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Walmart Pays UA $1.3 Million For Shareholders Week

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An estimated 4,500 Walmart associates will sleep in the University of Arkansas' dorms for the week, according to Steve Voorhies, UA Manager of Media Relations.

Walmart pays UA an estimated $1.3 million to use its services. UA provides the company housing, parking, transportation and security.

Voorhies said the crowd on campus means more people will learn about the university.

“It’s not about the money," Voorhies said. "This is fantastic exposure for the University of Arkansas."

The company's Shareholder's Week kicks off Monday (June 2) with about 15,000 associates from all over the world.

"Associates come from all over the world right here to Fayetteville and they see the University of Arkansas and they see Northwest Arkansas and it’s wonderful exposure," he said. 

Voorhies compares the event to a large football game, except it goes on for a week.

"There will be security for the people who are here and for all of the events as well," Voorhies said. "It’s a massive undertaking.”

Walmart, for example, in 2014, paid the UA almost $103,000 for its police department services. For parking and transit, it paid a little over $106,000, and for housing, the company paid $436,000.

UA crews have been cleaning its dorms and making sure they are fully staffed for the week.

UA provides its facilities like Bud Walton Arena for free.

"We charge them for our expenses, but everything else we don't charge for the building or anything like that," Voorhies said. "We have an understanding with Walmart when you've got Bud Walton's name on your arena, you try to be hospitable."

James "Bud" Walton was the co-founder of Walmart and brother of founder Sam Walton.

Two concerts will take place at the arena. On Tuesday, Jason Aldean and Cole Swindell will take the stage. The following night, Foreigner, Styx and Don Felder will perform. Both events are only for associates and shareholders who reserved tickets. It's not open to the public.

Friday's annual Shareholder's meeting will also take place at Bud Walton.


    • Realist!!

      So, the employee applies for a job, accepts the job on the terms for which they apply for and then wants to complain about their wages?? Get a life, Losers!!

  • Smells like a duck

    Sound like Vorhies is pocketing the money as a spokesperson for Walmart. There’s funny math going on… Also appears that our government funds are being exploited…

    “Walmart, for example, in 2014, paid the UA almost $103,000 for its police department services. For parking and transit, it paid a little over $106,000, and for housing, the company paid $436,000”

    The university housed Walmart employees for less than $15/person each night???

    So if Walmart gave $1.3M and only $600k is listed, which sell account got the other $600k

  • Bob Gnarly

    The U.A. is not in the hotel business. No doubt there are many hotels and motels in the area who do not appreciate the unfair competition,

    Of course unfair competition is what this circle jerk is all about but the U.A. participation seems totally inappropriate.

    “We charge them for our expenses, but everything else we don’t charge for the building or anything like that,” Voorhies said. “We have an understanding with Walmart when you’ve got Bud Walton’s name on your arena, you try to be hospitable.”

    Do your students get the same treatment?

    You house these glassy eyed cheerleaders at cost while raising tuition on your students? Shameful.

    One suggestion, Steve, perhaps you should check to see if Walmart carries shoes to match that brown lipstick. Then all you’ll need is some pom-poms to join in on the cheers.

    • Wayne Klien

      Was going to say much of the same with the Building of all these Hotels and Motels so they can have a SEC championship game here in North west Arkansas I think they just shot themselves in the FOOT.

  • Smells like a duck

    I had meant to ask which shell account was used. For the 2014 expenditures–the pr group is quick to point out what Walmart paid, but not list what it cost the state for last years shareholder meeting.

    Additionally, full use of the arena is free huh? So I can start booking non profits group meetings there???? No… I didn’t think so…

    officials, please look the other way, we know your accounting department balance the accounting books anyhow.

  • Realist!!

    You people commenting are plain idiots!! Those buildings sit empty all summer long and do not generate any income. The housing department operates on a budget annualy just like everything else. You need to know more about what you’re talking about before posting a negative comment!

  • Eyes wide open

    There is no “shell” game. If you look at the article you will see that the UA has people cleaning and staffing the dorms. The Walmart associates will also be eating on campus. Those are a couple of things that are in the $600k that have a few of you all worked up.

    As for the hotels, they are going to be doing just fine. People travel in from all over the world for this and they will be keeping the hotels and restaurants very busy this week.

    If you look at this article with a jaded opinion then you will miss what is in the story and logic as well.

    • Cowboy George

      Are federal taxes being paid in that $600k cost?

      Also, isn’t use of the arena considered a gift, since Walmart is getting free use? Are taxes being paid on that gift?

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