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Why El Dorado

A small town with the amenities of a big city. Unheard of corporate-public-private partnerships. Natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Vibrant downtown. Festivals.

El Dorado is unique.

The El Dorado Historic District

El Dorado is the economic engine, educational hub, and cultural center for southern Arkansas. Visitors and residents alike are amazed at the strength, size, and philanthropic reach of the business sector for a community the size of El Dorado. We have Fortune 250 company headquarters, Murphy USA, in downtown El Dorado. Multinational companies, such as Nexans Amercable, LSB Industries, LANXESS, Roseburg El Dorado MDF, Delek Refining, Martin Operating Cross Oil Refinery, Entergy-Union Power Station, and Clean Harbors continue to grow and have developed deep roots in the community.

El Dorado lies over the second largest brine reserve in the world, the Dead Sea being the largest. The first U.S. commercial bromine plant was built just south of the El Dorado city limits, and operates today as LanXess-Great Lakes Solutions.

You will find a “can-do” attitude amongst the people of El Dorado and Union County, Arkansas. To grow the industrial base of the region while at the same time preserving the water table of the Sparta Aquifer, regional leaders worked together to develop a second source of water at the Ouachita River. Due to this foresight and partnership, El Dorado and Union County boast 13,000,000 gallons of excess water capacity daily while many other areas of the country suffer from depleting water resources. We also offer “gray water” to industries.

El Dorado has an award-winning downtown with a vibrant music scene. There is something always going on in El Dorado and Union County. Our promoters, including Main Street El Dorado and the Murphy Arts District, are able to bring in top musical talent throughout the year to our downtown and area cultural venues. The South Arkansas Symphony offers a robust annual schedule of performances. El Dorado’s cultural scene is also well represented with the ever-evolving art gallery at the South Arkansas Arts Center.

The Ouachita River forms part of Union County’s northern and eastern borders. Calion Lake is on the northern border and Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge is on the south east border. Public and private outdoor recreational activities abound.  El Dorado is home to three golf courses, dozens of baseball/softball fields, a recreational complex, eleven city parks, a state park and Union County maintains a public park at Felsenthal.  Smackover, another 1920’s boomtown, is Union County’s second largest city. There are seven towns in Union County and four public school districts.

El Dorado has gained national publicity and recognition for the El Dorado Promise program. Through the generosity of the Murphy Foundation, over $50 million has been invested in providing college scholarships to all El Dorado public school graduating seniors. Up to five years of college education can be paid for through the scholarship program at any college or university in the United States. Read more about the Promise.

The El Dorado Promise program is fortified by the South Arkansas Community College. SouthArk provides a wide array of two-year and certificate programs in the technology, business, and medical fields. The East Campus is right across the street from the Industrial Park, and works hand-in-hand with local industries to develop customized training in welding, machining, process technology, maintenance technician, logistics, and other manufacturing programs.

On the heels of the establishment of the El Dorado Promise program, the citizens of El Dorado voted to tax themselves twice to build a new high school and to provide public funding for community development projects. A millage increase made the new El Dorado High School a reality. The El Dorado Conference Center was the first project completed with the funds from a one-cent local sales tax. Public improvements, sidewalk replacements, investments in infrastructure for new and expanding industries, equipment for SouthArk programs, and many other projects have been funded by over $30 million in local sales tax collections to date. Included in the total is a $9.2 million real estate and infrastructure investment in a new downtown entertainment district, being funded by over $40 million in private donations.  Read more about the Murphy Arts District.

Contact our Chamber of Commerce to arrange a visit. We are proud of our town and we’d love to show you around!

Quality of Life

Living in El Dorado means knowing your neighbors’ names and faces. It means your children will go to college, thanks to the El Dorado Promise, and it means you’ll be part of a community that is always stepping up to create an even better place to live. Voted as America’s Best Downtown in 2009, El Dorado is an area rich in southern charm and history. In 2012, El Dorado earned two City of Distinction Awards, and was named on America’s Best Small Town Comebacks in 2013.  In 2014 El Dorado received an Arkansas Business City of Distinction Award.  MusicFest was named the 2015 Arkansas Festival of the Year for the seventh time and in 2021, El Dorado was chosen as USA Today’s Readers’ Choice for Best Small Town Cultural Scene.

Whether you’re looking for something good to eat or something fun to do, El Dorado and Union County have it all.

El Dorado Workforce

Largest Employers

El Dorado is home to some of the largest companies in South Arkansas.

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El Dorado Utilities


Whether you just moved to El Dorado and need to hook up basic utilities or want to look into getting high-speed internet, this is your one-click-stop for access to residential services in the area. Find out the phone numbers to call or websites to visit to get what you need up and running.

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Entrepreneurial Resources El Dorado

Entrepreneurial Resources

Union County has several organizations whose mission is to encourage and support entrepreneurship.

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El Dorado Bikers Blurred

Types of Transportation

Find a list of all transportation options in El Dorado and Union County.

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Daily Traffic in El Dorado

Daily Traffic Estimates

2019 Annual Average Daily Traffic Estimates

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See What El Dorado Has to Offer You