum known as the America Leads summit. The event, held in Bentonville, attracted politicians, business leaders and policy wonks from across the country.
As recently as five years ago, the brothers wondered if there would be enough opportunities in northwest Arkansas to keep them anchored. They’ve since learned the answer. They now think northwest Arkansas can be the best place to live in the country as long as it learns from mistakes made by other fast-growing areas.
As Downtown Bentonville Inc. celebrates its 20th anniversary, some local business leaders talk about Bentonville’s rapid growth.
The Walton brothers called the downtown environment in local cities “the beating heart of Northwest Arkansas.”
Tom Walton says the organizers thought “landing an event like this would set us up for what we want to become in the future: A place that holds world-class bike races across all disciplines.”
Walton thinks Fayetteville is ready.
“I feel good about the amount of cowbells,” Walton says.
Willowbrook Elementary School won the top prize in a bike contest to promote student health and to better understand school infrastructure needs, according to campaign organizers. Runway Group will donate more than $40,000 to Bentonville schools in response to the students’ cycling efforts, said Krista Cupp, Runway’s communications director. Steuart Walton and Tom Walton, Runway founders, are funding the grants, she said. Tom Walton delivered the prize to Willowbrook on Wednesday by bicycle.