Shame on Hazelton

February 17, 2010 by admncc

This particular story is a great follow-up to the “We Are the U.S.” post.  Thank you to one of our readers, Steve, for bringing it to my attention.

Would you like to live in North Dakota?  If so, the city of Hazelton is offering a pretty sweet deal to interested families.

According to an Associated Press article, “The Hazelton Development Corp., formed by a determined group of citizens, began running ads in 2005 offering families up to two free lots and up to $20,000 toward home purchases.  Businesses were offered free lots and up to $50,000 for setting up shop in the town.”  You can read the full article here.

That sounds like a great deal for a town that only has “three churches, a bank, a grain elevator and a bar.”  But when Michael and Jeanette Tristani took the offer, relocated from Miami and opened a bistro, they soon found themselves being exiled by the town’s current residents.  Now there are restraining orders involved and the Tristani’s are moving.

This is truly an amazing story.  A town on the verge of extinction comes up with an interesting strategy to recruit new residents, but then runs the first family out of town.

I can already picture this town.  It’s probably something like we saw in the movies “Sweet Home Alabama” or “Sleeping with the Enemy.”

On another note, I was watching the Winter Olympics yesterday.  Is curling really that popular???

All Posts / Business / Family/Lifestyle / Politics / Restaurants Associated Press / Bankrupt Towns / Bistros / Curling / FL / Hazelton / Miami / Michael and Jeanette Tristani / North Dakota / Sleeping with the Enemy / Sweet Home Alabama / The Hazelton Development Corporation / We Are the World / Winter Olympics /


  1. “We don’t want your kind here.” It sounds like something out of the deep south. It’s almost as pathetic as Tiger’s behavior.

    As for curling, apparently, yes, it’s THAT popular.

  2. TallElf says:

    What a surprise. I would be in on.. but my wife wouldn’t be quite so keen. Still pathetic.

    Sounds similar to the residents of Bradford County Pennsylvania are trying to push out natural gas drillers which are bringing a much needed income to a depressed area. It is much the same *yer not from around her are ya*

  3. Deb says:

    Hazelton, ND is no different than the state of Maine. With a depressed economy and society here, the natives beg for jobs, higher wages, lower taxes, etc. When the answer comes in the form of a new industry or business, NIMBY screams prevail and the cycle continues. It’s a beautiful state, yet resistant to change, remaining backwards in many ways and many places. BUT…there is a local curling club!

  4. Why couldn’t it be like the town in Funny Farm? Everyone seems perfect…ahhh, the country life.

    Oh, and I’m baffled, but according to a few Canadians I know, curling athletes are like celebrities there! And the guys that make the ice are too!

  5. Your Funny Farm comment was funny Jennifer. I think this is either a case of being scared of success or one of jealousy. What else is there? What we have to remember is that for every person we find that has the ability to come up with a plan of action that might just work there is always double that in people who will try and find a way to work against it. Its seems to be the way of the world.

  6. Leo Nevoli says:

    Considering how much snow I had to shovel and sweep over the past few weeks, I am watching curling thinking I could be doing that, or at least be a coach.

  7. Candice says:

    Us Newfoundlanders love curling, probably because our boy Gushue does so well…wooo, fun game.

  8. otin says:

    WTF is curling, exactly?? LOL

    People want the revenue and growth, but do not want new businesses. Kind of crazy if you ask me!!

  9. That’s an amazing story. Having just read Stephen King’s Under the Dome, I totally understand.

  10. The Constant Complainer says:

    Road trip to Hazelton. Come on, who is with me!!!

  11. C. Princess says:

    I like your post title. It’s perfect.

    “On another note, I was watching the Winter Olympics yesterday. Is curling really that popular???”

    Craig, more than anything else curling is the one thing we’re made most fun of up here but yes it is very popular. Have you seen the film “Men With Brooms.”

  12. tera says:

    You know, I think the behavior was over the top, but I can kind of understand…you live in a town where there are only 240 people, and what, three or four business, one of which is the town coffee shop. As a new comer to town you decide to open up a …coffee shop?!? Really? You couldn’t open a hardware store? Of course the guy who owns the other shop is going to be pissed off. Any other business would have made more sense if they wanted revenue growth.

    You know, I’m kinda tired of life in the big city…maybe I’ll move there. And gee, since both coffee shops are now out of business, I’m thinking I could open a…coffee shop?

  13. Jen says:

    Moving to North Dakota no matter the incentive is probably not a good idea unless you can handle sub zero temperatures half the year. I have never understood curling. But, I don’t get half the winter sports either.

  14. Marissa says:

    I’d like someone from Hazelton, ND, to respond to your post. As Ricky Ricardo might say, “They have some esplaining to do.”

    My friends LOVE curling!

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