WILLISTON, N.D. (KXNET) — As the years go by, the Williston economy continues to grow and rebound since the Pandemic, with more businesses opening up in the area.

Shawn Wenko, the Interim City Administrator, says when the old Sloulin Field International Airport closed in 2019, around 800 acres of land was vacated.

This area is known as Williston Square, and it’s attracted businesses ranging from Slim Chickens to a new Sanford Health hospital.

But Wenko says getting new businesses to open is a challenge in itself. Although Williston only has around 31,000 people within its limits, there are plenty of people who come and support the economy from outside the city.

“We’re really trying to get that message across that this is a rural area,” explained Wenko, “but there are a lot of people within that scope of this rural area that are going to use the goods and services of Williston if we have them. We have a trade draw where people will drive a certain distance for the goods and services that we have to offer, but that trade draw is 80-90,000 people.”

Wenko says the population in Williston is continuing to grow, especially after the oil boom.