Bert Botter`s family didn`t know it 40 years ago. "This was a bold move on my dad`s part to buy this property and build a bowling center out here," said Bert Botter, from Central Lanes Bowling Alley, on Central Avenue in Hot Springs. But even then he was bowling a strike. "When we opened there was no neighborhood," Botter said. The Botters didn`t know that the neighborhood would spring up around them on Central Avenue in South Hot Springs. "The biggest thins has been the Cornerstone Shopping Center down the road and then Wal-Mart ont his side uf us," he said. And there`s been even more growth in Hot Springs and Garland County. New restaurants, shopping centers and lots for sale, for more to come. "Used to be a bait shop, sitting on the corner, now it`s a Wal-Mart," said Moman Bates, from his GMC car dealership on Central Ave. In the last 13 years, the Hot Springs population has gwon by 10%, and Garland COunty by 20%. The labor force is up by more than 24% and employment up 26.5%. "In the last year alone, our workforce has grown by over 3% and actual job growth over 4%, something we`re extremely proud of given the economic times, we`ve had here in Arkansas," says Jay Chesshir, president of the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, the retail industry alone made $1.2 billion. "That`s important because it diversified our economy so as the ups and downs come, we`re able to weather them better," said Chesshir. By 2010, the county is expected to reach more than 105,000 in population. Chesshir says that number may be underestimated, because of how fast the city is growing now.