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Old 02-07-2011, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Texarkana
674 posts, read 1,313,768 times
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I know these two areas are really close to each other but from what I've read, here and elsewhere, the 2 couldn't be more different. Do they work together at all? Do they look down upon each other? Is there a rivalry?
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville
1,205 posts, read 2,227,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darbro View Post
I know these two areas are really close to each other but from what I've read, here and elsewhere, the 2 couldn't be more different. Do they work together at all? Do they look down upon each other? Is there a rivalry?
I think there were a lot of hippies in Fayetteville and Fort Smith was, and still is to some extent, a military base town.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 14,623,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendlyFeller View Post
I think there were a lot of hippies in Fayetteville and Fort Smith was, and still is to some extent, a military base town.
There is no military base in Ft. Smith. What it basically comes down to is Ft. Smith is a very blue-collar manufacturing town. It is a microcosm of the Rust Belt of the United States in the South. Ft. Smith's entire economy was based on its manufacturing sector and the town never did anything to diversify. With the decline of manufacturing in America, Ft. Smith has went into stagnation. Many people who live in Fort Smith are very apathetic towards their community and are willing to do little to bring about change. NWA on the other hand, with the University and the corporate presence of Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, and all the white collar jobs that are directly or indirectly contributed to them, has experienced explosive growth in the past 20 years. It is far more diverse, open, and energetic.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
1,466 posts, read 3,701,486 times
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I think that the university gets too much credit for the growth in NWA. That university has been there for a long time without adding much. It was almost single-handedly (or double-handily?) Walmart and Tyson.

Your assessment of Fort Smith is pretty much spot on, but the base he was referring to was Fort Chaffee. Chaffee used to be a huge influence on Fort Smith.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville
1,205 posts, read 2,227,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchris02 View Post
There is no military base in Ft. Smith. What it basically comes down to is Ft. Smith is a very blue-collar manufacturing town. It is a microcosm of the Rust Belt of the United States in the South. Ft. Smith's entire economy was based on its manufacturing sector and the town never did anything to diversify. With the decline of manufacturing in America, Ft. Smith has went into stagnation. Many people who live in Fort Smith are very apathetic towards their community and are willing to do little to bring about change. NWA on the other hand, with the University and the corporate presence of Wal-Mart, Tyson, JB Hunt, and all the white collar jobs that are directly or indirectly contributed to them, has experienced explosive growth in the past 20 years. It is far more diverse, open, and energetic.
There is no military base actually within Fort Smith city limits,no, not unless you count the air guard base or the ruins of the original Fort Smith. Fort Chaffee is what I meant.
Yes Fort Smith did have too much of it's economy in manufacturing, mainly Whirlpool.
The growth in NWA has not been explosive lately because of the economy. Whether it will resume I couldn't really say. I don't think saying the last twenty years would be accurate because that would mean right up to the present.

That being said what does any of that have to do with the original post? It's just basically a rehash of the same things you say anytime Fort Smith comes up.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
529 posts, read 1,405,226 times
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The areas are not really that close. It's a 45 minute drive thru the mountains from south Fayetteville to north Ft Smith. The areas couldn't be more different as others have explained. I always assumed that NWA and Ft Smith were lumped together because for the longest time Ft Smith was the largest city on this side of the state. I remember when I first moved to Fayetteville you had to drive to Ft Smith to go to Best Buy or eat at chain restaurants like TGIF or Olive Garden.

Now that NWA has surpassed Ft Smith in ammentities they seem to be separate even more. People in NWA have no reason to go to Ft Smith but people in Ft Smith now have reason to come to NWA thanks to all the shopping, restaurants, nightlife and entertainment venues.

I wouldn't say there is a rivalry since I've never really heard anyone say anything about Ft Smith. The only thing I've heard people complain about is having to hear the "river valley" weather report along with our own.
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:28 AM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
678 posts, read 1,446,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Foosball View Post
I think that the university gets too much credit for the growth in NWA. That university has been there for a long time without adding much. It was almost single-handedly (or double-handily?) Walmart and Tyson.

Your assessment of Fort Smith is pretty much spot on, but the base he was referring to was Fort Chaffee. Chaffee used to be a huge influence on Fort Smith.
I would say that prior to the late 90s early 2000, the University's effect on growth was possibly a small part of the equation. However, since then it has been much more significant. With the billion (plus) dollar fundraising campaign and significant investment in helping private tech/engineering businesses get off the ground and years of continued increases in research funding, the UofA has certainly played into helping enhance the corporate and tech friendly atmosphere of NWA. The whole "green valley" idea, rebirth of Dickson Street, and Walton Arts Center couldn't have happened in their current form without the UofA. Bentonville may have continued to succeed (although not as much as it is now- the World Trade Center and a top 25 business school are major drivers for continued growth and success), but Fayetteville would certainly not be an anchor for the metro like it is now. Plus, considering that Tyson and Sam's son Rob both went to the UofA, it's hard to say that Walmart and Tyson's presence in NWA would have been as significant without the University. Of course there are a multitude of factors at play, but as with most college towns and surrounding areas, the university does deserve a lot of credit.

I'm sure that the dramatic decline of the military presence in the area and the loss of manufacturing jobs certainly haven't done Fort Smith any favors, but I don't know how much of that is the city's fault.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Fayetteville
1,205 posts, read 2,227,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewizard16 View Post
I'm sure that the dramatic decline of the military presence in the area and the loss of manufacturing jobs certainly haven't done Fort Smith any favors, but I don't know how much of that is the city's fault.
The army had been gone when I was a little kid in the early 90's we aren't talking recent history.
The armys presence has actually increased over the last ten years due to the war in Iraq. You see soldiers shopping at Target or the Walmart on Rogers ave all the time.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:15 PM
 
431 posts, read 1,046,900 times
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I would say NWA and Tulsa are more linked than NWA and Ft Smith. Lots of business/leisure travel between the two areas via 412.
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Old 02-08-2011, 03:42 PM
 
12,439 posts, read 9,965,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendlyFeller View Post
I think there were a lot of hippies in Fayetteville and Fort Smith was, and still is to some extent, a military base town.
Hippies? I did not know that people still used that term? When I think of Hippies I think of 1960's flower children and I have just not seen much of that in Fayetteville.
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