What's New for 2019 in Northwest & North Central Arkansas
United States Marshals Museum
Construction of this $50 million dollar institution is underway with grand opening scheduled for the fall of 2019. The Museum will pay tribute to the storied past and dynamic present of the United States Marshals Service and trace their history over the past 230+ years as the nation’s oldest and most prolific federal law enforcement agency.
Riverfront Bike & Skate Park
Newly opened Riverfront Bike & Skate Park features the very latest in both biking and skating recreation for all ages.
Runway Bike Park
Runway Bike Park is a state-of-the-art outdoor bicycle skills training area located at The Jones Center in Springdale. It’s comprised of 3 separate areas: Pump Track (largest asphalt track in North America), Skills Course, and Bicycle Playground.
The bike park was conceived out of an idea to give a training ground for aspiring mountain bikers in the flourishing Oz Trails network of mountain bike trails in Northwest Arkansas. Runway Bike Park was made possible through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.
Since opening in 2014, the(AMP) has been a primary amenity for Northwest Arkansas’s arts and entertainment scene. In the past five years, the Walton Arts Center, which owns the AMP, has sold more than 781,000 tickets to 165 concerts or community events at the AMP. In 2018, more than 200,000 patrons attended a combined 31 events at the venue located just off Interstate 49 in Rogers.
A $13.9 million expansion has been announced, although it isn’t scheduled to begin until November 2019 so it won’t interrupt any concert seasons. Work is scheduled to be completed in seven months, in time for the start of the 2020 Cox Concert Series.
The expansion project, designed by Core Architects of Rogers, will increase capacity by 1,000 and bring the total capacity to 11,000. It will also add several amenities to the venue designed to enhance the concert experience, including a new box office, expanded entry plaza, reconfigured entrances, additional tiered seating, concession stands and more restrooms.
Specifically, the number of concession windows will triple from 5 to 15, and the number of restrooms stalls will more than double, from 72 to 165. A 15,000-square-foot covered plaza will also be built at the top of the lawn, offering flexible viewing and event space as well as private restrooms. The area can also be used for private events during shows.
Bentonville’s municipal airport, , is now a destination airport for aviators with added amenities for locals and tourists.
Backcountry aviation to remote areas for fly-ins or recreational trips is another part of the experience. From Bentonville, aviators can access 60 grass strips within 80 nautical miles of the airport that contain wilderness, rivers, hiking and mountain bike trails and even restaurants. Popular locations include Kings River Outfitters near Eureka Springs, Byrd’s Adventure Center in Ozark and Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview. Thus, the Bentonville airport is becoming a jump-off point for adventure.
A new flying club, OZ1 Flying Club, has also opened to give aviation a social element and help aviators share costs of operating aircraft. Summit Aviation flight school for students of all levels is operated on the second floor of the building.
Complementing all of this is the 22,000-square-foot Thaden Fieldhouse. Built on the northwest corner of the airport, it opened in September of 2018 and houses an aviation exhibit hangar, conference room, lounge and restaurant. The latter, as well as the airport, is named for Louise McPhetridge Thaden, the famous aviator in the 1920s and 1930s, who grew up in Bentonville.
The Fieldhouse also has an outdoor area where people can watch planes take off and land. Adjacent to the property is Lake Bentonville, which is being expanded. In early 2019, visitors will be able to rent kayaks, canoes and stand up paddleboards to enjoy on the lake, which will also have a walking trail around it.
For more information, visit
Opened in late 2018, Climb Bentonville is a branch of Climb Nashville, one of the Southeast’s premiere climbing facilities, and is a joint venture with local businessman Dennis Nelms. After 14 years in business, Climb Nashville owners Drew Sloss and Lance Brock have partnered with Nelms to open their newest indoor rock climbing facility and Bentonville’s first climbing facility.
The 20,400 square-foot building is located at Ark. 102 and SW I Street in Bentonville. The new facility boasts more than 16,000 square feet of indoor climbing terrain built by industry leader Walltopia. Lead routes measure about 45 feet vertically; youth routes about 25-35 feet tall. The facility contains more than 9,000 square feet of rope climbing, over 2,500 square feet of bouldering, and over 3,000 square feet of dedicated kid zone. The building’s two-story interior includes a workout room, yoga/fitness class space, restrooms, locker area, retail store and party room for birthday parties and private events.
This is the first climbing gym of this caliber in the state. For more information, visit
Fayetteville Ale Trail
The Fayetteville Ale Trail added four member breweries to the list of craft beer establishments that make up the self-guided trail across Northwest Arkansas and launched at new website at the end of 2018.
Crisis Brewing Co. and JBGB, both in Fayetteville, Ivory Bill Brewing Co. in Siloam Springs and Hawk Moth Brewery & Beer Parlor in Rogers increase the number of stops on the Fayetteville Ale Trail to 15, including the one cidery on the trail – Black Apple Crossing in Springdale.
Experience Fayetteville launched the Fayetteville Ale Trail in 2013 as Arkansas’ Original Craft Beer Tour. With the addition of the newest members, Experience Fayetteville has unveiled a new website for the Ale Trail that includes a new logo and an expanded gallery of photos from each brewery and the cidery.
The Fayetteville Ale Trail includes locations in Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, Bentonville and Siloam Springs. There is no cost to experience the Ale Trail and many of the breweries offer a behind-the-scenes tour of how craft beer is made.
Participants visit each location at their own pace and have the option of completing an Ale Trail passport that is stamped by each brewery. Completed passports may be mailed or turned in to Experience Fayetteville at 21 S. Block Ave. for a souvenir. Passports are available at Experience Fayetteville or at participating breweries.
To learn more about the Fayetteville Ale Trail, visit www.FayettevilleAleTrail.com.