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KJW

Most interesting rumor I've yet heard in 3 years as a resident

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Due to increased demand in our neighborhood the Bentonville city utilities specialists had to replace an older transformer right in my front yard, and the new one they put in started leaking oil. While my block was out of power and while work crews were getting a new unit, I started talking with a 50 something foreman-looking worker waiting out there for their return.

Talking about increasing demands on the power grid and the growth here, he noted the growing number of "see-through" small office buildings here that are unleased, but said "Obviously ARVEST and these people know something about the growth we don't."

Then he said he had heard through some sources that he trusts that Walt Disney Company has bought a sizeable amount of acreage above Jane, MO., in McDonald County just above the Benton line. He said he'd heard that Disney had been interested in this area for some time, but for what, who knows. He also said that a Wal-Mart person he works with says that they're already turning dirt for a new hotel to be built right near XNA. This man, a lifelong area resident, says he's floated all the nearby creeks and rivers and that he's taken these rumors seriously enough to plot where the land has to be that Disney is acquiring. (Between Jane and Pineville.) There are all sorts of restaurants, etc. that are indeed planned for the southern portion of that area, and other rumors have had Wal-Mart execs buying some significant chunks of land in that McDonald County area.

It's no secret Disney already has a marketing presence here. In another article I've seen where a very significant marketing person for their company is now based here rather than in L.A. But this...well, he said words to the effect of "Take it for what this is worth".

Amazing that here in NW Arkansas one can actually speculate without fear of humiliation that Disney could indeed have big plans here.

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That is very interesting news. I don't remember who it was (perhaps you KJW) but had mentioned they had heard rumors about Disney. I guess in some ways it makes some sense. You have Branson which is a big tourist area that's not too far away and you have all the growth and development here in northwest Arkansas. I really do think that northwest Arkansas could become a bigger draw for tourist if they would try. I do wish we could keep more of the development here on the Arkansas side, but McDonald County and southwest Missouri has a lot of potential. Granted I wouldn't want Disney right in my backyard either. Not sure what exactly they'd build around here. It would be nice to have some sort of amusement park facility in the area.

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That is very interesting news. I don't remember who it was (perhaps you KJW) but had mentioned they had heard rumors about Disney. I guess in some ways it makes some sense. You have Branson which is a big tourist area that's not too far away and you have all the growth and development here in northwest Arkansas. I really do think that northwest Arkansas could become a bigger draw for tourist if they would try. I do wish we could keep more of the development here on the Arkansas side, but McDonald County and southwest Missouri has a lot of potential. Granted I wouldn't want Disney right in my backyard either. Not sure what exactly they'd build around here. It would be nice to have some sort of amusement park facility in the area.

Very strange, I don't know what to make of it. My intuition tells me it's just a rumor.

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Very strange, I don't know what to make of it. My intuition tells me it's just a rumor.

It very well could be. I've heard talk of it before but never put much stock in it. I guess I still have a hard time imagining them putting anything major into this area. Then again who knows what they might do with the land.

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It very well could be. I've heard talk of it before but never put much stock in it. I guess I still have a hard time imagining them putting anything major into this area. Then again who knows what they might do with the land.

BTW, I didn't add but...the hotel where the dirt is supposedly being moved for out by the airport is supposed to be owned by Disney. If they've got this facility going up in Bentonville like the newspaper article said, that would be a great place for their overnight business travelers. Mith, it wasn't me who'd said the previous "Disney" rumor...I knew they were building what seemed to be a significant marketing presence here per newspaper reports but I didn't know any more.

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I don't know what land was like around Orlando before Disney World came to town...what the price was, etc., but I'm guessing it wasn't like Florida land is now.

Conversely, we've talked here on some of the "highway" threads about how they're having to make decisions now as if they (Arkansas Dept. of transportation or whatever) wait a couple of years the land price will be beyond reach.

McDonald county land is some of the most beautiful in Missouri, IMO. It used to go for an amazingly low price, but has been accelerating at a rapid pace. The possibility of a significant presence coming in makes these current rapid growth plans just above a state line a bit easier to understand, I suppose. And if Disney is wanting to build tourist-attraction amusements parks, well...Sea World has a west coast presence (San Diego), an east coast one (Orlando) and a middle America one (San Antonio).

Disney has east and west coast presences, but none in middle America.

Hmmm....

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BTW, I didn't add but...the hotel where the dirt is supposedly being moved for out by the airport is supposed to be owned by Disney. If they've got this facility going up in Bentonville like the newspaper article said, that would be a great place for their overnight business travelers. Mith, it wasn't me who'd said the previous "Disney" rumor...I knew they were building what seemed to be a significant marketing presence here per newspaper reports but I didn't know any more.

Yeah the more I think about it, I'm pretty sure I heard about it before you were even on the forum here. I admit I don't know a whole lot about Disney. Although I wouldn't be too surprised if they were into more than their amusement parks.

I don't know what land was like around Orlando before Disney World came to town...what the price was, etc., but I'm guessing it wasn't like Florida land is now.

Conversely, we've talked here on some of the "highway" threads about how they're having to make decisions now as if they (Arkansas Dept. of transportation or whatever) wait a couple of years the land price will be beyond reach.

McDonald county land is some of the most beautiful in Missouri, IMO. It used to go for an amazingly low price, but has been accelerating at a rapid pace. The possibility of a significant presence coming in makes these current rapid growth plans just above a state line a bit easier to understand, I suppose. And if Disney is wanting to build tourist-attraction amusements parks, well...Sea World has a west coast presence (San Diego), an east coast one (Orlando) and a middle America one (San Antonio).

Disney has east and west coast presences, but none in middle America.

Hmmm....

You do have a point there. Although I'm not quite ready to believe all the rumors just yet. I just wonder what all the Disney company does. Could it even be possible they are building some sort of factory or distribution center for their products? Just putting out some other ideas of some of what they could be doing with the land.

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I don't know what land was like around Orlando before Disney World came to town...what the price was, etc., but I'm guessing it wasn't like Florida land is now.

Conversely, we've talked here on some of the "highway" threads about how they're having to make decisions now as if they (Arkansas Dept. of transportation or whatever) wait a couple of years the land price will be beyond reach.

McDonald county land is some of the most beautiful in Missouri, IMO. It used to go for an amazingly low price, but has been accelerating at a rapid pace. The possibility of a significant presence coming in makes these current rapid growth plans just above a state line a bit easier to understand, I suppose. And if Disney is wanting to build tourist-attraction amusements parks, well...Sea World has a west coast presence (San Diego), an east coast one (Orlando) and a middle America one (San Antonio).

Disney has east and west coast presences, but none in middle America.

Hmmm....

There's a reason Anaheim and Orlando were chosen to build the other Disney parks. Both have year-round warm weather and November and December are quite busy. If you were looking for a place to put a park in middle America I would think of San Antonio (which has a Sea World), Houston, or New Orleans. Even Dallas can be cold or even icy in the winter. All have larger airports than NWA by far but Houston obviously has very good airport access. It would also provide a link via Galveston for Disney cruises.

A distribution center or someone of the sort seems reasonable, I'm with Mith. Some larger corporate presence or HQ of a smaller division might make sense. Perhaps there is some new special partnership being developed with Wal-Mart. A theme park seems decidedly unlikely, though.

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There's a reason Anaheim and Orlando were chosen to build the other Disney parks. Both have year-round warm weather and November and December are quite busy. If you were looking for a place to put a park in middle America I would think of San Antonio (which has a Sea World), Houston, or New Orleans. Even Dallas can be cold or even icy in the winter. All have larger airports than NWA by far but Houston obviously has very good airport access. It would also provide a link via Galveston for Disney cruises.

A distribution center or someone of the sort seems reasonable, I'm with Mith. Some larger corporate presence or HQ of a smaller division might make sense. Perhaps there is some new special partnership being developed with Wal-Mart. A theme park seems decidedly unlikely, though.

Frankly, a distribution center in this area doesn't sound unreasonable. Remember though, that Disney has experience with a big attraction in a temperate climate (EuroDisney in Paris(obviously a much bigger city), which has had its issues) that's not near a port but obviously does have a larger airport.

Then again, XNA is going to do nothing but grow.

Strangely, the one thing I've seen that makes me believe we could get an attraction like Disney (if this were so) was the announcement of the Crystal Bridges museum.

Yes, Alice Walton has ties here...but it's just not made sense to me that this was the only non-business significant presence that is going to be here in this area. My gut feeling since that announcement has always been that there has to be something else coming to make this a destination (of sorts). We'll see...

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Frankly, a distribution center in this area doesn't sound unreasonable. Remember though, that Disney has experience with a big attraction in a temperate climate (EuroDisney in Paris(obviously a much bigger city), which has had its issues) that's not near a port but obviously does have a larger airport.

Then again, XNA is going to do nothing but grow.

Strangely, the one thing I've seen that makes me believe we could get an attraction like Disney (if this were so) was the announcement of the Crystal Bridges museum.

Yes, Alice Walton has ties here...but it's just not made sense to me that this was the only non-business significant presence that is going to be here in this area. My gut feeling since that announcement has always been that there has to be something else coming to make this a destination (of sorts). We'll see...

If the possible development does turn out to be plans for some sort of amusment park, I wonder if it's possible they are planning more for further down the road than the near future. Possibly buying the land before real estate takes of there like it has in northwest Arkansas. And if they're simply in a holding pattern to see if this area keeps having the growth that many are predicting in the coming decades. But then again I don't know if companies would actually plan that far ahead though. The other thing that comes to mind is the possibility of Disney trying to also attract the Branson crowd over this way also. As Aporkalypse stated, you'd think if they wanted something closer to one of the large Texas cities. The location here does give a better central location though. A decent possible population here in the coming decades. But also close to the metros of Tulsa, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, St Louis, Little Rock. Also it wouldn't be too far away for Memphis and Dallas-Ft Worth. But despite all of this, I still am not expecting Disney to put in a major amusement park. It may be possible but I still feel it's unlikely. For right now I still think some sort of distribution center is the best bet.

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If the possible development does turn out to be plans for some sort of amusment park, I wonder if it's possible they are planning more for further down the road than the near future. Possibly buying the land before real estate takes of there like it has in northwest Arkansas.

Wouldn't surprise me. There are already some expensive homes being built in McDonald and the land there still has to be a bit cheaper than in NWA (I think the perception of the school system, which covers nearly the entire county plus a small southeast bit of Newton County (Neosho, MO) is still not the best, and that's what's kept people from moving there in droves to this point in time, hence the supply/demand difference).

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Wouldn't surprise me. There are already some expensive homes being built in McDonald and the land there still has to be a bit cheaper than in NWA (I think the perception of the school system, which covers nearly the entire county plus a small southeast bit of Newton County (Neosho, MO) is still not the best, and that's what's kept people from moving there in droves to this point in time, hence the supply/demand difference).

That may be true for now, but I think the metro area is going to really start growing towards this direction in the near future. Although there is still plenty of space for growth here on the Arkansas side. I think Missouri in general has started to realize the potential for this region and is looking more towards southwest Missouri also.

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I doubt a Disney theme park will be built in McDonald County in the near future....but if they do build one....i will be uber-angry that they built it in Missouri.

...............And Arkansas will continue to be stuck in its backwards, Wal-Mart, honky tonk image.

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I doubt a Disney theme park will be built in McDonald County in the near future....but if they do build one....i will be uber-angry that they built it in Missouri.

...............And Arkansas will continue to be stuck in its backwards, Wal-Mart, honky tonk image.

As I said before IF Disney did build something like that it is a shame that they would build it just over the border in Missouri instead of Arkansas. Although I wouldn't want it in my backyard either, but it could help bring in some tax dollars to Arkansas. But I can sorta see why they'd pick Missouri, real estate is cheaper there for now than here in northwest Arkansas. There's also more large areas of land available there than here in northwest Arkansas. I think taxes are lower there in Missouri too so maybe something like that could come into effect also. Maybe they also thought they would have a better image having in Missouri than Arkansas too. Who knows. I think northwest Arkansas is slowly improving their image, but the problem is that the state as a whole still has a long way to go.

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But I can sorta see why they'd pick Missouri, real estate is cheaper there for now than here in northwest Arkansas. There's also more large areas of land available there than here in northwest Arkansas. I think taxes are lower there in Missouri too so maybe something like that could come into effect also.

Yep. It's actually somewhat scary when they're saying that land must be bought for perimeter (of the metro area) highways in Arkansas NOW before it gets too expensive. Makes me hope they're buying the land now because we need such highways in a bad way.

As for taxes, the Wal-Mart just across the line in Jane MO is heavily shopped by "below-the-border" shoppers not just because it sells booze but because of the sales tax differential.

Maybe they also thought they would have a better image having in Missouri than Arkansas too. Who knows. I think northwest Arkansas is slowly improving their image, but the problem is that the state as a whole still has a long way to go.

Yep, Mith, isn't it funny...Arkansas promotes itself as "The natural state" but the border counties (or ones adjacent to them) competing with Missouri have fewer attractions that work (Eureka Springs) than don't (Anyone remember "Dogpatch, U.S.A.?" How about David Allen Coe's theatre in Mountain Home?).

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Yep. It's actually somewhat scary when they're saying that land must be bought for perimeter (of the metro area) highways in Arkansas NOW before it gets too expensive. Makes me hope they're buying the land now because we need such highways in a bad way.

As for taxes, the Wal-Mart just across the line in Jane MO is heavily shopped by "below-the-border" shoppers not just because it sells booze but because of the sales tax differential.

Yep, Mith, isn't it funny...Arkansas promotes itself as "The natural state" but the border counties (or ones adjacent to them) competing with Missouri have fewer attractions that work (Eureka Springs) than don't (Anyone remember "Dogpatch, U.S.A.?" How about David Allen Coe's theatre in Mountain Home?).

I agree with you there, it's hard enough to keep up with expanding the roads here. If land keeps going up it's going to get even worse. Yeah for now I think McDonald County mainly caters to people in northwest Arkansas, in particular Benton County. But I think you will start seeing more going on up there and also more people starting to move into that area. If southwest Missouri eventually starts growing like northwest Arkanasas could you imagine a metro that eventually started stretching towards Joplin?

I haven't heard the past couple of years but I know for a while Eureka Springs was in a bit of a slump. I think it started around the time Branson was really getting big. For a while I think there was ideas of trying to make Eureka Springs more like Branson. Thankfully that never really happened. I still hope that as northwest Arkansas grows that will end up adding more tourism towards Eureka Springs. I think part of the problem in general with Arkansas' broders is the fact that the state has been so much dominated by the center of the state.

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I found several other sites discussing these rumors.

This was the most interesting one: http://www.themeparksonline.org/tpoforum3.asp

I gave your urbanplanet threads a plug too...

This disney thing sounds pretty exciting...

Thanks Johnny, so are you out of school? You've been on here a lot more than usual it seems. :D

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Yep. Wasting away my hours browsing websites.

:lol: Nice to have you around more.

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Yep. Wasting away my hours browsing websites.

Good to see you Johnny!!

My friend who works over at Disney thinks it's a warehouse going up in McDonald Co.

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That's what I keep saying. Just because Disney bought it doesn't mean it's automatically an amusement park. Disney does need land for other purposes. But it's also probably not a bad investment either. Hold on to the land considering a future park then even if they decide not to sell it. I'd imagine real estate prices will start really going up in southwest Missouri too.

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But it's nice to dream, eh?

True.

But think of all the effects a theme park would also have.

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