According to the CDC Arkansas continues to rank as one of the most obese states in the country. However, Northwest Arkansas doesn’t exactly fit that mold.
City of Rogers spokesperson, Ben Cline said, “What we’ve done as a city is help open up these great amenities like the Railyard Bike Park, like Lake Atalanta, that really have an outdoor lifestyle focus.”
Northwest Arkansas has quickly become a hub for the outdoor enthusiasts, between the hundreds of miles of trails and local businesses that support the healthy lifestyles.
Cline said, “As a region, we have the Greenway which is such a draw in so many different ways. But one is that it can help drive retail business by bringing bike enthusiasts or a running enthusiast community to towns like this.”
Last year Rogers had 33 new businesses open and nearly one-third of those businesses focus on health and well being.
Mike Rush and his wife own Rush Running Company. They started it out of their love for running. The two ran at the University of Arkansas. They said without the support of the Northwest Arkansas Community. They wouldn’t have been able to have their success.”
Rush said, “I think that’s why we are so successful is the community has really embraced us.”
Growing up in the area, Rush said he’s seen a significant increase in the healthiness of Northwest Arkansas. “When I was building the first shop in 2008, I went and ran on the Bentonville trail system and I saw no one. I was the only one out on that trail, and now if you go on a Saturday, there’s thousands of people.”
Those thousands of people helped the Rush family open three locations. “We decided to open up here in Bentonville and it took off within the first year we had to move locations. We outgrew our first location.”
Rush said his family owned business sponsors over 50 races a year to help continue the trend of healthy happy lifestyles.