KJW

The "Aquarium of Arkansas" to be built in Bentonville

47 posts in this topic

http://www.nwarktimes.com/bcdr/News/51900/

The Old Applegate property on which this will be built will be an interesting place for this...and boy, will it make for even more fun traffic issues on the two-lane highway to Gravette...

Edited by KJW

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I saw this article this morning as well. That is outstanding news!!! I would say with Crystal Bridges, the Aquarium, the NWA Naturals, and a "possible" arena, that we are really on the verge of being a big metro on everyone's radar. I would say a Zoo is not far off as well as an amusement park or water park of some sort. Both of those will only add to the entertainment in the area to make this a world-class destination. I cannot wait to see what comes next.

I would say though...we are def in need of:

1. An arena (not just talk, but actually build it)

2. More upscale retail and department stores

3. Upscale Grocery Stores (Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc)

4. A nice upscale getaway resort property (including 5 star hotel, 18 hole golfcourse, spa, pools, and other amenities)

5. A golf course retirement community (better than Bella Vista)

6. Downtown type entertainment district for Bentonville/Rogers (either Downtown B-ville or Pinnacle Hills)

Just suggestions.

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I saw this article this morning as well. That is outstanding news!!! I would say with Crystal Bridges, the Aquarium, the NWA Naturals, and a "possible" arena, that we are really on the verge of being a big metro on everyone's radar. I would say a Zoo is not far off as well as an amusement park or water park of some sort. Both of those will only add to the entertainment in the area to make this a world-class destination. I cannot wait to see what comes next.

I would say though...we are def in need of:

1. An arena (not just talk, but actually build it)

2. More upscale retail and department stores

3. Upscale Grocery Stores (Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc)

4. A nice upscale getaway resort property (including 5 star hotel, 18 hole golfcourse, spa, pools, and other amenities)

5. A golf course retirement community (better than Bella Vista)

6. Downtown type entertainment district for Bentonville/Rogers (either Downtown B-ville or Pinnacle Hills)

Just suggestions.

No complaints from me, Remus.

As for the arena, I'm convinced someone's going to build one, even if it's not the group that was trying to get the WNBA franchise...

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This is wonderful news. Every little step closer any one of our cities takes to offering more entertainment venues that major metro areas have will be great for the region. However, they do need bigger highways in Bentonville.

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Great to hear. I didn't see it mentioned anywhere I looked. So does this mean that mixed-use development for the old Applegate fell through? I never went to it so I'm not sure how big of an area we're talking about. But it sounds like it would have had to been pretty big to have an aquarium and that mixed-use development. I'm really curious to what this aquarium will be like. There's one in Hot Springs (or was one, I don't know if it's still open or not). It was basically just a really big fish fanatic who put all these aquariums up in an old shop. This sounds like it will be something a little more professional. This sounds like something that might not be open for a while though.

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This sounds like a good compliment to Applegate Hills. Glad to see this could be built, hopefully it will.

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This sounds like a good compliment to Applegate Hills. Glad to see this could be built, hopefully it will.

Yeah, it makes me wonder when the Times doesn't mention the story on line. (Diplodocus?)

However, it's interesting that they're already got a curator lined up for this.

Crystal Bridges is not going to be a lonely attraction in Benton County.

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Yeah, it makes me wonder when the Times doesn't mention the story on line. (Diplodocus?)

However, it's interesting that they're already got a curator lined up for this.

Crystal Bridges is not going to be a lonely attraction in Benton County.

That one article is the only mention I've seen. I've even tried paying attention on the news on tv and have seen no mention what so ever.

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Mith, I'd wondered that, too...but in the "Thumbs up / down" section of today's Benton County Record editorial the very first entry is a "Thumbs up" to the Aquarium of Arkansas and its developers, specifically mentioning the Aquarium of Oklahoma in Jenks (HEY...Applegate place is the next "Jenks" :P ) and what a great tourist draw regionally that's been and how this could be the same way for NWA and Arkansas.

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Mith, I'd wondered that, too...but in the "Thumbs up / down" section of today's Benton County Record editorial the very first entry is a "Thumbs up" to the Aquarium of Arkansas and its developers, specifically mentioning the Aquarium of Oklahoma in Jenks (HEY...Applegate place is the next "Jenks" :P ) and what a great tourist draw regionally that's been and how this could be the same way for NWA and Arkansas.

Thanks for the info, especially since I don't get that paper down here. For some reason I've never made it over to Jenks to see their aquarium, but I've heard good things about it. I'm not sure if we'll get something quite to the same scale as that one. But if it's anything close then I would be impressed.

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Mith, I'd wondered that, too...but in the "Thumbs up / down" section of today's Benton County Record editorial the very first entry is a "Thumbs up" to the Aquarium of Arkansas and its developers, specifically mentioning the Aquarium of Oklahoma in Jenks (HEY...Applegate place is the next "Jenks" :P ) and what a great tourist draw regionally that's been and how this could be the same way for NWA and Arkansas.

The Jenks aquarium is a really nice facility--once you are inside. From the outside, it looks like some sort of strange, fairly recently-built motel. I don't understand the architecture at all. That said, it does bring a lot of people to Jenks who would never go there otherwise (like me), and it has to be good for the area in many different ways. I hope we see this built in B-Ville.

M

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So does this mean that mixed-use development for the old Applegate fell through?

The Applegate Hills website has some updated renders and info so I'm guessing it's still being pushed. There's plenty of room there for the mixed-use as well as a large aquarium. A side road could easily be added to make Applegate Hills more accessible and prevent more traffic strain on the current road.

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The Applegate Hills website makes it hard for me to take this development very seriously. It looks like a redneck version of Las Colinas in Dallas and the architecture, judging by the renderings, has little to do with E. Faye Jones.

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I'm getting so pissed with every second rate attraction we get in NWA. The developers here are horrible! You don't realize this but the next generation is going to have to be the ones to clean this mess up. Kind of like the 60's! This crap would not fly in any city that gave a damn about aesthetic quality. I hope Bentonville gets what they deserve and not some crap like this. This is going to be the glorified Phoenix Village of Benton County.

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I'm getting so pissed with every second rate attraction we get in NWA. The developers here are horrible! You don't realize this but the next generation is going to have to be the ones to clean this mess up. Kind of like the 60's! This crap would not fly in any city that gave a damn about aesthetic quality.

. I hope Bentonville gets what they deserve and not some crap like this. This is going to be the glorified Phoenix Village of Benton County.

Here's the part that cracked me up:

"A vibrant and energetic feel was determined to be the common denominator for all of the other successful "destination" centers researched. Envision as vendor executives head to a meeting at the convention center while their wives shop or enjoy the salon/spa. Other wives shop with their children as teens go to the gaming center and an elderly couple sit at one of the many outside terraces and just people watch"

So, we only have male vendor executives here? The convention center will be full of men, and the shops full of women? Oh yeah, that's progressive. Granted, in my particular family, that holds true, lol, but there are plenty of successful women in business around here. And I bet older folks love being characterized as people watchers. Too funny.

Truth be told, I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I have a soft spot for Applegate; I always loved the place, especially in the fall. Let's hope they don't ruin it.

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I'm getting so pissed with every second rate attraction we get in NWA. The developers here are horrible! You don't realize this but the next generation is going to have to be the ones to clean this mess up. Kind of like the 60's! This crap would not fly in any city that gave a damn about aesthetic quality. I hope Bentonville gets what they deserve and not some crap like this. This is going to be the glorified Phoenix Village of Benton County.

NWAboom,

I wouldn't yet be worried about this.

Remember, in the original "Aquarium" article from last week the would-be developers said they're working to find an architect for the project. Let's see if they do, and if this goes through. Their architect might not be Moshe Safdie, but he/she still might do an incredible job.

Now, I don't want the rest of the world, or America for that matter, telling us what we should or should not build, or HOW we should build it. Wal-Mart didn't start out as the most shining example of what a retail store should look like (and it's amazing how at WM headquarters and the local DCs you can still see trucks emblazoned with that old cowboy-looking (not that that's a bad thing) font originally used for "Wal-Mart") but it's done pretty well so far. Let's give these guys a chance to improve their ideas.

That being said, I've said here before we seem to still have folks with the mindset "Hey everybody, let's go grab a malt at the Hi-D-Ho and listen to the Razorbacks game!" It seems to influence what they do (and if they've grown up here why wouldn't it?) The story which comes to mind is William "Dillard's" Dillard telling the former business partners of the Pinnacle that they weren't thinking big enough in their mall plans. Hopefully these folks will realize we are in a new age in which NWA is no longer a small town but a now-big metro area with folks from all over the world, and they'll let this fact influence their creativity.

All we can do is wait...

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Here's the part that cracked me up:

"A vibrant and energetic feel was determined to be the common denominator for all of the other successful "destination" centers researched. Envision as vendor executives head to a meeting at the convention center while their wives shop or enjoy the salon/spa. Other wives shop with their children as teens go to the gaming center and an elderly couple sit at one of the many outside terraces and just people watch"

So, we only have male vendor executives here? The convention center will be full of men, and the shops full of women? Oh yeah, that's progressive. Granted, in my particular family, that holds true, lol, but there are plenty of successful women in business around here. And I bet older folks love being characterized as people watchers. Too funny.

Truth be told, I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I have a soft spot for Applegate; I always loved the place, especially in the fall. Let's hope they don't ruin it.

You could really do them a favor by copying this post and sending it to the contact address on the site. Whoever wrote that paragraph must have been daydreaming they were in the 1950's.

If the aquarium turns out as as nice as the one over by Tulsa it should be a first rate attraction, although the exterior of the Jenk's one wouldn't fit in with the Applegate Hills development, which looks fine to me. I can only imagine that the use of native stone turns some people off.

Edited by zman9810

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I'm kind of surprised we haven't heard more about this. What is up with all the developers proposing projects and getting them approved by the city and then we hear nothing more from them. This development, along with the Westin and Promenade Pointe (next to Promenade Mall...the Barber Development), have all seemed to have been put on hold. I wish they would at least keep the public updated on this.

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You could really do them a favor by copying this post and sending it to the contact address on the site. Whoever wrote that paragraph must have been daydreaming they were in the 1950's.

If the aquarium turns out as as nice as the one over by Tulsa it should be a first rate attraction, although the exterior of the Jenk's one wouldn't fit in with the Applegate Hills development, which looks fine to me. I can only imagine that the use of native stone turns some people off.

I actually took your advice, zman, and sent an e-mail. I didn't quote from here, I put it a little more nicely, but hopefully someone will do some editing. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

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Yeah that website is pretty funny. I didn't see anything really that reminded me of the old renderings I had seen a while back. But since we've been discussing both the Applegate Hills development and the aquarium. I was wondering are these two developments being done jointly or separately and both just happen to be happening near each other?

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Yeah that website is pretty funny. I didn't see anything really that reminded me of the old renderings I had seen a while back. But since we've been discussing both the Applegate Hills development and the aquarium. I was wondering are these two developments being done jointly or separately and both just happen to be happening near each other?

The aquarium is part of the Applegate Hills development. The website mentions the aquarium signing, or being near to signing, a letter of intent. Other businesses which have expressed intent are Shogun, Fred's Hickory Inn, Koffee Korner, and a day care called Piggles and Wiggles. Seems like there were a few others too. They also named an extended stay hotel. I thought the gondola rides were an interesting concept, as an after-dinner activity for couples. That could be really romantic, or really cheesy, depending on how it's done and presented.

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The aquarium is part of the Applegate Hills development. The website mentions the aquarium signing, or being near to signing, a letter of intent. Other businesses which have expressed intent are Shogun, Fred's Hickory Inn, Koffee Korner, and a day care called Piggles and Wiggles. Seems like there were a few others too. They also named an extended stay hotel. I thought the gondola rides were an interesting concept, as an after-dinner activity for couples. That could be really romantic, or really cheesy, depending on how it's done and presented.

Hmmm...guess I missed that. Shogun surprises me a bit. Surely they wouldn't consider leaving their current location up there already. That building is rather new and seemed nice. Is there enough demand for a second location? Or maybe something along the lines of Wasabi, I think it's a bit of a 'Shogun Express'.

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I actually took your advice, zman, and sent an e-mail. I didn't quote from here, I put it a little more nicely, but hopefully someone will do some editing. Thanks for the suggestion. :)

:thumbsup: Cool- you're welcome!

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Here's the part that cracked me up:

"A vibrant and energetic feel was determined to be the common denominator for all of the other successful "destination" centers researched. Envision as vendor executives head to a meeting at the convention center while their wives shop or enjoy the salon/spa. Other wives shop with their children as teens go to the gaming center and an elderly couple sit at one of the many outside terraces and just people watch"

So, we only have male vendor executives here? The convention center will be full of men, and the shops full of women? Oh yeah, that's progressive. Granted, in my particular family, that holds true, lol, but there are plenty of successful women in business around here. And I bet older folks love being characterized as people watchers. Too funny.

Truth be told, I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out. I have a soft spot for Applegate; I always loved the place, especially in the fall. Let's hope they don't ruin it.

That is a pretty dumb statement, allright! Talk about bad writing and stupid, ignorant people. That's one thing certain religious sects like to do--keep the women folk in their place.

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