The Greater Fort Smith Region is one of the most dynamic places to live in the United States. Affordability and a high quality of place makes the region desirable to an array of individuals and businesses alike.
Whether you’re looking for a place to call home, a place to raise a family, a place to begin your career or a place to locate a business, the Greater Fort Smith Region embodies all the characteristics of an ideal community.
Fort Smith is the second largest city in Arkansas, with more than 85,000 residents and 35,000 housing units inside the city limits. The Greater Fort Smith Region has more than 300,000 residents. Nestled between the Arkansas River, the Ozark Mountains and the Boston Mountains, Fort Smith and the surrounding area provide some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. From Lake Fort Smith to a plethora of other parks, golf courses and the 170-acre Janet Huckabee Nature Reserve, residents are never far from nature.
The Greater Fort Smith Region also enjoys a cost of living that consistently ranks among the lowest five in the nation. Residents enjoy an overall cost of living that is 87.4 percent of the national average, according to cost of living reports.
Forbes magazine recently named Fort Smith as the number one city in America for cost of living based on cost of housing, utilities, transportation and other expenditures. Fort Smith was also ranked the number six city in America for cost of doing business based on cost of labor, energy, taxes and office space.
The same Forbes survey ranked Fort Smith and the Greater Fort Smith Region as number six in total income growth and number 85 overall of the best cities in America.
In the late 1800s, Fort Smith was the last law and order stop on the way to the Wild West. More U.S. Marshals are buried in the Greater Fort Smith Region than anywhere else in the nation, and the Marshals Service recently selected Fort Smith as the home for its national museum, which will showcase 218 years of history. Today, Fort Smith continues in its military tradition and is the home to Fort Chaffee and the 188th Fighter Wing Flying Razorbacks that recently transitioned from F-16s to A-10 Warthogs.
Fort Smith is Arkansas’s leading manufacturing community and is home to corporate headquarters like Baldor and companies like Rheem, Trane, Kraft-Planters, Hiram Walker and Gerber. The Greater Fort Smith Region produces everything from baby food to bourbon. In fact, more goods are produced here than in the entire state of Arkansas.
Fort Smith is also home to an array of arts and boasts Arkansas’s oldest orchestra and the oldest all-volunteer community theatre. The Fort Smith Art Center is a haven for artisans in the region to work and to showcase their pieces. During spring and summer months, weekend nightlife along Garrison Avenue in downtown Fort Smith provides a variety of live music – from blues to rock and jazz to country. A great show is never far away.
The Greater Fort Smith Region is also home to award-winning public school systems and the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith that offers two- and four-year degrees, from dental hygiene to graphic design. The region also boasts Arkansas Tech University - Ozark, Webster University, John Brown University - Fort Smith Center and Carl Albert State College in Oklahoma.
From its scenic riverfront downtown and historic sites to its thriving retail and culinary treasures, the Greater Fort Smith Region is as equally diverse as it is beautiful. We encourage you to discover this area of magnificent scenery, rich tradition and booming business.