U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arkansas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Closed Thread Start New Thread
 
Old 08-22-2007, 08:13 AM
 
28 posts, read 140,349 times
Reputation: 15

Advertisements

Last week I made my first trip to Fort Smith with the purpose of interviewing. My family is transitioning here for my wife’s career and although she has been here many times, this is my first experience.

Straight out of the airport terminal the weather is oppressively hot and humid. This was last week so the whole region was this way. Living in Southern NC this is not much different then our weather although the humidity was higher. Driving from the airport to the hotel and from there to my interview location there is a considerable difference between what is the “old” part of town and the new. Sprawl and vanillamerica are right next to the interstate interchanges both in Ft. Smith and in Van Buren. Box stores and some level of familiarity are comforting when relocating never the less. There is a Starbucks if this is a measure of civilization (it is to me anyway). I was relatively impressed with the hospital system or at least its size. Reputation is TBD. I made the assumption that there is a large Latino base by the number of restaurants, grocery stores and advertisements in Spanish. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. I think I saw three Wal Marts in about a two mile drive so this clearly dominates the local shopping. The local mall is anchored by a JC Penny. I did not see the other end as I was driving by I guess I was hoping for a Belk’s or Hudson’s etc. The old part of town is in really poor shape. I observed a lot of boarded up store fonts and abandoned buildings all along the main thoroughfares. My assumption here is that land is cheap so instead of renewal just build somewhere else. I did not see a lot of tagging on these buildings so I would guess that gang influence is minimal.

At a stop at a gas station for a soda and a local map I was checked out at the cash register by a rather disheveled woman in her late forties wearing a tee shirt and no bra. She was arguing with her friend regarding some thing leaking on the floor. Her accent was thick but not to the point of being incoherent. This is in contrast to the hotel staff that I would say had an accent that was less pronounced then my current area. She was polite.

In review of several neighborhoods by driving around I found the standards of hill living. Being a flatlander my whole life I do find it amusing that you pick a residential area and then start traveling up hill and the homes are larger and nicer until you reach the summit. It’s kind of like the Lord and the sharecroppers.

The airport is great if you like small airports. Short lines, close parking, on site car rental, one terminal are the benefits. The bathroom had won an award for I believe “the best in America”…pretty prestigious. Not to make light of the award; I have been in many airports and this is the best bathroom without question. The airport also offers all easy chairs in the gate area which was nice considering I missed my flight largely due to that there is no kiosk to create a boarding pass. Imagine my dismay as I see the poster board at ticketing with the clock on it that says “we will be back at XXXX time as we are boarding a flight” yeah, my flight. Again small airports have their good and bad attributes. I’m not really up to speed on the whole wet and dry areas of municipalities and counties but the airport is wet, thankfully, after a long day of interviewing. All that I interacted with at the airport were courteous and friendly.

I hope I get the position.

Fort Smith comments….rebuttals?
Rate this post positively

 
Old 08-22-2007, 09:38 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 17,594,422 times
Reputation: 7707
So Ft. Smith wins the Airport Potty Award? You gotta know, I am LOVING that...

So you're coming from NC and the cost of living seems reasonable to you, and I would think so in Ft. Smith.

There have been some negative posts and we were there recently. In some ways it is the town that time forgot...it's a little gloomy coming in from the east, but it's not horrible. There is a Dillard's there, Victoria's Secret, Lowe's Best Buy, Office Depot...and those people must plow through shoes, I've never seen so many shoe stores in my life! But there are a couple of neat antique stores, etc., and the hospital is a nice facility. Gang influence? You hear about it, but I don't know that Arkansas (other than Little Rock) has the "serious" gangs, and even those seem to be in a lull...although it's August, let's give 'em a few more days of heat and see what happens. I think the Ft. Smith P.D. does pretty well, but like other places, is understaffed. This morning's paper said the ratio is 1 officer per 509 people.

So when will you be relocating?
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-22-2007, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,804 posts, read 97,834,611 times
Reputation: 49114
Our first and only impression of Ft Smith wasn't too great. I think our problem was not having a realtor showing us various areas. She did send us a few lisings, but was going to be on vacation the week we were seaching out re-location areas. Even with maps we had problems finding the addresses, some of the areas were not quite what we had expected, etc.

We loved the oldtown area for touring especially Laura's house.

some of our opinions may have had to do with our granddaughter and her boyfriend (he is a native Arkansasian) new word? They had told us prior to our arrival we wouldn't like the area.

If we were taking jobs there like OP and wife, I think we would do just fine, in fact we would probably love the area. As for us being semi retired we found other locations more to our liking. The people in Ft Smith? Absolutely wonderful. NMnita
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-22-2007, 10:23 AM
 
28 posts, read 140,349 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
Our first and only impression of Ft Smith wasn't too great. I think our problem was not having a realtor showing us various areas. She did send us a few lisings, but was going to be on vacation the week we were seaching out re-location areas. Even with maps we had problems finding the addresses, some of the areas were not quite what we had expected, etc.

We loved the oldtown area for touring especially Laura's house.

some of our opinions may have had to do with our granddaughter and her boyfriend (he is a native Arkansasian) new word? They had told us prior to our arrival we wouldn't like the area.

If we were taking jobs there like OP and wife, I think we would do just fine, in fact we would probably love the area. As for us being semi retired we found other locations more to our liking. The people in Ft Smith? Absolutely wonderful. NMnita
I had brought my GPS unit with so I could skip the realtor and find addresses from the free real estate guides. It helps when you don’t have any concern regarding getting turned around or lost. Admittedly if I were coming in from the OK side and had not seen the newer parts of town I would have been depressed. The dilapidation of some of the areas was surprising as it was in such stark contrast to what you see off of the interstate.

Unlike many in this forum, for our family there really isn’t an evaluation period of where we will be living in a city by city comparison. Hopefully we will be able to do this someday when we retire. A promotion and transfer dictate the location, its just finding the best of what you can where you will be going. Admittedly your mindset is different under these conditions and by my experience with a lot of relocations if you focus on the negative you will never like where you are.

I did not see Laura’s house, is that the brothel that was converted to a museum or gov. building?
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-22-2007, 10:28 AM
 
28 posts, read 140,349 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
So Ft. Smith wins the Airport Potty Award? You gotta know, I am LOVING that...

So you're coming from NC and the cost of living seems reasonable to you, and I would think so in Ft. Smith.

There have been some negative posts and we were there recently. In some ways it is the town that time forgot...it's a little gloomy coming in from the east, but it's not horrible. There is a Dillard's there, Victoria's Secret, Lowe's Best Buy, Office Depot...and those people must plow through shoes, I've never seen so many shoe stores in my life! But there are a couple of neat antique stores, etc., and the hospital is a nice facility. Gang influence? You hear about it, but I don't know that Arkansas (other than Little Rock) has the "serious" gangs, and even those seem to be in a lull...although it's August, let's give 'em a few more days of heat and see what happens. I think the Ft. Smith P.D. does pretty well, but like other places, is understaffed. This morning's paper said the ratio is 1 officer per 509 people.

So when will you be relocating?

The spouse will need to be on site around the first of the year. I have until then to find a new position, sell the house, etc.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-22-2007, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,804 posts, read 97,834,611 times
Reputation: 49114
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzotg View Post
I had brought my GPS unit with so I could skip the realtor and find addresses from the free real estate guides. It helps when you don’t have any concern regarding getting turned around or lost. Admittedly if I were coming in from the OK side and had not seen the newer parts of town I would have been depressed. The dilapidation of some of the areas was surprising as it was in such stark contrast to what you see off of the interstate.

Unlike many in this forum, for our family there really isn’t an evaluation period of where we will be living in a city by city comparison. Hopefully we will be able to do this someday when we retire. A promotion and transfer dictate the location, its just finding the best of what you can where you will be going. Admittedly your mindset is different under these conditions and by my experience with a lot of relocations if you focus on the negative you will never like where you are.

I did not see Laura’s house, is that the brothel that was converted to a museum or gov. building?
you have the right attitude, many of us went through the transfer or job change period when we were in our 20s, 30s and 40s. Yes, you are right, the most important thing is to find the best area, what will fit your family needs and offer you a feeling of belonging.

Laura's house is the brothel, now a museum with a wonderful story background.

I do think we could have enjoyed our visit more had we had better guide lines. We did do a lot of research. I might add, we covered several areas in AR and OK in just about a week. It was a very rushed trip so impresssions were made quite quickly.

Nita
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-22-2007, 11:15 PM
 
29 posts, read 129,680 times
Reputation: 22
Default Live in Fort Smith...

I have lived in Fort Smith all my life until the past 4 months in which I have moved to Texas so that my husband can attend school. I just wanted to add my 2 cents because it's late and i'm bored...

Yes, our hospital system is great. We have 2 hospitals and Van Buren has one as well. They are both large and ever expanding. VB is pretty much the same as it has always been.

You are correct, there is a very large latino population in Fort Smith.

WalMart origionated in Arkansas so there is one on every corner, like Starbucks is in bigger cities... (Starbucks is a fairly new improvement for us, we are working on our 3rd I believe...and we just got a Hooters...we are movin on up! haha) There are 2 super walmarts in Fort Smith, 1 Neighborhood Market (a walmart grocery store) and one regular sized walmart. There is also a super walmart in Greenwood and Van Buren which are less than 20 miles both directions and a regular sized Walmart in Alma, which is about a 20 minute drive from Fort Smith. The nearest Target is in Fayetteville 45 minutes away.

We do not have a Belks or a Hudsons and I have never heard of either one.

Our mall is actually anchored by 3 stores. JCPenney's on one end, Sears on the opposit end and Dillards on the 3rd wing. It is also only a single story mall. Hot Topic was the newest addition.

The "old" part of town has been in shambles ever since a tornado hit it several years back, but they are slowly fixing it up and trying to make it nice and welcoming down there.... I am assuming you are talking about Garrison Avenue, the historic part of town, and NOT down toward the Van Buren bridge, which is the "poor" part of town.

The Gangs primarily hang out in Little Rock Arkansas or down toward the Van Buren bridge.

Fort Smith is a VERY WET county. The surrounding counties are mostly dry with the exception of Oklahoma right over the bridge who sales liquor on Sundays. Almost all Fort Smith bars are open until 5am. To most people who visit this is amazing to them. I now live in Austin and everything closes at 2am. Can't even get a buzz on.

Any more questions and I'd love to help. Like I said I was born and raised in Fort Smith, I'm 27 now. Never lived anywhere else until April of this year.
I do miss it, but it gets old after that long. I can tell you all of the good and BAD places to visit. As well as restaurants etc.

You were also correct about the "hill top rich folk". Anywhere there are nice houses in Fort Smith you can pretty much guess that there is going to be a gentle sloping hill.

One thing is FOR SURE. If you do move to Fort Smith, you HAVE to drive up to Fayetteville. The scenery is Awesome. Actually if you go a little further to Eureka Springs you won't be disappointed.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-23-2007, 11:11 AM
 
155 posts, read 632,206 times
Reputation: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
So Ft. Smith wins the Airport Potty Award? You gotta know, I am LOVING that...

So you're coming from NC and the cost of living seems reasonable to you, and I would think so in Ft. Smith.

There have been some negative posts and we were there recently. In some ways it is the town that time forgot...it's a little gloomy coming in from the east, but it's not horrible. There is a Dillard's there, Victoria's Secret, Lowe's Best Buy, Office Depot...and those people must plow through shoes, I've never seen so many shoe stores in my life! But there are a couple of neat antique stores, etc., and the hospital is a nice facility. Gang influence? You hear about it, but I don't know that Arkansas (other than Little Rock) has the "serious" gangs, and even those seem to be in a lull...although it's August, let's give 'em a few more days of heat and see what happens. I think the Ft. Smith P.D. does pretty well, but like other places, is understaffed. This morning's paper said the ratio is 1 officer per 509 people.

So when will you be relocating?

Ft Smith actually has a lot of cops... they're stretched a little thin on the street sometimes, but that ratio is pretty good.
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-23-2007, 12:02 PM
 
28 posts, read 140,349 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
WalMart origionated in Arkansas so there is one on every corner, like Starbucks is in bigger cities... (Starbucks is a fairly new improvement for us, we are working on our 3rd I believe...and we just got a Hooters...we are movin on up! haha) There are 2 super walmarts in Fort Smith, 1 Neighborhood Market (a walmart grocery store) and one regular sized walmart. There is also a super walmart in Greenwood and Van Buren which are less than 20 miles both directions and a regular sized Walmart in Alma, which is about a 20 minute drive from Fort Smith. The nearest Target is in Fayetteville 45 minutes away.
I have never seen a "Walmart Neighborhood Market" before, is this a regional thing?


Quote:
We do not have a Belks or a Hudsons and I have never heard of either one.
All depends where you're from. These are department stores that are nicer than Penny's but not at the level of say a Nieman Marcus. Dillards I guess is what's in Ft. Smith

Quote:
The "old" part of town has been in shambles ever since a tornado hit it several years back, but they are slowly fixing it up and trying to make it nice and welcoming down there.... I am assuming you are talking about Garrison Avenue, the historic part of town, and NOT down toward the Van Buren bridge, which is the "poor" part of town.
Yeah, I think this is pretty much right where I went. Most of the industry is in this part of town and from a hotel downtown you go on 64??? I believe towards the bridge which I assume is the poor part of town that you are referring to.

Quote:
Fort Smith is a VERY WET county. The surrounding counties are mostly dry with the exception of Oklahoma right over the bridge who sales liquor on Sundays. Almost all Fort Smith bars are open until 5am. To most people who visit this is amazing to them. I now live in Austin and everything closes at 2am. Can't even get a buzz on.
Even in Wisconsin where there is a tavern on every corner they aren't allowed to stay open this late or early depending on your perspective. Most of the places that I saw were along the route I mentioned above and looked like a good place to get knocked off your bar stool.

Quote:
Any more questions and I'd love to help. Like I said I was born and raised in Fort Smith, I'm 27 now. Never lived anywhere else until April of this year.
I do miss it, but it gets old after that long. I can tell you all of the good and BAD places to visit. As well as restaurants etc.
Please tell me all you can about where to visit and best / worst resturants etc. Some things are worth discovering for yourself but others...
Rate this post positively
 
Old 08-23-2007, 01:06 PM
 
42,724 posts, read 28,276,663 times
Reputation: 14326
Default Belks

There is a Belks in Rogers, as well as a Dillards and J C Penney.

Neighborhood Markets are a Wal-Mart experiment, they are really nice supermarkets, and very convenient. There are two in Rogers.

DC
Rate this post positively
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Closed Thread


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Arkansas

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top