A boomtown is a community that undergoes sudden and rapid population and economic growth, or that is started from scratch. The growth is normally attributed to the nearby discovery of a precious resource such as gold, silver, or oil, although the term can also be applied to communities growing very rapidly for different reasons, such as a proximity to a major metropolitan area, huge construction project, or attractive climate.
Early boomtowns, such as Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester, experienced a dramatic surge in population and economic activity during the Industrial Revolution at the turn of the 19th century. In pre-industrial England these towns had been relative backwaters, compared to the more important market towns of Bristol, Norwich, and York, but they soon became major urban and industrial centres. Although these boomtowns did not directly owe their sudden growth to the discovery of a local natural resource, the factories were set up there to take advantage of the excellent Midlands infrastructure and the availability of large seams of cheap coal for fuel.
Another typical boom town is Trieste in Italy. In the 19th century the free port and the opening of the Suez Canal began an extremely strong economic development. At the beginning of the First World War, the former fishing village with a deep-water port, which used to be small but geographically centrally located, was the third largest city of the Habsburg monarchy. Due to the many new borders, World War II and the Cold War, the city was completely isolated, abandoned and shrunk for a long time. The handling of goods in the port and property prices fell sharply. Only when the surrounding countries joined the EU did Trieste return to the economic center of Europe.
In the mid-19th century, boomtowns that were based on natural resources began to proliferate as companies and individuals discovered new mining prospects across the world. The California Gold Rush of the Western United States stimulated numerous boomtowns in that period, as settlements seemed to spring up overnight in the river valleys, mountains, and deserts around what was thought to be valuable gold mining country. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, boomtowns called mill towns would quickly arise due to sudden expansions in the timber industry; they tended to last the decade or so it took to clearcut nearby forests. Modern-day examples of resource-generated boomtowns include Fort McMurray in Canada, as the extraction of nearby oilsands requires a vast number of workers, and Johannesburg in South Africa, based on the gold and diamond trade.
Boomtowns are typically characterized as "overnight expansions" in both population and money, as people stream into the community for mining prospects, high-paying jobs, attractive amenities or climate, or other opportunities. Typically, newcomers are drawn by high salaries or the prospect of "striking it rich" in mining; meanwhile, numerous indirect businesses develop to cater to workers often eager to spend their large paychecks. Often, boomtowns are the site of both economic prosperity and social disruption, as the local culture and infrastructure, if any, struggles to accommodate the waves of new residents. General problems associated with this fast growth can include: doctor shortages, inadequate medical and/or educational facilities, housing shortages, sewage disposal problems, and a lack of recreational activities for new residents.
The initial increasing population in Perth, Western Australia, Australia (considered to be a modern-day boomtown) gave rise to overcrowding of residential accommodation as well as squatter populations. "The real future of Perth is not in Perth's hands but in Melbourne (and London) where Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton run their organizations", indicating that some boomtowns' growth and sustainability are controlled by an outside entity.
Boomtowns are typically extremely dependent on the single activity or resource that is causing the boom (e.g., one or more nearby mines, mills, or resorts), and when the resources are depleted or the resource economy undergoes a "bust" (e.g., catastrophic resource price collapse), boomtowns can often decrease in size as fast as they initially grew. Sometimes, all or nearly the entire population can desert the town, resulting in a ghost town.
Join the Gold Rush and get rich, by the careful (or some times indiscriminate) use of high explosives. Upgrade your rig, refinery and explosive power. Choose your starting plot, buy explosives, liberate the gold and use the proceeds to build your town. Perfect for casual, hardcore players and office workers. No time limits, no pressure, do everything at your own pace. Can you build the ultimate Boom Town?
Amanda, her parents, three brothers and a baby sister arrive in California during the Gold Rush. Besides a few cabins like theirs, the small town consists of a stagecoach stop and a pump house. While Pa spends a week at a time in the gold fields, Amanda and her siblings grow bored. Amanda has a hankering for pie and asks Ma if she can make one. Ma agrees pie would be tasty, but she has no pie pans and only a wood stove.
A peddler comes to town and Amanda uses some of her earnings to buy pie pans. She suggests the peddler could open his own shop in town, and he takes her advice. More and more people come to town and see opportunities to start their own stores. Amanda convinces one cowboy to open a laundry and another to start a livery stable.