Nov 23, 2009 8:04 AM by sleonard
We go back to Lafayette during the 70s and the greatest drilling boom its ever seen.
What began as a trickle in the 60's was a gusher in the 70's... Lafayette was all about black gold.
With oil prices hovering near $30 a barrel unemployment hung around a low four percent. Labor department figures showed that over 15-thousand new jobs were created in Acadiana from 1970 to 1974 and in the last five years of the 70's 55-thousand new positions opened up.
Speaking of airplanes, the Lafayette airport saw its share of business in the 1970's. Air travel was important to oil executives and workers needed to get deals signed or get to and from job sites and then there are the stories about some who would fly off for the occassional out of town lunch. Long time airport commission member W.O. Toce was quoted in one article saying... ,"There were over 300 airplanes based at the airfield. The only place left to park was on the grass".
Areawise, Lafayette doubled in size in the 1970's and gained approximately 15-thousand residents. Sales tax revenues nearly tripled from 1975 to 1980 as those thousand millionaires and those enjoying Lafayette's oil boom started spending money at places like the
brand new Acadiana Mall which opened in 1979.
And then the 80s came...