Recently, Jim Dailey and Hank Kelley traveled about 90 miles northeast of Little Rock to visit the city of Batesville. They consulted with Mayor Rick Elembaugh and Chamber President Crystal Johnson to explore economic development opportunities in this small community located along the shores of the White River. Their hosts led them on a tour of Batesville’s active downtown, state-of-the-art conference center, the Terry Sims Diamond Sports Complex, and the Community Center & Aquatics Park completed in 2017.
As Arkansas’ oldest city, Batesville (which has gone by other names including Napoleon and Poke Bayou) has a long and interesting history. Batesville is home to Lyon College and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. It is also the hometown of NASCAR driver Mark Martin. The Mark Martin NASCAR Museum, built in his honor, is a popular attraction as is the speedway where he began his racing career.
Several buildings in Batesville are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the historic Melba Theatre which was built in 1875 and became one of Arkansas’ first cinemascope theaters in 1940. This historic property has undergone several transformations over the years, but today it operates as a beautiful modern movie theatre and is considered an integral part of Batesville’s Main Street business district.
Batesville has a thriving retail community where you can expect to find big-business names like TJ Maxx and Home Depot alongside small, family-run businesses like Bellabird Boutique and Thompson’s Fine Jewelry. Batesville can is a charming place to visit, a prosperous place to do business, and a beautiful place to call home.
If you would like to explore economic development opportunities in your city, contact our Director of Government Relations, Jim Dailey, at firstname.lastname@example.org.