WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 12, 2010, 08:24 AM

National magazine considers Fargo one of the nation's "boomtowns"

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A well-known national magazine is putting Fargo front and center among the most "happening" and desirable places in the country. Newsweek is hailing it as one of the nation's new "boomtowns."

This area has seen its booms and busts, but Newsweek magazine says the ever-steady growth is largely from, what local economic leaders, call a diverse business sector. And many locals are ready for it.

Lindsey Bass has been making the 45 minute family shopping excursions from Wahpeton to Fargo as long as she can remember.

LINDSAY BASS/LIVES IN FARGO: "It's something my mom and I will come up and do, we'll have a night and we'll come and go shopping and everything downtown. And it's definitely one of our favorite things to do!"

And it's catching on across the nation. Newsweek magazine dedicated two of its 65 pages in the June 12th issue to this Red River Valley city. Excerpts liken Fargo to the Big Apple, with its trendy restaurants and young, attractive 30-somethings.

HANNAH ESLINGER/NDSU GRAD: "I do think that's crazy! You know, most people when I would wear my NDSU sweatshirts around, they'd be like, 'Whoa, there's a college in North Dakota?’"

MARY BATCHELLER/GREATER FM ECONOMIC DVLPT: "It's exciting! It's always great to be featured on a national scale."

It also focuses on North Dakota's top honors in the lowest unemployment rate in the country, plus future business sustainability.

BATCHELLER: "Unlike in some communities, like say Detroit, where they were really focused on just one industry we have a really broad base of industries that keeps us going."

So what will all of this international exposure do to the small town feel of Fargo? Most say they're not concerned that it will lose its Midwest charm.

BASS: "I don't think it's too busy, it's nothing you have to worry about driving around or anything. You can still easily get to every place."

ESLINGER: "The cold weather's going to scare off a lot of people. Not everyone can handle North Dakota winters!"

BATCHELLER: "If we're not growing, we're going to be moving backwards. And I don't think Fargo is in danger of exploding anytime soon into a huge metropolitan area, but the growth that we have is really important."

And if this growth continues, look out for more of these write-ups in the future. The article also cites the huge "tech-boom" here. Since 2002, engineering employment has jumped 31 percent. That's the highest of any state in the country.