#ULIOKtravels - Bentonville, Arkansas
(The 21c Museum Hotel in Bentonville is the only location for the chain that is not in a historical building. Each location comes with an outdoor piece of public art (in Arkansas, it's very much about basketball).
Once a year I am fortunate enough to join some of the city's most innovative, creative developers, brokers, planners, architects and engineers as they tour cities to keep up with cutting edge trends in building urban areas.
In past years these trips took the group to San Antonio, Fort Worth, Carlton Landing and Kansas City.
For the first time in my life I am visiting northwest Arkansas, which is being rapidly transformed thanks to the growth of the University of Arkansas, and in Bentonville, of course, corporate anchor Walmart.
Last night I stayed at one of the newest 21c Museum Hotels, and the only one not in a renovated historic building. I fell in love with 21c after visiting their flagship, original location two years ago in Louisville, Kentucky.
It was fun to see this newly built 21c, opened last year, and while its a great addition to Bentonville, I'm pretty sure it won't top the 21c Museum Hotel set to open in June at the 1916 Ford Model T assembly plant, last home to Fred Jones Manufacturing,
The plant, 900 W Main, was one of 24 regional assembly plants designed and built between 1910 and 1915 to accommodate what was then an unprecedented expansion of the Ford Motor Co.’s assembly process across the country.
The museum part of the hotel is no joke, and will feature a contemporary art exhibit, fully curated, that will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We will be treated to a glimpse of the art set for Oklahoma City soon. Meanwhile, let's look at the Bentonville hotel.
Each 21c Museum Hotel is home to a vintage limo that is "altered" into a functioning, mobile work of art that is available for hotel guests. This car in Bentonville is covered with pennies, because, well, you know.... Walmart.
Another fixture at each 21c Museum Hotel are the penguins. Each hotel has its own color, the penguins are interactive in that guests can move them as desired to take selfies or enjoy a long weird conversation if you're all alone.