Kalene Griffith | President | CEO | Bentonville

Bentonville: Mountain Bike Capital of the World

Imagine the convenience of flying your plane into a private airport, walking into a first-class aviation facility while being just minutes away from experiencing everything exceptional the community has to offer?

That moment has arrived! There’s a new American town on the map. It’s a town with a big heart and even bigger ambition. A town where modern progress meets rich history, where the arts meet innovation, and where companies meet communities. A town you can explore with all of your senses: from fresh air in the Ozarks, to fresh cuisine on your plate. That town is Bentonville, Arkansas. A town to visit, to see, to breathe, and to discover:

No matter the time of year Bentonville always has destinations worth exploring. “Now this is a great town.”

From small towns to big cities and everywhere in between, air connectivity opens the doors to tourism, business, and cultural exchange.  Bentonville is a place to experience morning, noon, and night! From the vibrant downtown square, historical areas, and world-class museums to soft and hard cycling trails that connect you across Northwest Arkansas, your next adventure is awaiting in Bentonville! Bentonville is also a hub of diverse culinary options and initiatives that are paving paths to making Bentonville a top destination for food and travel lovers, alike!

In an interview conducted between Insights Success and Kalene GriffithPresident/CEO looks forward to welcome all the travel lovers around the world. Below is the highlight of the interview:

Please brief our readers about your company and its journey.

Visit Bentonville is the local tourism office in Bentonville, AR. Our mission is to brand, promote and sell our city as a tourism destination, stimulating economic development. We are funded with a 2% lodging tax and a 1% restaurant tax

What were the challenges the organization faced since the founding?

Our organization has benefited from a very progressive leadership; our challenge is also our biggest success of keeping up with tourism growth. We were once a business destination with little leisure. Now we are diversified to both business and leisure which has benefitted our local businesses with customers every day of the week.

Being an experienced business leader, what is your opinion regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Advertising and Promotion Industry? And how has Bentonville managed to overcome this significant challenge?

I’m proud of our Visit Bentonville team and our community leaders, who immediately came together as a unified front to address various needs when the COVID pandemic started. To help, our Visit Bentonville team brought together public relations leaders, local hotel general managers, and the statewide tourism leaders for a weekly Zoom call to coordinate relief efforts and provide the latest information. This work in the early stages of the crisis allowed us to be on the same response page with other organizations, businesses, and municipalities.

What is your thought on the necessity of a positive work culture? In what ways do you implement it at Bentonville?

It’s essential. I’m a positive person by nature, and our organization is always looking for ways to “solve for yes”.

In what ways have Bentonville to the community? If given a chance, what change would you bring in the world by connecting everyone to Bentonville?

Our city is a shining example of the New American Town, a welcoming community filled with culture, outdoor adventure, and opportunity for everyone. (with more to come!)

What would be your advice for aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs in your Industry?

The tourism and hospitality industry is truly one of the most exciting and ever-changing industries to be a part of. My advice is to have a clear plan, take action, be prepared for rejection, and be financially prepared. Entrepreneurs can write their history, build their own success story, and in turn, earn their own paycheck. Be positive and be aggressive to change your life and others.

What is your vision for the company for the next five years? Recovery and progress.

We continue to see inspiring commitment and collaboration in our community, which we believe will help us regain consumer confidence for the next year. We will continue to enhance the visitor experience with new and traditional tourism attractions. We’ll embrace technology transformations, partner with state and federal governments, reach a new audience through unique events and planners, and most importantly, collaborate with public and private corporations to elevate our cities amenities for the traveler. We will continue to support the Be Safe, Be Smart Campaign to ensure that our visitors are at the forefront of safety.