FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The City of Fayetteville was named a 2023 Trendsetter City by Arkansas Business this week, winning a category of the statewide publication’s annual awards.
The Trendsetter City program is designed to “honor cities who are leaders in innovative programs and initiatives for improvement and growth,” according to Arkansas Business. “Being a Trendsetter City is an honor that speaks to the commitment by city leadership and its citizens, and creates a great economic development selling point.”
Fayetteville was named winner of the Tourism Development/Creative Culture category for cities with a population of 20,000 or more for its development of Centennial Park, a world-class cycling-activated park that can be enjoyed year-round by residents for recreation, as well as host championship-level cycling events and attract tourism from around the world.
In 2022, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body for the sport of cycling, held its 2022 Cyclo-cross World Championships in Fayetteville at Centennial Park – only the second time the event had been held in the United States. The three-day event saw 17,500 people in attendance to cheer 219 cyclists from 21 nations. Meanwhile, millions of cycling fans across the globe watched the races broadcast on various outlets, bringing significant international exposure to Fayetteville.
The event was the culmination of the City and its partners’ vision to create a venue that will be an asset for many years to come.
“The course has been widely lauded by the international cycling press as one of the most high-quality cyclo-cross venues in the world,” Arkansas Business said, adding Centennial Park is the only venue in Arkansas with a purpose-built racing course.
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan said, “It’s an honor and a pleasure to see Fayetteville recognized as a Trendsetter City. I’m very excited to see our work being held up as an example of how a City can serve its people and attract guests from around the world through a unique, forward-thinking project.”
The City of Fayetteville will be recognized and receive its award during the Arkansas Municipal League’s 2024 Winter Conference, which will be held Jan. 10-12 in Little Rock.
To learn more about Centennial Park and its history, go to: https://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/3671/Centennial-Park-at-Millsap-Mountain.