Bella Vista is a city in Benton County, Arkansas. First established in 1965 as a summer resort town, the community evolved into a retirement community, and continues to change following incorporation in 2006. The city's struggle with incorporation began in 1977 and periodically returned as the community grew rapidly.
Following the change, municipal government replaced the Property Owners Association as primary government; entering a new era for Bella Vista. The community is located on the Springfield Plateau of the Ozark Mountains; it is these valleys, creeks, and steep rises that characterize the city's topography. Bella Vista is located north of Bentonville and Rogers, and is the northernmost municipality of the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan statistical area in the state. The city has been experiencing a population and building boom in recent years, as indicated by a 60% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
The rapid growth of Northwest Arkansas, including Bella Vista, has expedited the need for a fully controlled access highway in the area. Bella Vista is the northern terminus of Interstate 540 (I-540) and southern terminus of I-49. The gap between the routes is currently served by US Highway 71 (US 71), a divided freeway, leading to congestion and delays for through traffic as well as local traffic in Bella Vista. The Bella Vista Bypass, a two-lane freeway ultimately planned to connect I-49 and I-540, is currently under construction to the city's west.