Thursday, January 1, 2009


Other businesses, not mine.

I made a decision not to talk about other businesses early on, because a couple of other owner's called me on it. I decided I wouldn't like it much if they talked about me that way.

But once they're gone? Fair game, I'd say.

I never ate at the Merenda. Not my style. But one thing about it was hard not to notice.

It was HUGE! And the rent, I hear-tell, was ENORMOUS!

A Cassandra story.

Five years ago, a business neighbor of mine came in and asked what I thought of Downtown Bend. I told him my views. A month or two later, he brought in a partner and asked me to say the same thing. What I remember saying is this:

What is currently happening in Downtown Bend bodes well for the next few years. It's great that our corner has become central to the growth, that we have so much foot traffic.

But.....I don't trust it to continue forever.

Bend would revert.

I told them I thought Bend would revert back to it's small town ways, that the bubble we were seeing in real estate was mirrored in retail.

Business planned for bust not boom.

And I told them that I thought if you kept your overhead low, with little debt, and prepared for the day when this boom was over, you'd be fine.

Anyway, I'm not surprised by Merenda, a little more surprised by the Deep, but both were part of the delusional boom.

I found Jody Denton's comments in the paper to be refreshingly candid. I, too, \ noticed the first drop off in late 2007, just like he did. And I, too, noticed the same huge drop this fall that he did.

Maybe the only difference was that I wasn't surprised, and he was.

We need dreamers and striver's. I just wish they could be a little more grounded.

1 comment:

Leitmotiv said...

and Deep is gone, and I hear Blacksmith is on the chopping block.