Posted 5/09/17 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
As Watford City has seen its population grow from 1,450 to an estimated 7,500 people in the past five years, the community has seen the building of new apartment buildings and homes to accommodate the growth. But what it hasn’t seen is a similar expansion of retail businesses to meet the needs of this growing community that is in the heart of the Bakken oil development.
At the height of the energy development in 2013 and 2014, several major retailers had their sights set on Watford City. However, the rapid decline in oil prices in the last two years forced many of these businesses to take a step back and reconsider their expansion plans.
But with oil prices now settling in the upper $40 and lower $50 range, more drilling and well completions being planned, two companies - Hardee’s and Family Dollar - are now poised to call Watford City their new home.
“We welcome these new businesses to our community,” stated Gene Veeder, Watford City economic development director. “More retail is good and it’s something that the people living here want. It helps us become a bigger retail area.”
Veeder sees the interest in new businesses coming to the community as an encouraging sign that Watford City is once again on the map of other companies.
“Almost daily, we have businesses looking at Watford City,” stated Veeder. “As we attract more permanent residents, we become a more attractive community for new companies to invest in.”
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