A rising tide

2005 is the year of the homeowner, health care and the hurricane

If a rising tide floats all boats, then a look back at the stories of 2005 has Clark County businesses riding high. A strong housing market, expansion at the Port of Vancouver, Southwest Washington’s first four-year university and strong job growth boosted the local economy. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Effects from natural disasters, such as the Tsunami in Southeast Asia and Hurricane Katrina, were felt locally; energy prices spiked, pushing some business to the limit; and the downside of fast growth was seen in the development moratorium imposed in Salmon Creek.

Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital opened its doors, and the explosion of health care construction it spawned across the county is still underway. Political matters decided in 2005 on the state and local levels may have a dramatic effect on businesses in Clark County going forward. Initiative 912 failed to overturn the state’s gas tax, and Initiative 901 gives Washington the strictest smoking regulations in the country. And, as with many of the major events of the past year, the pros and cons of each will be determined over time.

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