Childress, TX - Three major highways meet at the center of Childress and more and more travelers are passing through, creating an economic boom.
Although Childress does not have an oil and gas industry like many surrounding towns, the city considers Highway 287 as their very own booming oil field.
About 20,000 cars and trucks drive through Childress each day on the highway, many of which are transporting oil and gas across the state and need a place to eat, sleep, and gas up. That is why city officials came to together to find a way to transform the highway into a pipeline of wealth for the town.
"When we started looking at the opportunities the highway brings from a strategic standpoint, we noticed there was no real cohesive and comprehensive plan in place to try and capitalize on all that traffic coming through town," said Childress EDC Executive Director Russell Graves.
"So we saw to identify those gaps in our retail trade and try to fill those gaps by recruiting companies who could come here and make money and help service the retail needs of our community."
Hotels, restaurants and gas stations now line Highway 287.
"All the successful retail is built on 287. If you look at us coming north and south, we look like a huge city because everything is built on the highway," said Mayor Brett Parr.
Parr said hotels in town are about 70 percent occupied every night and the Childress EDC is adding more retail stores to meet a growing need. Right now there are seven new projects underway, including a Pilot gas station that will employ 60 people.
"It's just kind of a boom for us right now. We've got some other stuff coming retail wise. It's going to be good. We're going to have to find employees for all these and a place for them to live and those kind of things. But those are growing pains and we're happy with that," said Parr.
Over the course of the next year, construction is a sight you won't be able to miss when driving through town.
"If you build it, they will come," said Parr.
The Childress EDC said the city brings in retail consumers from about a 50 mile radius.