Boom and bust may be a relic of city’s past
Experts consider oil-driven ups and downs unlikely to be repeated
— Houston Chronicle2
“There is a whole lot more stability than there was in the 1980s,” said Hankamer, whose commercial real estate brokerage specializes in hotel properties. “There is lot more discipline by lenders and builders and equity investors. People are real careful not to build something that is not fully needed.”
The hotel industry learned a lesson, he said, as did the city’s entire business culture. To rely on oil was to play Russian roulette with three loaded chambers. Houston not only had to change its way of doing business, it had to change what business it did.
And so was born the Houston Economic Development Council, established to broaden the economic base.
How well it succeeded, as well as the Greater Houston Partnership which absorbed it along with the Chamber of Commerce, is a matter for historians to debate.
There is no doubt that some active efforts, such as the expansion of the port facilities and the Texas Medical Center, had an effect. But so did the ongoing waves of immigration, much of it unanticipated.
A consistently affordable cost of living also has helped Houston keep growing despite oil’s ups and downs.
2 = article may expire in a few weeks