SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: What It Takes to Bring Business to the Basin

What comes first, jobs or retail?

 

In the boom and bust towns of Midland and Odessa, the economies can change in an instant and pumpjacks rival the population.

But every dip of a horse head brings dollars itching to be spent.

The question is, where?

Not surprisingly retailers need research before investing in new territory.  An important step Midland Development coordinators are in the process of taking through a 50,000 dollar retail study.

"That way we get a better understanding of our residents as well as our visitors in Midland and what kind of goods and services they're looking for," Cristina Odenborg, Midland's director of downtown development said.

The study will also highlight where people are spending their money, so what you wish for is what you pay for.

"Yes, they do have a vote, because we'll see where their dollars are being spent," Charles Harrington, the director for development services in Midland said.

"One of the things that we have in our favor is the fact that we have a lot of roof tops. We've been generating a lot of permits lately our numbers are increasing to the point where we were a year and a half ago, so that's good!" Harrington said.

With a large consumer base and money to spend, what's the hold up?

Employment, outside of the oil field.

"They have to have people to fill the jobs and when you've got a situation where people can make more money in the oil field, it makes it difficult for the lower paying jobs to find people to fill those," Harrington said.

"It's a struggle with everyone to find the quality people," J.P. Hearn said.

Bev and J.P. Hearn co-own Fountainville near Loop 250 and Highway 191 in Midland. The store is an artisan ice cream and craft soda fountain shop.

"We saw that there was a need, we wanted to fill it!" Hearn said.

The custom craft is safeguarded from the highs and lows of the oil industry.

"Ice cream is kind of you know an affordable luxury," J.P. Hearn said.

"People buy skidoos and 4-wheelers during the boom, they buy ice cream all the time," Bev Hearn said.

Fountainville's ice cream is premium, but their location is prime.

 "Basically if you build it will they come, and they've been coming!" J.P. Hearn said.

Both Midland and Odessa have an eye on coveted corridor of Loop 250 and Highway 191.

Though the two cities creep closer, the gap is far from closed. 

Odessa is taking a slightly different approach to sales success.

"Retail follows rooftops, that's what we usually say, so we try to focus on commercial and industrial types of projects," Wesley Burnett, the director of economic development for Odessa said.

Burnett is working to create more primary jobs in Odessa to then support retailers.

The city was also approved to a hire a retail coach for 49,000 dollars back in March.

"You have to have one before you have the other. You don't really want to bring something to town if they're not going to be successful," he said.

A concern felt by many businesses willing to take the risk.

 "One of the hesitations, it's a really big investment and if the population base isn't there to support it you know that investment could turn into a bad investment," Ultimate Air Trampoline Park President, Buddy Caubble said. 

Ultimate Air Trampoline Park plans to bounce into Odessa in 2018.

Caubble is excited the 2.5 million dollar investment will meet a need for the Basin.

"For us, we look at markets that there just seems to be a little bit lacking in family entertainment," he said.

Ultimate Air, along with many other companies use customized formulas to find the best locations.

As long as both cities continue down the track of bringing in more people, more jobs and more money, the formula will equal successful and flourishing cities.
 


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Home Improvement Professionals
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • YourBasin Contests
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Your Basin News App
    Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest News