For 50 years, the small town of Bentonville, Arkansas, has been known as the home of Walmart headquarters. Now, the town that the Census Bureau reports has grown by more than 50% since 2010 is building a new reputation as a place for tourists and young professionals.

This reputation has hundreds of millions of dollars behind it, thanks to Walmart, the Walton Family Foundation, and individual members of the Walton family. Local leaders, however, told Insider that the entire community has embraced the changes. 

"When I moved here in 2005, people bought a meal coming into a meeting at Walmart and bought a meal leaving that meeting," Kalene Griffith, the president of Visit Bentonville, whose job is to bring tourists to a town that's historically been known as a corporate center, told Insider. "We had one retailer and two restaurants downtown. Now, we have 16 restaurants and eight retailers."


Written by Dustin Siggins