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KJW

A B C D - Will the NWA metro be 8 counties in three (years, that is)?

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Unless Wal-Mart, JBH and/or Tyson move to China or Brazil (I don't think that will ever happen, but only God Himself knows), and given the Joplin paper link that Sammy gave us about Adair and Delaware Counties being probable additions to the NWA metro area in the 2010 census, I'm wondering...could we be looking at an 8-county NWA metro area by 2010?

When you're home to the world's largest company, anything can happen:

Adair County, Oklahoma (Television DMA: Tulsa): - Borders SW Benton, W Washington counties (as well as Crawford, AR and Sequoyah, OK in the Fort Smith Metro area). Said in the article to be a probable entry to the metro area, with an estimated 2006 population of 21,000.

Driving southwest from Fayetteville, one visits in order: Farmington, Prairie Grove, Lincoln, Summers and Westville, OK (Adair). I attended church at Pinnacle Hills for awhile and remember pastors there talking about people driving to services there from Westville as well as Pineville, MO. Adair's northeast boundary bumps up to within 2,000 feet or less of Siloam's city limits and there are Siloam subdivisions immediately east of the county line. The county also has half of the huge Flint Creek Resort (though I don't think that's a "Bella Vista" at this point in time) subdivision about 13 miles from Siloam. The county seat, Stilwell, is about 5-10 miles south of Westville.

NWA metro pickup: said to be probable.

Barry County, Missouri (Television DMA: Springfield): - Borders NE Benton County. 2000 census population: 34,010.

This, IMO is the least likely pickup for NWA. Reason: the largest city, Monett (itself a "border town" on still-rural-but-in-the-crosshairs-between-Springfield, Joplin an NWA Lawrence County, MO) is well at the northern end of the county and in the trade influence of Springfield. Interestingly, that city's best-known employer Jack Henry & Associates, providers of software and tech solutions for the banking industry, used to get a lot of workers who would drive UP from Fayetteville, according to news reports from the early part of this decade.

However, subdivisions are popping up at Seligman and Washburn, MO in the county's far southwest part. My son had Upward Bound basketball at a Rogers church with a lady who drove down from Washburn. The county (like Carroll, AR and McDonald, MO) should be visible from the Grandview Heights condos being built on Beaver Lake. Barry County has also teamed up in an economic development pact with, interestingly enough, McDonald County. And businesses in the county's seat, Cassville, have regularly advertised in NWA media, i.e. 7 Valleys Chrysler Dodge ("Hey, don't ya love them Hawgs".) In southwest Barry you can't find newspaper racks for the Springfield, MO News-Leader (the county's in the Springfield DMA) but you can find plenty for the NWA papers.

NWA metro pickup: iffy, but possible.

Carroll County, Arkansas (Television DMA: Springfield): - Borders E Benton County, NE Madison County. 2000 census population: 25,357

You'd think this would be one of if not the most likely additions to the NWA metro. However, around 2003/2004 businesses in the area were resistant to adding NWA papers. (The Rogers Times openly proclaimed on its masthead then that it served Eureka Springs and Berryville.)

However, Eureka Springs (and perhaps Holiday Island...anyone out there know for sure on this?) is the only non-Benton/Madison/Washington city to have a "coveted" banner on the parade of same of cities along the south entrance to XNA. There are definitely NWA commuters from the Eureka area. In fact, (around) the Pine Top area of Benton County is in the Eureka Springs school district. There are lots of people who go back and forth between NWA and west Carroll County.

NWA metro pickup: a good possibility I would think

Delaware County, Oklahoma (Television DMA: Tulsa): - Borders W Benton County, W McDonald County, MO. 2000 Census population: 37,077

The biggest of the potential "pickup" counties, if this and Adair counties join NWA as predicted, and if the population of the current NWA metro grows by the estimated 9,000-11,000 annually, the new six county metro area alone will be over 520,000 by 2010...astonishing enough.

Grove, OK, in the county's north is a regional tourist destination and has a lot of lakefront property. In Bentonville and Bella Vista there are multiple places where you can pick up Grove/Grand Lake real estate guides...I had a former co-worker who was interested in property there. There are a lot of north Delaware County commuters to Bentonville/Gravette from Grove although they have to drive about 20-30 miles to get here. In extreme southern Delaware County the "suburb" of West Siloam Springs is located which has businesses that extend almost 10 miles west of the Siloam Springs limits on Highway 112.

NWA metro pickup: said to be probable.

Now, a number of counties a metro area has is not alone an indicator of how big or small a city is...however, it's interesting to compare a six-county (with Adair and Delaware) NWA metro with a list of other US metro areas.

It's been said there may be some unprecedented (in modern U.S. history) things which may occur in NWA as a metropolitan area. 2010 may be the year which these begin to unfold, barring the completely unforeseen...

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I think some of those counties could be added. But at the same time I'm not sure how much of a change there will be. I'm sure those Oklahoma counties will keep getting Tulsa news and so on. It might just be a little more of a shift towards us. After looking at that list I've been wondering when we might actually break the top 100 metros list. But even with our population growth and adding some counties I don't see it happening by 2010.

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I think some of those counties could be added. But at the same time I'm not sure how much of a change there will be. I'm sure those Oklahoma counties will keep getting Tulsa news and so on. It might just be a little more of a shift towards us. After looking at that list I've been wondering when we might actually break the top 100 metros list. But even with our population growth and adding some counties I don't see it happening by 2010.

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