About the Fort Smith, AR area

Firstbiz NW Arkansas

Fort Smith blends a unique mix of the Old West with the Antebellum South. Famous for outlaws and the Hanging Judge who tamed them, Fort Smith is rich in history blended with southern charm. Situated on the Arkansas River on Arkansas’ western border, Fort Smith is the employment, cultural, shopping and entertainment center for eleven counties in Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma.

Known as the “Industrial Capital of Arkansas”, Fort Smith is home to more manufacturing than any other city in the state. Companies such as Beverly Enterprises (the nation’s largest provider of long-term health care), Baldor Electric, USA Truck, OK Foods, Riverside Furniture and Arkansas Best Corporation (parent company of ABF Freight System) call this region their corporate home. In addition, these companies also produce goods in Fort Smith: Whirlpool, Owens-Corning, Rheen-Ruud, MacSteel, Gerber, Transkrit, American-Standard Trane, Hiram Walker, Dixie, Kraft Foods, Planters Peanuts and Williamettep>

The city is growing and poising itself for the future. The city recently completed $30 million expansion and renovation of the Fort Smith Convention Center, a $55 million river front development project, a $17 million Fort Smith Public Library plus three branch libraries and a new $20 million terminal for the Fort Smith Regional Airport. In addition, many private companies are capitalizing on the fertile Fort Smith business climate. The city will soon complete one of the largest public works projects in the history of the state to provide water for its residents and businesses through the year 2050. St. Edward Mercy Medical Center just completed a $70 million expansion, doubling the size of their hospital campus while Sparks Hospital just announced plans to build a $120 million, 400,000 square foot facility to sit on 40-50 acres. A new 200-plus room Marriott hotel is under construction in Downtown Fort Smith, as is a new youth arts center and a high-end residential-retail mixed use development center.


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