Minot celebrated the economic activity being generated by tenants of the Great Plains Energy Park at a dedication Friday marking completion of the first phase of the park.
North Dakota Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle called the park a "great idea implemented effectively."
Goettle joined Mayor Curt Zimbelman, oil company officials, representatives of Minot Area Development Corp., and other city and county leaders at the MADC-sponsored event.
"This is a great project," Goettle said. "It's made possible by vision and collaboration."
MADC built the Great Plains Energy Park in response to numerous requests from petroleum exploration and servicing companies for locations to set up their operations. With $1.1 million from the MAGIC Fund, MADC broke ground in 2008. Located east of Minot on U.S. Highway 2, the park's first phase occupies 45 acres and offers water, sanitary sewer, curb and gutter, a frontage road and street lights.
The three tenants of the park Pure Energy, Magnum Trucking and Pumpco have brought more than 200 jobs and generated more than $60 million to the area's economy, according to MADC.
Company officials report that their businesses are thriving in the energy park.
"We have continued to increase our exposure in the community, and we have tripled the size of our workforce," said Roger Nash of Pumpco. Pumpco employs 100 people.
"We continue to look for ways to make the business better," he said. "The future for Pumpco is bright. Pumpco will continue to grow. We will continue to build not only the business we are in but our presence in the community as well."
Nash said Pumpco wants to be an integral part of the community, which means it will be working to educate the public about its operations and to listen to community input.
Landy Brown with Pure Energy, the first to claim a spot in the energy park, said the company recognized early the advantages of a location in Minot.
"Simply put, the Magic City and the energy park cannot be beat. Access to the oil field is convenient," he said. "Minot's amenities attract and keep our employees and their families."
Eric Grove with Magnum cited the company's 50 percent growth since moving into the energy park. The North Dakota-based company has thrived along with the state's economy, he said.
"We, like North Dakota, seem to continue to grow and make our way," Grove said.
Bruce Christianson, Ward County Commission chairman, quoted an Associated Press analysis showing Ward County as having the healthiest economy in the nation.
"We are darn proud of that," he said, crediting the energy park for contributing to that standing. "The benefits are obvious."
Zimbelman noted the cooperation of the state, county and city that went into making the project a reality.
"The energy park was a risk, but with the incredible activity in the Williston Basin, the effort of the MAGIC Fund and the presence of dynamic tenants like Pure Energy, Pumpco and Magnum, we are already seeing that the reward is great," Zimbelman said. "It's exciting to see things happen in the first phase. It won't be long before we see things happening in the second phase."
Phase II is under construction and will provide an additional 70 acres of developed infrastructure. Completion is expected this fall.