Bend, Oregon Profile
Situated on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range along the Deschutes River, Bend straddles forested mountain highlands and high desert plateaus, offering a diverse range of scenery and outdoor activities. The largest city in Central Oregon, Bend is the commercial, recreation and social center of the tri-county region and also serves as the county seat of Deschutes County. It covers 32 square miles and sits at an elevation of 3,625 feet. Bend is noted for its scenic setting and year-round recreational activities.
Bend has a deserved reputation for attracting lifestyle migrants — urban dwellers those who seek amenities typically associated with a larger metropolitan area but yearn for the recreational pursuits of the great outdoors, a beautiful setting, and an accessible community feeling. As such, the city attracts families and entrepreneurs from all of the West Coast metro areas and some from other major population centers. Many residents remark that for its population size, Bend has retained its small town atmosphere and ‘feels’ smaller than its actual size would suggest. The city has been adopted as a gateway for many outdoor sports, including mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding, dog racing, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, white-water rafting and golf. There is also a sizable cluster of individuals drawn to Bend for artistic pursuits, ranging from photography to sculpture, from water color to metal working. Bend’s growing beer brewing industry and evolving restaurant scene is also a draw for tourists and locals.
Economically, Bend started as a logging town, but began a transition to a more varied, sustainable economy in the 1980’s when it became apparent that the lumber mills would no longer be vital. Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) was born in those dark days of the ‘80’s that longtime residents describe as a time when many downtown businesses were boarded up.
Unlike resort communities such as Aspen or Jackson Hole, Bend’s lifestyle and quality workforce is a draw for many successful companies in the aviation, manufacturing, renewable energy, high-tech, and recreation equipment sectors. Many of Bend’s companies are owner-operated and in the small to midsize range, typically with 10 to 50 employees. Companies like Breedlove Guitars, PV Powered, G5 Search Marketing, Deschutes Brewery and Bend Research provide solid employment and bring in vital traded-sector dollars to Bend’s economy.
Central Oregon Profile
The cities and communities that comprise Central Oregon are Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Prineville, LaPine, Madras, and Warm Springs.
The region is served by Roberts Field, a commercial airport which is completing a $38 million expansion that will triple the size from 26,000 SF to almost 130,000 SF. Commercial service at Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM, www.flyrdm.com) is provided by American Airlines, Horizon Air, Delta and United. These carriers offer approximately 44 arriving and departing flights daily to and from San Francisco, Portland, Eugene, Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Denver, and Las Vegas. RDM also serves air cargo and general aviation traffic, including extensive corporate and business travel. Other general aviation airports include Bend, Madras/Jefferson County, Prineville/Crook County, Sisters, and Sunriver.
Six major public school districts serve over 35,000 students; there are also ten private schools in the region. The region is also home to Central Oregon Community College (COCC) and Oregon State University – Cascades, which will complete expansion to a four year university by 2015.