BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — People from all over the country are visiting Bentonville, which brings an increase in sales for local businesses.
In downtown Bentonville at manager and wellness coordinator at Sunroom at Sunny’s on Second Alexis Thomason has seen an uptick in sales due to tourism.
“So, over the summer, we saw so many people from across the nation come into the Sun Room before shopping. They bought gifts to take back to loved ones. They bought little souvenirs,” Thomason said.
While local businesses welcome the tourists and the money they bring to Northwest Arkansas, some people are sick of being stuck in the added traffic.
Once Upon A Time Books is also seeing more customers.
“We definitely get a lot of tourists in the square, and I think that definitely translates to people coming in and seeing all the cool books and wanting to purchase them,” said Katelyn Miller, bookseller and social media manager at the bookstore
According to Visit Bentonville, the city’s advertising and promotion tax collections exceeded $3.5 million in 2022.
That’s an increase of 25% from the previous year, which means more people are spending money within the city.
However, with more tourism comes more traffic.
“It’s getting a little bit crazy, especially 14th or Walton. I definitely stay away from those roads at certain times during the day,” Thomason said.
Visit Bentonville’s CEO Kalene Griffith says the city is working to make travel better for locals and tourists.
“Hopefully, as our city implemented that bond, which kudos to them for making that happen, because that’s a huge asset for us to continue that road construction and making it so it’s better for our residents along with our visitors,” Griffith said.
Griffith says the outdoors experience is what draws tourists to the area and expects tourism to continue growing.