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Editorial

Spaceport development should continue to be priority

On the surface, the news of layoffs at XCOR was supposed to be damning. The Midland Development Corp. put its money behind the wrong space industry player. The efforts to turn Midland International into a spaceport would go for naught. The development restrictions created because of the spaceport classification would be called into question.

Q&A With John (Jay) Gibson, XCOR Aerospace Inc. President and CEO

In November 2001 when Midland voters passed an economic development sales tax, they envisioned the type of diversification that would lead to businesses coming to Midland that wouldn't be impacted by a decline in oil prices. 

Nearly 15 years later, that vision might be realized, because while oil prices have fallen to a level not experienced in more than a decade, the mission of space industry company XCOR Aerospace Inc. continues undeterred.

Q&A With Brent Hilliard, MDC Chairman

At the end of the day, Brent Hilliard is a businessman. As founder and president of the Hilliard Cos., he doesn't throw good money after bad but operates within a well-run business plan.

That is the same attitude he has brought to the seat as a board chairmain of the Midland Development Corp. Hilliard, a lifelong Midlander, looks at what the MDC does with a focus on rate of return and how its parts make up a successful business plan.

Space: The visionaries take over

Fractured and divided as we are, on one thing we can agree: 2015 was a miserable year. The only cheer was provided by Lincoln Chafee and the Pluto flyby (two separate phenomena), as well as one seminal aeronautical breakthrough.

On Dec. 21, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, after launching 11 satellites into orbit, returned its 15-story booster rocket, upright and intact, to a landing pad at Cape Canaveral. That’s a $60 million mountain of machinery — recovered. (The traditional booster rocket either burns up or disappears into some ocean.)

Spaceport asset building should be a priority

It’s a pretty cool thing that Midland is involved in the space industry.

That really has been the average Midlander’s reaction to having space industry/aerospace companies such as XCOR and Orbital Outfitters relocate to Midland. It’s pretty cool. After all, we don’t fly into an airport but a spaceport -- specifically Midland International Air & Space Port. That doesn’t happen when you land in Dallas, Houston or Las Vegas.

Hangar negotiation opens path for future economic growth

Midland Development Corp. board members expect a deal they believe will save the city millions will also opens the door for economic growth at the Spaceport Business Park.

XCOR agreed on Friday to release back to MDC by January half of the facility it currently rents. XCOR also will pay $6,000 a month to lease its remaining half, or Hangar B.

Speaking Out: Midland Secures Historic Spaceport License

Midland Reporter-Telegram - Speaking Out

Robert Rendall
Midland Development Corporation Board Chairman

Midland Ranked 2nd Fastest-growing Metro in America; Austin at No.3

The business news site studied Census Bureau data for 381 metropolitan statistical areas from April 2010 through July 2013, before coming up with the 10 fastest-growing metro areas in terms of population. Better employment opportunities and low costs of living are some of the factors that have attracted population to these counties, despite the generally sluggish migration rates in the country. While explaining the population rise in Odessa and Midland, Texas, Bill Frey, senior fellow and demographer at the Brookings Institution, told 24/7 Wall St.: “They just happen to have an oil boom.”

Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment

Unemployment rates were lower in May than a year earlier in 357 of the 372 metropolitan areas

Best- Performing Small Cities Midland, TX MSA

Midland edged up three spots to fifth in the 2013 index. It turned in exceptional performances in one- and five-year job and wage growth, ranking first or second on all four measures. A second-place finish in short-term job growth indicates that Midland’s positive momentum remains strong. Oil exploration and production and associated industries are driving the growth.