Odessa, Texas, is a small city located in the western section of the Lone Star State. In 2014 Forbes magazine ranked Odessa as the third fastest growing small city in the nation. Offering an affordable cost of living, a low unemployment rate and plenty of sunshine, the city is home to 159,000 residents.
Once a major ranching community, Odessa experienced significant growth in 1926, when oil was discovered. This converted Odessa from a cattle and shipping area to an industrial-based city in the thriving Midland-Odessa region.
Besides the oil industry, other major employers are in the education, government and healthcare industries. The construction of several retail centers, hotels and distribution centers for large corporations has further propelled the economy in Odessa.
There are two colleges in Odessa. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers bachelors and graduate degrees, and Odessa College offers associates degree programs in an array of disciplines.
For all the fans of the movie Friday Night Lights: It all started here in Odessa. The book and film are based on one of the town's high school football teams and Odessa’s Ratliff Stadium was used during the filming of most of the football action in the movie.
Odessa is known for its cowboy culture and this is celebrated every year at the Sandhills Stock Show and Rodeo. This popular event features a rodeo, livestock show and plenty of live country music. During the year, other events at this venue include a craft beer festival, a car show and a regional fair.
If you love the arts, you can catch a performance at the Globe of the Great Southwest, which is a recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. Another option is the Permian Playhouse, which offers a choice of plays and musicals throughout the year. Music lovers enjoy the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, and at the Ellen Noel Art Museum, visitors can be enchanted by the works of more than 400 American artists.
For some retail therapy, head over to the Music City Mall, or relax with friends at one of the numerous sports bars sprinkled throughout the city.
The median home value in Odessa is $154,900, with popular neighborhoods located in the northern sections of the city.
If you seek a Texas community with a strong football culture and a stable economic outlook, Odessa may be a good fit for you.