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The annual Williston Economic Summit and Trade Show begins
Reflecting on the past, but looking ahead towards the future.
That's the goal of the Williston Economic Trade Show and Summit.
The annual conference began today at the Williston Grand Hotel and there was plenty to talk about.
If you build it, they will come.
That's the idea behind the redevelopment of Sloulin airport and a re-imagining of Williston. Both were key points of discussion at this year's WEST conference, an annual event reflecting on the year that was and the opportunities that lie ahead.
"Once Sloulin airport is decommissioned, you're going to have 800 acres of prime real estate opportunity that's going to be more or less in the heart of Williston, ND. We have a blank canvas right now to paint a future for Williston as a regional hub and kid of being a leader in Western North Dakota and the state and throughout the nation as we continue to move forward with oil and gas activity here," says Shawn Wenko,
Executive Director, Williston Economic Development.
And the new vision for Williston includes opportunities beyond the oil industry. Industries that include:
"We're looking at energy, agriculture, technology, and foreign trade."
And those in attendance at the conference were taking note.
"What I always try to tell people is that Williston is not busted by any means. You look around and we're still going strong. I think that particular natural resource of oil and gas coupled with our agricultural roots, no pun intended, are really key to the future of Williston. And we look at some of these other value-added businesses that are going to come along with that as well," says
Curtis Shuck, President, Red River Oilfield Services
A future Williston built on the familiar but reimagined with opportunities fresh and new.
The WEST conference continues tomorrow.
Bestselling author Harvey Mackay will be a featured speaker.