Decades-Long Effort on Mountain Biking Brings City Officials and Leaders Together to Make a Worldwide Announcement
Bentonville, Ark. (July 1, 2020) – Bentonville leaders have staked their city’s claim as Mountain Biking Capital of the World™.“It’s true that Bentonville has become the new Mountain Biking Capital of the World™.” says Mayor Stephanie Orman. “Over the past decade, our community has built a reputation among mountain biking enthusiasts and athletes as the premier global destination for the sport.” The trails’ supportive amenities, infrastructure, and innovative trail network secure Bentonville’s rightful place as the crown jewel among all other premier locations around the world. “We’re the heart of the trailhead in the Ozarks, and headquarters to the most innovative mountain bike trail designs built anywhere.”
Industry insiders and mountain bikers have used words such as “Mecca,” “Disneyland,” “Perfect,” and “Gold” in describing the mountain bike trails and Bentonville. Only a block away from downtown there is immediate access to the best rides any novice or expert rider could hope to find. The world-class experience did not come through happenstance; it took a concerted effort by the community and its leaders, along with a clear vision and a foundation for what was possible.
“This incredible distinction has come after years of intentional work from Bentonville’s city leaders, trail builders, maintenance teams, new and experienced riders, and countless others in our great community,” said Tom Walton, co-founder of RUNWAY Group, a lifelong Bentonville patron, and avid mountain biking enthusiast. “From the outset of our shared vision to transform our city as a mountain biking paradise unique from other destinations, the city government and community leaders provided the support and balanced leadership we needed to help make the dream become a reality.”
Bentonville has approximately 130 miles of singletrack connected to downtown Bentonville, with access to more than 250 miles of unrivaled regional trails in a network that sits at the heart of the state’s OZ Trails system. Hospitality opportunities abound – whether it be award-winning restaurants, a vibrant coffee scene, or a boom of daring and bold craft brewers.
“Bentonville is the birthplace of a modern mountain biking landscape, much like a ski town is out West, only we’ll be riding all four seasons,” said Visit Bentonville Executive Director Kalene Griffith. “Just one day of visiting here and you’ll quickly learn why there’s no other place quite like Bentonville that continues to bring you back over and over again.”
Everything you could want is within a short ride from the trails, whether it’s lodging, restaurants, drinks, or art museums. The local economy has embraced Bentonville’s role as a leader in mountain biking tourism and has developed and attracted a number of quality bike shops, rental and retail vendors, bike guides, and manufacturers, along with professional riders and outdoor enthusiasts.
“Scientists have proven a direct correlation between human exposure to outdoor spaces and well-being,” shared Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Graham Cobb. “The mountain bike trails of Bentonville organically weave the outdoors into our everyday lives. Top economic talent flocks here, so they can ride world-class, purpose-built single-track from their front porch to their office door. We’ve redefined rush-hour.”
Click here to learn how to get information about upcoming events and opportunities to experience Bentonville: The Mountain Bike Capital of the World™, as well as lodging accommodations and trail conditions.
About Visit Bentonville
Visit Bentonville is funded by the Bentonville Advertising and Promotion Commission which was established in 1996. The Commission is supported by a 2% tax on lodging and meeting space and a 1% tax on restaurant and dining establishments. The organization’s mission is to brand, promote, and sell Bentonville as a tourism destination; stimulating economic development. Visit Bentonville leads the planning of sports, meetings, and group tours while also marketing leisure experiences that include arts, cycling, culinary, film, music, and aviation. Visit Bentonville also collaborates with tourism offices throughout the state of Arkansas to create a positive economic impact while increasing tourism amenities for both visitors and residents.
About the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Bentonville Chamber was formed in 1926 and became the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce in 1979. In 2017, the Chamber became the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of the Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce is to serve our members as the voice of the business community; to promote planned economic growth; to foster community interaction and provide information, leadership, and support to the Bentonville area.
The Chamber is an independent, non-profit business organization representing the Bentonville area. It’s an organization with more than 1,000 members and is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors that is representative of the range of businesses among the organization’s membership. The Chamber is operated by a staff of eight, and it is not run by the city, county, or state.
About RUNWAY GROUP
RUNWAY Group believes in creating a healthy, outdoor-focused lifestyle for all those who live here; in building world-class downtown environments with unique cultural scenes; in offering mobility opportunities beyond automobiles; in becoming known for a welcoming and diverse culture; and in supporting bold civic and community leaders who fight complacency and advocate for a better future.
About OZ Trails
Founded in 2016, OZ Trails was created to showcase the development of multi-purpose trails in Northwest Arkansas. We focus on growing the local rider base and providing information to both locals and travelers seeking to experience the region’s unique trail system as it develops. Whether you are a first-time rider or a seasoned pro, our trails have something for every level of adventurer.
The OZ Trails brand is an initiative of BikeNWA who holds the trademark and manages the brand. NWA Trailblazers builds and maintains many parts of the OZ Trails system and works closely with BikeNWA to provide information.