We’re trying to open a forum about the homespun values we enjoy here in the Ozarks and how we can reinvigorate the area. We welcome your comments for discussion.

I’m going to begin by saying that this area may not be the best choice for most people. It’s rather unsophisticated, simple and natural. Nothing fancy for miles around. Far from the maddening crowd. That’s why it’s so cheap to live here, so safe and quiet. There are probably more parks, clubs, and recreational area per capita than most places in the world. (i.e.: 7 lakes for 4600 residents here in the Village) Once you’ve been here for awhile, you tend to forget the way things are in other areas, anyway. And you tend to shift your priorities a bit.

If you look at the rest of America, you see a country where the majority of its older citizens can’t live on their social security, and more and more folks who can’t live on their paychecks, if they are lucky enough to have them. You see a lost generation emerging without jobs, looking toward a desperate future, since attending college has become prohibitively expensive. We see big businesses getting Bigger, while small businesses, already struggling to survive, are being hit with rising taxes and expenses, losing customers and going under. We turn to our banks for help to find out they no longer lend money since they make more profit on punitive charges, and need to recover from “toxic assets” which used to be “homes” when families were allowed to care for them.

Where Can America Turn?

Maybe it’s time to turn a bit backward in time. To look to the future in some of our small towns.

We’re hoping to pull some of those outdoor enthusiasts, families, retirees and businesses here to our area of the Arkansas Ozarks.

We live in a uniquely beautiful place that is under populated and underdeveloped. Business needs a boost, definitely. We have plenty of commercial space that’s been vacated when the economy turned. We’re eager to deal. The area craves new food and beverage establishments, healthcare services, shops and light manufacturing. Rents are cheap and labor is strong. We need new blood, talent and ideas to reinvigorate this beautiful area. This is a bargain community where you can build a business and live on far less. Perfect for relocation or incubator businesses. Homes can be snapped up for under $50K. Land, too, is cheap and plentiful…

and its natural — that’s Arkansas’ motto: The Natural State. While we like it that way, there’s plenty of room for growth.

Lifestyles are based around family lakefront activities, river sports, golf, and outdoor activities in general. The county recently voted “wet” so there are great opportunities, particularly for restaurants, microbreweries or pubs featuring musical entertainment. The local music talent is far above the norm, since the Ozark region claims roots to rock n roll, bluegrass and country. When we put it all together wisely we could create an atmosphere that attracts the right mix of tourists, businesses and new residents that can best appreciate what the Ozarks have to offer.

Right now, it’s still quiet and peaceful.

Too much so. It’s time to spread the word!

We welcome your comments.

According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, agricultural land values have been increasing dramatically, to nearly double in the past ten years, even as overall real estate values declined.  Recreational and retirement communities, like ours, were hard-hit by the economic downturn, and are coming back slowly, but surely.