Friday, January 9, 2009

Emigrants not Immigrants.

The Inevitable.

I kind of thought Merenda was going to close for about a year, now. Not because I had any inside knowledge, or because I thought it was too big (which I did) but from Denton's own words.

I belong to a couple of business bulletin boards, with store owners only as members. And when you hear an owner start to talk a certain seems like it's always the beginning of the end. I can't quite pin it down. It's not just that they're negative, there is a sort of disillusioned tone, a kind of 'put off' tone. But you know it when you hear it.

Denton may not have fully known it himself, but it was evident to me from the tone and texture of what he was saying in newspaper interviews. There is a certain way a business speaker says things when they're losing their motivation. You can tell they are preparing themselves for the inevitable.

O.K. Smart ass.

It's all well and good to proclaim that you predicted something. "Yeah, yeah, Dunc. You're always right. Blah."

But if you have a two year running blog, you can actually point at what you said.

Two other predictions.

There were two particular predictions I made that everyone seemed to think dubious -- even more dubious than that housing prices were a bubble and would pop.

The rich don't hang around.

One was that rich people would be the last to come to a 'failing' town, and the first to leave.

If you look at the much reduced 'median' prices of houses in this town, I don't see how you can't come to the conclusion that the rich aren't buying the expensive houses. They might be waiting. Or they might not show up at all. In fact, I still predict they'll vacate this town like it's yesterday's news.

No longer growing?

The second prediction was that Bend would actually lose population. Again, it's hard to see how you can go from #1949 building permits in 2005 to #268 in 2008, and not see a outflow of labor. Not only the houses that aren't being built, but all those people who serviced and furnished those houses.

Losing 100 students since the start of the school year would be some proof of that.

I think the emigrants are just beginning.

Yep, emigrants, not immigrants.

Me and Jimmy Carter.

Cause we don't have the jobs. Malaise is a killer. Hard to be a popular town when malaise sets in. I admit, I'm not out and about town at night much, but the traffic last night was sparse.

This is starting to remind me of the good, bad old days.

Or is it, the bad, good old days?

Like I said, you know it when you see it.


Anonymous said...

The rich don't hang around.

One was that rich people would be the last to come to a 'failing' town, and the first to leave.


The 'rich' in this town were mostly HELOC rich, or DEBT-RICH,

We have lot 99% of our rich, ...

Then you have the Nouveau-Riche, like Bledsoe, there are few of him here, but they put all their money into Bend, and now they're down 90%.

Will they wait it out for 10+ years then to only see the New Bend as a Junction-City or another Redmond.

The problem is even State Economist Duy says, BEND is too big to be a resort.

A real Aspen is a pocket, a sweet resort town may have seasonal of say 5k -> 50k, but with Bend carrying over 80k year-round its NOT a resort town by definition.

Bledsoe & other 'real rich' have invested in this place as the NEXT ASPEN, some CPA/LAWYERS convinced them they were buying LOW into the next opportunity.

Even when BEND comes back in say 2018, it will be MORE like REDMOND than Aspen.

Metolius will get filled in with STD's, and the entire swath of land owned by Fidelity from Shevlin Park to Sisters will be filled in with STD's.

BEND will look like southern CALI, the drive from madras to LA-Pines will be solid WALMART/KMART.

The RICH will avoid this place.

Pronghorn is dead, all desert resorts.

Black Butte & Sunriver will become little middle-class gated enclaves of what a central-OR resort should look like.

BUT MONEY?? Survivors are like DUNC small biz, drive an old car, and watch TV at home, and eat at home,

THere is NOTHING to do at night in this town.

Truly rich people like Bledsoe, will get out early, and try to make more money while they still can, and perhaps learn their lesson about getting rich quick, or being happy with the $50M they had before they came to BEND and turned it into $5M

There aren't that many REAL rich in BEND.

Everyone in BEND was rich, everyone was to buy house and get a HELOC card, and everyone would go out every night and wine&dine, and many did, from 2002->2007, but now its over, and all the downtown places will close, because spending is down 90% and will stay down that level for years to come.

Best of times?

My fondest times of Bend are the 1985-ish years and before, before the horrible parking lot traffic on I-97, having a Hardware store downtown was nice,

The horrible traffic is what I hate MOST about BEND post 1986.

Back to your 'rich' so many people I know in this town came here with $10M in stock, and bought a house for $5M that was going to be $20M by 2010, and now these homes can be sold for no price, what's worse is the other money is 1/2 gone by spending, and 1/2 gone by the collapse on Wall-ST, I'm seeing people who came with $10M in 2002, now sitting on $1M home 'maybe' and less than $1M cash left. That's a 80% loss, but nothing like Bledsoes 90% loss.

These people can never make this money back ever again?

What is the smart thing to do??

I know personally when my family 'lost it all' during the depression, and headed West with a meager million after having tons of money back east prior to the 1930's, that they came out West and bought low, and made ALL the money back by WWII.

Thus in MY humble opinion, those that can get out, and use their money where they can buy low, is the best bet. Sticking around and watching your last million become zero in a place like Bend, will only lead you to the poor house.

I'm personally am too old, and besides I live like DUNC, drive an old car, and don't go out much, and stuff is paid for, also I didn't pay the top prices in 2002, like so many people I know.

So many of these newbies here just don't understand, to me BEND area desert land was always $200/acre, that's what I could buy it for forever here, and to see it go to $2M/acre in 2004, well I knew that a lot of money would be lost. It's always this way with desert land, and swamp land.

I hate to say this, but the vast majority of people who came to Bend in the last ten years are no different than the guy in the BULL yesterday that gave the $3600 to craigs-list scammer. I really think most of the NEW money that came to BEND post 1998, was stupid GREEDY DUMB MONEY, and that kind of money never lasts.

In summary a favorite quote by Carniegie, of the steel industry, .. back around 1910 I think ...

"Making money is easy, Keeping money is hard"

It's always been this way, most fortunes are lost, very few are kept.

tim said...

Especially telling was that the elementary schools are used to picking up about 30 kids from summer to winter. This time they lost 30.

My kids have seen children of builders leaving. Pretty soon it'll be the children of business hurt by the lack of Realtor business leaving. Then people leaving because when you lose a job here, it's hell to find a new one.

tim said...

Also, there's this...

"As of December, more students were on free and reduced-price lunches, which is how the district measures lower-income enrollment."

When kids go from not getting the free lunch to getting the free lunch, you know there's been some kind of economic disruption.