Williston Square is getting a lot of interest thanks to the opening Slim Chickens, the area’s tentpole business. Williston Mayor Howard Klug said they’re just the beginning.

Klug was on-hand Monday for Slim Chickens’ ribbon cutting ceremony, joining Chamber of Commerce members and restaurant’s management team. Klug shared his excitement to have the doors open on Williston Square’s first business. Klug said the overall theme of Williston Square is to be “a gathering spot, a place for people to enjoy the heart of Williston.”

“As you can hear, all the traffic that’s going by this location, it’s going to be a great location for whatever comes to Williston Square.” He said.

Klug gave credit to City of Williston Economic Development and their team for the hard work they’ve put in to bring businesses to the Square, adding that planning for the Square has been ongoing for several years. With Slim Chickens open and retail clothing store Genesis nearing completion next door, Klug said the idea of Williston Square is now a reality.

“We had a vision and a dream for this place, and it’s coming true today.” Klug said. “You can break ground all you want, but it’s a real when you cut the ribbons, open the doors and see what they’re going to bring to Williston. I’m excited.”

Next week Williston is celebrating Economic Development Week, and Williston Square is one of the hot topics to be featured. Klug said the City has “earnest money, on-refundable,” in the bank from another restaurant organization, who he said planned to build south of Slim Chickens and Genesis. But that’s not all, he added.

“We’re in talks right now about other businesses coming to the City of Williston, and we’ll be able to announce that coming up really, really quick. The citizens of Williston will be excited about that.”

Sanford Health is breaking ground in Williston Square on May 12 as part of Economic Development week, following the Economic Development Summit and Klug’s State of the City Address that morning. The Summit will feature speakers discussing new industries coming to the area, the region’s unmanned aerial system and workforce development initiatives. Headlining the summit will be Denver motivational speaker Kenyon Salo. In addition, Joel Heitkamp will broadcast his News and Views program from the Williston Economic Development office from 9 to 11 a.m.

“It shows that people throughout the state, throughout the country, are interested in what we’re doing here in Williston, North Dakota.” Klug said. “As we move forward we’ll have the best and the newest concepts that they are bringing right here to Williston.”

Klug noted that the City is still in talks for other parts of the Square, which he said may feature housing, parks, hotels and more. As the Square grows, Klug said, it will attract more and diverse businesses to the region, which he said will help better serve Williston’s citizens. The Square, he added, will also be a great opportunity and investment for the retailers as well, something he said he wouldn’t mind getting in on if he could.

“If I was a lot younger, I’d be out here too.” he joked.

Visit events.willistondevelopment.com/WillistonEconomicDevelopmentSummit2022 for more information on the upcoming Economic Development Summit.

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