BELLA VISTA (KFSM) - What may come as a surprise -- or not -- the city of Bella Vista has been named the fourth best place to retire in a recent article by Forbes.
City leaders said while they appreciate that designation, they're also working to attract a younger demographic.
With its many golf courses and incredible views, the City of Bella Vista has been known for its aging population.
"Whenever I was a kid, nobody wanted to come here," said Stephanie Dean, a resident who grew up in the area. "It seemed like it was really far out of the way if they lived in Bentonville. We were considered one of the only young families in Bella Vista."
Dean watched the once sleepy town grow into the thriving community it's considered today.
"Now everywhere you go it's very diverse," said Dean. "You see very young families up too; still there are a lot of retired people, but it's not like it used to be."
Data from the U.S. Census Bureau has shown the average age for a person living in Bella Vista is 50.2 years old, which is nearly 13 years older than the average Arkansan.
Mayor Peter Christie acknowledges the demographic challenges, but said work is being done at city hall every day to attract younger families.
"It's morphed from this retirement concept into one of both retirement and young families coming in," said Christie. "So you have to make sure that you have a balance on the amenities."
In January, the city broke ground on mountain bike trails that will eventually connect to the Razorback Greenway.
Renovations have also been started at Wonderland Cave to draw families.
"Trails, a relaxing way of life, great amenities if you're into golf and swimming and tennis, that kind of thing," said Christie.
Bella Vista has also approved its first farmers market, which is scheduled to open April 17.