• Ashby Street Adds Digitals in Bentonville, AR

    Ashby Street Outdoor plans to remove 16 billboards, representing 5,560 square feet of static space to add seven digital faces throughout the City of Bentonville Arkansas as reported by the Democrat Gazette.

    Bentonville Arkansas first permitted digital billboards in 2010.  The ordinance originally stated that to add one digital screen 4 static faces would need to be removed. In 2016, the ordinance changed from a set 4 to 1 face exchange to a system based on square footage. The updated ordinance provided that for every square foot of digital space, 2.5 square feet of traditional space must be removed.

    Insider talked with Jim Matalone, Ashby’s CEO, about their opportunity in Bentonville.

    It looks like, from the news article, the Planning Commission approved 4 out of the 7 digital boards submitted to the city. How soon until you have the first 4 digitals in place and what’s your eventual timetable to have all 7 digitals up and running?

    They have approved seven new digitals plus an enlargement of an existing digital. Three were approved in the previous meeting and four in this last meeting. We should have all new faces & the enlargement conversion up sometime in 4th quarter.

    Which digital manufacturer are you using for the new boards?

    We plan to work with Formetco and Daktronics and are still finalizing timelines and allocations.

    Has the switch in the ordinance from a trade of 4 static for every 1 new digital to a square footage trade of 2.5 to 1 been an advantage for you in working with the local city government?

    Yes, its been beneficial to both us and the city. The city approached us several years ago asking if there was a feasible way to lower several stack 4-face structures and convert to 2-face structures. The resulting deal is what we were able to work out. The city is happy and so are we. With Walmart’s recent commitment to build a new home office in Bentonville, this new digital distribution will allow us to support the continued economic growth in the city. Whit Weeks, our VP/GM in Arkansas did a great job over the last 3 years working with the city, identifying new sites, and securing the new landowners to get this done.

    Insider’s Take – Another terrific example of operators and local government working through their differences to create a “Win Win” situation.  The City ends up with fewer billboards and the operator is able to convert valuable locations to digital to maximize their top and bottom line.



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