Bend is a small town.
At twice the size, metro area.
If it was twice the size, it might turn into what?
Salem? Only without the state government, or many small towns around it, or less than an hour from Portland or Eugene on a usually snow free interstate?
Or Eugene? Only without the interstate or the University of Oregon?
Or Medford? Again, without a 4 year college or an interstate.
Hell, we're not even a Corvallis, with OSU; or an Albany, with actual jobs. (Did I say interstate?)
Poverty with a view.
A thin veneer of rich people, a small amount of sophistication, does not make us a city. Nor does Trader Joes, or any number of (going out of business) fine dining.
Come here. Live here. Get used to it.
Wishing won't make it different. We've seen waves of aspirational lifestyle seekers before, and we thank you. But proclaiming over and over again that 'we're different' won't cut it.
Spend your money, or retire here and spend your money. Great. Give us a magazine to show us how to live, bring a big time chef, tell us about your commute or your long-distance job, and especially how rich you are.
We like that you're rich.
We like that you're willing to spend your entire nest egg, your entire trust fund, the entire proceeds of your big house sale. We thrive on your willingness.
But we're still a small town.
Without much industry. And why would industry move to such an isolated place?
We've maintained a pretty good surface veneer. Stores have been leaving beautiful husks for years. We continue to fail upward. Thank you for the nice renovations.
After all, people do want to live here. Nice and smart people. Many who understand that they have to accept less income to live here.
But many don't. Many seem to think they've moved somewhere -- different.
At least we do have lots of great scenery, and lots of minimum wage tourism jobs.
2 weeks ago