BANNERED ABOVE THE Dallas Business Journal’s Insider column recently was the headline-“New D’s coming out party seemed like old times.” It seems our party, held in honor of last month’s debut issue, reminded Dallasites of the good old days of the ’80s when business was booming, everyone was young and beautiful, and Dallas could do no wrong-or if it did, it didn’t matter.
Dallasites mourning the passing of the’80s is nothing new, but that night at the Meyerson Symphony Center, the reminiscing felt more like a recapturing. The can-do spirit that led to the boom days and got us through the bust days seemed stronger than ever.
While I would never argue that one party, or even a series of parties, should be the measure of a city’s success, I would agree that consumer confidence is a fairly reliable economic indicator. And I would argue that consumer confidence in Dallas is justifiably reaching new heights, levels that indeed remind us of the boom days.
Signs of an economy on a healthy upswing abound, documented by the media. Articles in the business sec-tion of The Dallas Morning News recently reported that employment in the Dallas area is growing at a 6.5 per-cent rate from a year ago, and the labor force is increasing at a 6.0 percent rate. The Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked fifth among the nation’s top 10 apartment markets, with building volumes up by about 90 percent at the end of this year’s first quarter, while the city’s suburban office vacancy rate fell below the 20 percent mark for the first time in 10 years. Auto sales rose 13 percent in the first six months of 1994, passing the halfway mark to their best year since 1986, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Closer to home, our premiere issue of D sold more pages of advertising than any issue of the magazine under its previous owner.
While these economic signs may not share the resonance and glamour of an oil and gas boom, and while they may not be the stuff that movies or night-time weekly dramas are made of, they do reflect a sound and diverse-even mature-economy. And herein may lie the difference between Dallas of the ’80s and Dallas today. Dallas is back, and Dallas is ready to take on the second half of this decade with renewed gusto and excitement. But Dallas has also grown up and matured, and carries with it a new level of confidence, acquired thanks to our recent history.
As we reflect on 1994 and eagerly anticipate the approach of ’95, we celebrate our city anew, knowing that what we’ve got is great and that it also can and will stand the test of time. This was the spirit that I suspect the Dallas Business Journal spotted at our party. And this truly is the spirit of the new D, the city magazine of Dallas.
GLENN J. SOLOMON, PUBLISHER