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story.lead_photo.caption Keith Bryant/The Weekly Vista Jim Fram with Community Growth Strategies, LLC, a firm the advertising and promotion commission has hired to develop strategies, talks with a group of people who attended the commission's public input session.

Discover Bella Vista, the city's advertising and promotion commission, met with the public to gather data for a strategic plan last Tuesday, June 5.

Jim Fram with Community Growth Strategies, LLC, a firm the advertising and promotion commission hired to develop strategies, explained that he's been working to develop a strategic plan as well as specific criteria by which the commission can use to determine whether to grant funds.

Visitors were asked to identify Bella Vista’s strengths, weaknesses, assetts and threats, or perform a SWAT analysis. Below are some of the answers they gave.

Strengths:

•Low key lifestyle

•What visitors call “the good life”

•Scenery, beauty

•Talented people

•Chapel, country club by faye jones, worth publicizing

•Back 40

•Trail variety

•Volunteerism

•Golf

•Fishing

•Affordable living

•Swimming holes/beach

•Proximity to other metro areas

•Proximity to jobs

Weaknesses:

•Roads

•Towncenter needs remodeling

•Commercial out of date

•Lack of central location, town square, what have you

•Lake Bell Vista status

•Lack of density - hard to qualify for most nat’l chains.

•Lack of activities for children

•Lack of employment opportunity

•Lack of theatre

•Most of property controlled by cooper/POA

•Lack of readily buildable commercial space.

•ACC makes some development very difficult.

Opportunities:

•Fay Jones architecture

•Small retail, kiosks, food trucks - development along trails.

•Working relationship between city and POA

•Update ACC

•Bypass

•Soccer complex

•Vets wall

•BV museum

•Need to open the community’s mind to more commercial investments

Threats:

•Cooper

•ACC

•Losing art festival site

•Small compared to Bentonville

•Decline in golf Sanders: “I think that’s also an opportunity.” Can repurpose some land

•Activity in flood plain, worse with increased dev in bville

•Limited resources

•Lack of schools

•Lack of municipal water system, POA can’t give it up

The past few months, he said, have been spent gathering information and hosting focus groups, with this input session being the last step before the board discusses what to do with the information.

The goal of the commission -- which is funded by a 1 percent tax on prepared food and a 2 percent tax on lodging -- is to bring outside money into the city, Fram said.

"Instead of just going out and spending that money on a whim, we want to develop a strategy that has some science behind it," he said.

Part of the goal, he explained, is to look at other communities and learn from their successes and failures. To make a good comparison, he said, it's best to analyze the city.

He asked visitors for help analyzing the city's strengths, weaknesses, assetts and threats.

"When you drive through Bella Vista you immediately see the golf courses, you see the streams, you see the bike trails," he said.

The data, he said, can be used to prepare a plan of action.

Fram said he was happy with the crowd, an estimated 30 people that he said represent a good cross section of Bella Vista. The crowd included retirees, members of the Village Art Club, an AirBNB host, a POA board member, a restaurant manager, a real estate agent, two city council members and a marketing professional.

One attendee, John Nuttal, said he was happy to see the attendance as well, though he isn't sure what it will take to address residents' concerns.

"I was pretty happy to see the number of people who showed up and wanted to be involved," he said. "Now we just need a magic bullet to fix it all."

The commission met to further discuss this information Tuesday, June 12.

General News on 06/13/2018

Print Headline: Advertising commission takes input

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