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story.lead_photo.caption Construction crews begin renovation on the former Benton County Daily Record building Tuesday in Bentonville. The building is to be renovated into an event center. - Photo by NWA Democrat-Gazette / MICHAEL WOODS • @NWAMICHAELW

BENTONVILLE -- Renovation of the former Benton County Daily Record building will provide an event venue and much-needed meeting space downtown, city officials said Tuesday.

The building sits one block west of the downtown square at 104 S.W. A St.


RopeSwing is a boutique hospitality company based in Bentonville. It was founded in 2014 and develops dining, entertainment and cultural attractions. Tom Walton, grandson of Sam Walton, is the group’s managing principal.

The group moved and expanded Pressroom in Midtown Center last year, is in the process of creating a restaurant and lounge in a historic church downtown and is helping reshape the Northwest Arkansas Community College’s culinary program.

Source: Staff report

RopeSwing, a Bentonville-based boutique hospitality company, announced Tuesday it will renovate the 12,000-square-foot space into a meeting and event venue called Record.

"Bentonville's rapid growth has created demand for flexible spaces that can be utilized for business meetings, private events and entertainment," Rob Apple, managing director of RopeSwing, said in a news release. "Record is part of our efforts to support high-quality events and entertainment in our hometown."

Flintco put up a fence around the building's east side Tuesday and construction is underway, Apple said.

The project is scheduled to be completed this fall in time to accommodate the Made by Few Conference on Oct. 26-29. The International Mountain Bicycling Association World Summit will use the building during its event Nov. 10-12.

Made by Few is "the conference for makers of the web," according to its website. It's organized by the Little Rock design and development agency, Few, and has been held in Little Rock since its inception in 2012.

"This year we are hosting the conference in Bentonville, Arkansas, which over the past couple of years has been blossoming into a killer place to visit," this year's event page reads.

Work will be done within the building's footprint and won't include any expansion, Apple said.

Northwest Arkansas Newspapers, owner of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the former Benton County Daily Record, sold the building to Record Properties for about $700,000 in November 2012.

"We are eager to keep historic buildings intact when possible," Apple said. "We like the idea of preserving the memory of the building's use in the name."

The newspaper logos on the building's exterior will be removed. Archetype, a Fayetteville-based branding company, is designing a new logo, Apple said.

Record will offer a variety of spaces to rent for events and also host a diverse entertainment lineup. More information, including how to rent space and room accommodations, will be announced in June, according to the release.

It's encouraging any time a building is repurposed, Mayor Bob McCaslin said.

"It becomes a contributor to the local economy," he said. "That makes it a win for all of us."

There's an increasing demand for meeting space downtown, said Kalene Griffith, Visit Bentonville president and CEO.

"The sheer size of this venue will allow us to serve planners who demand not only larger meeting space, but also unique venues," she said.

Darrel Harvey, sales manager for Visit Bentonville, is excited to add Record to the roster of Bentonville meeting venues.

"The potential capacity and its proximity to the square make it a game changer for us in the convention market," he said.

The building has been used for various temporary purposes since the newspaper staff moved in January 2013. It was an office for a cycling group before The Hub opening a few blocks south on Southwest A Street. Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week held a fashion show in the industrial space in March 2014. The Kiwanis Club distributed its Christmas food baskets there in 2013 and 2014. Last May, the Bentonville Film Festival used it as a ticket office.

NW News on 04/13/2016

Print Headline: Former newspaper office becoming event space


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