The oil boom in Williston is of high interest to me since our son is living there and participating in the boom times.
So the discussion on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday was mostly old news to me:
The North Dakota shale boom is by now well known—so much so that the Chamber of Commerce in tiny Williston (population: who knows?) in the heart of the Bakken Shale has had to automate its phone system because it can no longer respond to individual calls or emails.
We dialed 701-577-6000 on Wednesday, and the recorded voice of a friendly woman informed us that “due to the influx of inquiries” the chamber can no longer respond individually or mail out information packets. The recording did offer a list of contacts that might help in a job search. But it also warned that if we wanted to visit the area there’s no place to stay, not a scrap of housing or a hotel room to be found. So if we do plan to come, better nail down some accommodation in advance.
The hotels are booked solid. There’s a long waiting list for apartments.
Minot, North Dakota is on the other side of the Bakken field. They are also seeing a boom time in that area. Friends of mine with relatives in Minot told me yesterday that their family said there are no hotel rooms available in Minot. But there are five hotels under construction.
That’s a bigger sign than you realize. Construction going full steam in the Dakotas in April?
I’m making a wild guess the hotels will be full the moment they open.