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The Top Williston Wire Stories from 2013

Dear Readers –


The Williston Economic Development staff sat down to rank our top 10 stories from 2013; it was a difficult task as the City saw a number of great improvements during the past 12 months.  The stories we considered the best had to do with Williston’s growth such as the record number of apartment units built, enplanements and births.  What a year!


Barb Peterson, Writer

Williston Economic Development

#1   Williston named Fastest Growing Micropolitan, Again
United States Census Bureau
The oil and gas industry has helped drive Williston’s rapid growth in 2011 and 2012.  Reuters

For the second year in a row, Williston was named the fastest growing town with populations of 10,000 and 49,999.  “After a long period of out-migration, some parts of the Great Plains ─ from just south of the Canadian border all the way down to West Texas ─ are experiencing rapid population growth,” said Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau’s senior adviser performing the duties of director. “There are probably many factors fueling this growth on the prairie, but no doubt the energy boom is playing a role.”  Read More


#2   Glut of Job Openings; More than 700 in Williams County
Williston Economic Development

The civilian labor force number does not include people that are retired or institutionalized or people that resided in Williston only during work weeks. The labor force is a single count by place of residence. The number includes those over the age of 16 who are employed or actively seeking employment.

A total of 24,244 job seekers walked through the doors at the Williston office of Job Service North Dakotaduring 2013.  Job Service customer service manager Cindy Sanford says they have 716 job openings in Williams County.  In 2014 Job Service will begin tracking the ratio of men to women;  Sanford believes in 2013 about 30 percent of the job seekers were women and 70 percent men.  Bismarck Tribune: Oil Service Companies on hiring Blitz

#3   Williston experienced Baby Boom
Williston Economic DevelopmentIn 2013, Mercy Medical Center saw a 28 percent increase in deliveries.  Last year 582 babies were born compared to 746 babies this year. “The number of births in our region has increased significantly in the past few years, stated Leona Lambert, OB Manager.

Source: 2012-2013 Mercy Medical Center; 1997-2011  North Dakota Health Department Division of Vital Records

#4   New Restaurants poured into Williston
Prairie Business Magazineby Kris Bevill 

Fuddruckers was one 13 restaurants that opened in Williston in 2013.  Williston Economic Development

Thirteen new restaurants opened their doors in Williston in 2013 including Buffalo Wild Wings, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Fuddruckers, Doc Hollidays, The Williston Brewing Company and Basil Sushi Bar & Asian Fusion just to name a few.  “2013 was definitely a year for new restaurants and we believe 2014 will be the year for new retail,” said Williston Economic Development deputy director Shawn Wenko.  Read More

CNBC: Sushi, Craft Beer and $5 Coffee come to Williston

#5   Williston City Commission approved Huge Annexation
Williston Economic DevelopmentThe Williston City Commission approved an unprecedented annexation on January 31.  The Northern Annexation added 4,888 acres and increased the City’s geographical size to 20.3 square miles.  The Williston Planning and Zoning Department recommended the annexation in order to provide open land for future growth; fill in around other areas that have been annexed; and to bring adjacent urban and suburban areas into the city limits.  Read More   Northern Annexation Brochure


2013 – City Limits

*12,994 Acres

#6   Apartment Construction boomed in 2013
Williston Economic Development

More than 1,500 units were permitted in 2013 in Williston.  Williston Economic Development

2013 was definitely the year of apartment construction as 49 buildings were permitted for a total of 1,501 units through November 2013.  (December’s numbers were unavailable.)  The number of apartment buildings was up 58 percent compared to the 31 building permitted in 2012.  The number of new dwellings was down from 205 in 2012 to 124 in 2013; permits for new duplexes were also down from 35 (70 units) in 2012 to 5 buildings (12 units) in 2013.  In 2013 the Planning and Zoning Department reviewed the possibility of  27 Subdivisions in Williston.  Y-T-D Comparison

#7   Sloulin Field continued to break Enplanement Records
Williston Economic DevelopmentSloulin Field International Airport continued to ramp up enplanements throughout 2013.  “We began switching to a paid parking system, added jet service, new flights and staff,” said airport manager Steven Kjergaard.  “It was definitely a transitional year for the airport.”  November News Release  November Airline Boardings
#8  Babe Ruth World Series drew Large Crowds, Praise
Williston Economic DevelopmentWDAY 

The 13-15 year-old Babe Ruth World Series will be held in Williston in 2016.  Williston Economic Development

The executive director of the 2013 13-year-old Babe Ruth World Series said years of hard work in planning for the event paid off and he couldn’t be more pleased with how Williston hosted the competition.  Approximately 44,000 baseball fans attended the event.  Read More

#9   Williston State College won National Hockey Championship
 Williston HeraldHistory was made in 2013 in Rochester, N.Y.  The Williston State College Tetons won the National Junior College Athletic Association hockey championship 3-2 over Monroe Community College.  The national championship is the first in school history.  “I can’t say enough about those boys,” said Williston State College hockey coach Seamus Gregory during a postgame radio interview. “They showed a lot of poise and found a way to win.”  Read More


Williston State College head coach Seamus Gregory and his players celebrate at the conclusion of their win over Monroe Community College for the National Junior College Athletic Association hockey title in Rochester, N.Y.
#10   Williston State College saw Major Transformation
Williston State CollegeKUMV-TV 

Williston State College unveiled a new sign and front drive landscaping in October of 2013.  Williston Economic Development

Williston State College underwent a major transformation in 2013! The campus celebrated the completion of the Front Drive project and WSC Foundation Apartment building in October; an all new floor was installed at the Terry Olson (T.O.) Court in The Well in late July; and a brand new lounge area for students opened in Frontier Hall in May.

WSC Unveils Foundation Apartment building and Front Drive project

WSC Athletics Unveils new T.O. Court

Livdahl Lounge Opens at WSC

Upcoming Energy Events

01/29-30        Bakken Product Markets and Takeaway Capacity

Examining pipeline, rail and gathering solutions to ensure Bakken crude, gas and NGL’s can be fully capitalized on in Denver, CO.

01/29-31        Water Management for Shale Plays

Providing the timeliest information regarding the major challenges and developments the industry is currently facing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Downtown San Antonio, TX.

01/13-14        Gas Storage Outlook

In-depth case studies on LNG and NGL storage operations.  To be located at the JW Marriott Houston in Houston, TX.

02/10-12        The Bakken/Three Forks Shale Oil Innovation Conference & Expo

The frontier of new efficiencies to be held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND.

Upcoming Williston Events

01/03-04       Teton Men’s Basketball vs. Medicine Hat College

A two game series will be at The Well on the Williston State College campus. Tip off for Friday’s game is 7 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.


01/03            Teton Hockey vs. Briercrest College

The game begins at 7 p.m. at the Agri Sports Complex at the Upper Missouri Valley Fairgrounds.


02/27            Williston Housing Fair

The Williston Housing Fair will bring together housing options, service providers and education all in one convenient location to serve prospective buyers and renters.  The event will be held at the Grand Williston Hotel and Conference Center.

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