Pampa Post-Celanese

Pampa's Celanese plant is up for auction on Wednesday and with it goes some of the city's pride.

But is prosperity fading too?

Everything must go. Even if it only auctioned off for a penny.

That's bringing out almost 1,000 possible bidders like Kevin Carlson of Pampa.

"It's kind sad. It's been a landmark since I was a kid," he said.

Since the once major employer shut down early this year, the city has felt some shock waves.

"I notice there's a lot of houses for sale now," Carlson said.

The real estate market has slowed by 20 percent over last year, and once thriving businesses sit abandoned with Christmas wishes still painted on the windows.

Real estate agent Judaic Edwards has been selling in Pampa since 19-72. She says economic woes are nothing new.

"I believe in about every so many years we have hard times," she said.

But each time they happen, Pampa's population decreases and some businesses don't make it.

For example when oil busted in the 1980's the population decreased from about 27 thousand to 20 thousand.

And the Pampa mall went from housing JC-penny's, Sears and K-Mart to empty.

"So it's been a lot worse than this. Pampa always comes back," Edwards said.

Some signs of hope are being built now.

Like this new Hampton hotel.

"You might not see it initially, but there is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes right now," clay rice, director of the PEDC said.

And rice says more than a dozen small business are planning to open by the end of the year.

"It's not like Pampa's dead. That's not at all what's happening here."

Town leaders we talked with stressed that employers come and go, but Pampa will always be here.