Bella Vista is a unique and young city, incorporated in 2007 by a vote of its residents. Today, more than 28,000 people call the city home, and a great place to live and play.
The name Bella Vista, Spanish for “beautiful view,” was chosen in 1915, as the first properties were sold to those seeking the alluring landscape and scenic views offered in the northwest corner of Arkansas. Two years later, brothers Clayton and Forest Linebarger purchased 206 acres for about $6,000, according to the Bella Vista Historical Museum, intending to create a summer resort like none other. This was a visionary model of a place conducive to exercise and recreation, reachable by car to anyone willing to travel here. Early attractions in the 20’s and 30’s included the 65-room Sunset Hotel, golf, tennis, a dance pavilion and a large swimming pool, along with an underground nightclub inside Wonderland Cave.
The resort town appeal faded following the Great Depression, war and the country’s economic ups and downs. But Bella Vista continued to grow through the efforts of multiple investors and their visions, and by the 1960s Bella Vista Village was a nationally recognized vacation and retirement village destination, governed by the Bella Vista Village Property Owners Association.
In 2006, residents and property owners of Bella Vista Village voted to incorporate Bella Vista into a full-fledged city, and the change was official in 2007, creating the brand new City of Bella Vista and leading to a dramatic shift in demographics, attracting the young and old alike.
Today, the city and the POA operate independent from one another.
• The city provides police and fire protection, along with street maintenance, building and code enforcement services, a public library and trash pickup. These services are funded through state and local taxes.
• The POA provides services for recreation, such as maintaining the lakes and golf courses. The POA also owns and operates the water department for Bella Vista residents. The POA’s services are funded through monthly assessment fees paid by POA members.
Bella Vista borders Missouri to the north, and is the northern-most of six large cities located along the Interstate 49 corridor, offering a variety of shopping, educational facilities, health care choices, and abundant recreational opportunities. With its location in the Ozark Mountains, the city boasts a primarily temperate climate, and offers four distinct seasons, an array of wildlife and beautiful scenery. All these qualities and more make Bella Vista truly a place to call home.
Facts about the City of Bella Vista
Elevation: 1,033 feet above sea level
Land area: 47 square miles with more than 550 miles of roads
Zip codes: 72714 and 72715
School districts: Bentonville, Gravette and Pea Ridge
Population: 27,838 in 2014 (30,218 projected for 2019)
0-24 = 23.2%
25-44 = 20.4%
45-64 = 24.1%
65+ = 32.3%
Median age = 50.8
Average household size = 2.26
Percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher = 35.2%
Median household income: $58,632
Average household income: $76,606
Median house value: $177,438
Owner occupied housing: 86.7%
Types of businesses and employment opportunities: Recreation, golfing, boating, fishing, real estate, insurance, health care, senior care, restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, emergency services, fire, police, movie theater, financial advisors, banks, and more.
Golf courses: 7 — http://bellavistapoa.com/amenities/
Lakes: 7 — http://bellavistapoa.com/amenities/
Public mountain biking/hiking trails: The Back 40 — http://www.bellavistaar.gov/theback40/