Posted 8/22/17 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
If you ask most people living in Watford City what they would most like to see, the answer is most likely more retail shopping and dining opportunities.
But if you ask Gene Veeder, Watford City’s economic development coordinator, what those retail or restaurant chains are looking for in making their decision as to where to open a new location, the answer is they need specific information on the community’s buying habits, along with a host of other data about the community such as population and demographics.
Coming up with the demographic information on a community that has seen its population increase from 1,450 six years ago to an estimated 7,000-plus residents today is not an easy task.
And equally challenging is knowing what the residents of the Watford City area are buying and where they are buying items.
At least that was the case before the Watford City City Council agreed on Aug. 7 to spend $165,000 over the next three years from the city’s Roughrider Fund to help conduct a retail study. Conducting the retail assessment will be Buxton, a Ft. Worth, Texas, firm that specializes in conducting retail surveys for communities across the country, but also working with retail chains looking to expand into new markets, and assisting community businesses grow their business.
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