Buffalo Wild Wings Debuts in ND’s Booming Oil Region

Buffalo Wild Wings isn’t the first Minnesota company expanding to western North Dakota, where oil production has spiked in recent years.

The oil-rich region of western North Dakota is attracting more than just job seekers.
 
Golden Valley-based Buffalo Wild Wings is establishing a presence in the region with its first Williston location. The restaurant will be a franchised location that’s owned and operated by Minot, North Dakota-based Wings of Minot, LLC. An official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
 
Buffalo Wild Wings is not the first Minnesota-based company that’s expanding to the oil-rich area surrounding North Dakota’s Bakken rock formation. About a month ago, St. Cloud-based grocery retailer Coborn’s, Inc., said that it plans to build five new stores in the region by 2014. The grocer already has three stores in the Bakken formation region, and six total in North Dakota.
 
Wings of Minot expects the restaurant to open in February; it will be able to accommodate approximately 270 people inside and another 40 to 50 on the patio. The Williston restaurant will be Buffalo Wild Wings’ seventh location in North Dakota. The others are located in Fargo (three locations), Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Minot.
 
The Bakken rock formation, which runs under the western part of North Dakota, including the city of Williston, and into Montana, has seen a spike in oil production in recent years, bringing in job seekers as well as businesses to the area.
 
According to a recent report in The New York Times, median annual income in Williston has increased from $30,000 to more than $50,000 in recent years. Meanwhile, population in the city increased from 13,000 in 2009 to 16,000 in 2011, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. There is reportedly not enough housing to support the population boom, which has led to rising housing costs.