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Associated Press, Published August 02 2013

Williston wants to be known as 'Boomtown USA'

WILLISTON, N.D. — The city in the heart of western North Dakota's booming oil patch has a new brand — "Boomtown USA."

The Williston Convention and Visitor's Bureau unveiled the theme on Thursday.

"As our community is expanding and becoming unlike anything it has ever been before, the Williston CVB must also grow and boldly embrace who we are, what we stand for and truly define our own future," said Amy Krueger, the bureau's executive director.

"This new direction does all that and more as it defines Williston in the eyes of tourists and visitors and lays a foundation for the family fun, historic and outdoor aspects of life in Williston," she said.

The city has some of its earliest roots as a boomtown, when the fur trading business exploded in 1828. That also is the year when Fort Union opened its doors. It was a fur-trading post along the Missouri River in northwestern North Dakota for much of the 19th century, and now is a national historic site.

The oil boom and its promise of jobs has drawn people from around the country to Williston. The U.S. Census bureau estimates that the city's population has grown from 14,700 in 2010 to 26,700, and a city-sponsored study done by North Dakota State University concluded that the number could be as high as 33,000.

The NDSU study also concluded that Williston's population could reach 44,000 by 2017.

The Census Bureau says Williston is the fastest-growing area with a population of 10,000 to 49,999 residents in the U.S.