Economy of Shreveport
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Shreveport has played a role in the United States oil business. The Standard Oil company of Louisiana was once based there, but the Louisiana branch was later absorbed by Standard Oil of New Jersey. In the late 1970s to early 1980s the oil and gas industry experienced an economic downturn, and many companies cut back employment or went out of business. Many residents left the area following the late 1970s to early 1980s recession.
Today the city is a busy metropolitan city, hosting various riverboat casinos, and it is second only to New Orleans in Louisiana tourism. Nearby Bossier City is home to one of the three horse racetracks in the state, Harrah's Louisiana Downs. Casinos in Shreveport-Bossier include Sam's Town Casino, Eldorado Casino, Horseshoe Casino, Boomtown Casino, and Diamond Jacks Casino (formerly Isle of Capri). The Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau is the official tourism information agency for the region. The bureau maintains a comprehensive database of restaurants, accommodations, attractions and events at www.shreveport-bossier.org
In May 2005, the Louisiana Boardwalk, a 550,000 square foot (51,000 m²) shopping and entertainment complex, opened across the Red River in Bossier City, featuring outlet shopping, several restaurants, a 14 screen movie theater, a bowling complex, and a Bass Pro Shop. A new 350,000-square-foot (33,000 m2) convention center was recently completed in downtown Shreveport with an 800 space parking garage. The adjoining 12-story Hilton Hotel was completed in 2006. The Shreveport Convention Center is managed by SMG, the world leader in private management of public facilities.
Shreveport was largely unaffected by Hurricane Katrina; however, it did accommodate many evacuees from Southern Louisiana. Since Shreveport is approximately 200 miles (300 km) inland, there has been speculation that some New Orleans residents and businesses who want to move away from the coast in fear of further hurricanes may relocate to the northern part of the state, centered on Shreveport.
The Port of Shreveport-Bossier, located on the Red River, is an industrial park of more than 2,000 acres (8.1 km2). Its tenants include a steel mill, a recycling plant and storage facilities, among others.
Shreve Systems is here and visible from the Interstate.
General Motors had established a large plant in Shreveport. The Shreveport plant manufactured the Hummer H3 SUV, and the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks. The plant ceased operation in 2012, and was purchased by economical three-wheel vehicle start-up Elio Motors in January 2013.
Softdisk, a software and Internet company, was founded in Shreveport in 1981 and published various disk magazines in the 1980s and 1990s, which occasionally included early games by the founders of Apogee Software. The founders of id Software also worked there and lived in Shreveport in the early 1990s.