50 Best Companies to Watch 2021
Traveling is known to enhance personal growth. It is one of the best ways to break away from our daily routine and learn something new. While there are a plethora of good places to visit, many are still not much popular. One of them is Bentonville, a town where modern progress meets rich history, where the arts meet innovation, and where companies meet communities. A town where you can explore with all of your senses: from fresh air in the Ozarks, to fresh cuisine on your plate. Visit Bentonville is a company that organizes travel plans for the city. We interviewed the President and CEO of Visit Bentonville, Kalene Griffith, to know more about the services. Here are a few noteworthy excerpts of the interview:
Q. Art is the central part of Bentonville's appeal. Where all have you tapped your feet into?
Bentonville, AR, is a unique place to visit for travelers from around the world. Nothing speaks to that more than our growing museum and arts scene. Our city has experienced a major cultural shift in the last decade, becoming a must-visit cycling and arts destination. Whether it's touring Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Momentary, the Amazeum, the Walmart Museum, the Museum of Native American History, or just exploring our expansive public art, everyone is guaranteed memories they won't soon forget.
Q. What are your collections under public art?
There's a variety of art for everyone in our city. For example, Crystal Bridges' permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand's Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell's Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol's Coca-Cola— each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O'Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The Momentary, Formerly a decommissioned cheese factory, is now a multidisciplinary space for visual and performing arts, culinary experiences, festivals, and artists-in-residence offering dynamic programs and experiences. Also, we have museum-quality public art accessible in various public spaces that beautify our area and bring into view important issues, such as diversity, gender equality, and racial equity.
Q. Talk about your lodging and camping services.
In Bentonville, you have many options. From cozy bed and breakfasts to the chain hotels and Airbnbs you have come to love, Bentonville's accommodations will provide you with all of the comforts you are used to having at home. Also, we have camping options at the Coler Mountain Bike Preserve. The campsites are tent platforms in the heart of the Preserve nestled along the trails and near downtown Bentonville. Camping at Coler is dry, primitive camping and offers year-round availability.
Q. Tell us something about bike Bentonville.
Bentonville, AR, is the Mountain Biking Capital of the World, where your next big cycling adventure awaits you right off the downtown square. Considered a premier destination for mountain bikers and cyclists worldwide, visitors will find a network of more than 140 miles of trails in the area, including 40 plus miles of hard surface and over 100 miles of single-track in or connected to the city. In Bentonville, AR, there's a trail for every rider, from beginner riders enjoying nature to the most adventurous of riders wanting to test their skills, big drops, and jumps.
Q. What are the things to explore under art and culture?
Art is a central part of Bentonville's appeal, offering various unique and safe experiences to get out and explore renowned art. From stunning public art throughout the city and along the trails to world-class museums like Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary, a brand new contemporary art space in the 8th street market district, Bentonville's art scene has become a must-do experience for 2021.
Q. Kindly discuss a bit about Bentonville's nightlife.
Bentonville has a vibrant night scene. From local breweries and neighborhood pubs to contemporary cocktail bars and speakeasies, Bentonville has something for everyone to enjoy. Not in the mood for a drink? No problem! Stroll through downtown and create your own public art tour with the many custom neons placed on area businesses.
Q. How do you assist people in planning their trip?
We invite you to stop by our office or visit our website for expert advice on planning your itinerary and gathering information on interesting stops around our city. Visit Bentonville offers information about area events and festivals, shopping and dining from casual to formal, and accommodations and attractions.
Q. How has COVID-19 changed your business?
Over the past year, the COVID-19 emergency has had an unprecedented impact on our hospitality industry and the entire economy. And through it all, our Bentonville community, remaining focused on safety, has continued to support each other in kind and thoughtful ways. Our tourism business continues to rebound, and we welcome everyone to visit our wonderful city.
About the CEO
Kalene Griffith is the President and CEO of Visit Bentonville. She attended Kansas State University, where she studied early childhood education. Though her studies prepared her to be a teacher, Griffith found herself consistently employed by businesses in the tourism industry. Her previous employers include Parks and Recreation Dept in Dodge City, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Resort Sports in Orlando, Chambers of Commerce in Dodge City, KS, Jefferson City, MO, and Springfield, MO, and the YMCA of Callaway County in Fulton, MO. Her positions have ranged from lifeguard to director of sports, director of special events to the executive director. But destiny brought her to Visit Bentonville, Arkansas.
In 2005, Griffith was picked as the president of Visit Bentonville. She promotes Bentonville as a world-class travel destination and advocates for growth within the arts, cycling/trails, culinary, music, aviation, and film production. She believes that Bentonville is the place to be. Griffith was recently awarded the 40 under 40 by the Arkansas Business Journal and the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal C-Suite Award.