Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How we were thinking in 2005.

Today's Bulletin Business Section: "Bank Files Lawsuit against developers," for 8.6 million.

For what?

"The 500 Bond project was envisioned to include a 199-unit, five building development at the mostly vacant corner of Southwest Wilson Avenue, with a four-to five-star hotel-condo capped with a top-story restaurant."

Um....sure. Right.

By the way, what happened to the 8.6 million?

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Woke up this morning and this white stuff was floating down from the sky. Anyone know what that stuff is? It being nearly May, I figure it's got be floating dandelion seeds or something....

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My sister Sue flew in from Delaware last week, with no more than a sweater. She had to go shopping for something warmer Sunday. She grew up in Bend. How quickly they forget.

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Swine flu, because we don't have enough to worry about.

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Steady as she goes at the store. I think sometimes, the temptation is to cut back too much on product when it's slow, which just compounds the problem. On the other hand, there is an equal temptation to spend too much on product, hoping to buy your way out of it being slow. The latter is more of a danger for me.

But I think part of my longevity is that I have always attempted to keep a good supply of material in the store, even when it required gambling. Kept me in thrall to the store, but kept my store alive.

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I am invoking the "I've been in business for "30 years" all the time, nowadays -- followed by "That's 150 years in Bend years." It seems to me that customers need reassurance that you're viable.

On the other hand, people seem to be angling for discounts more often. I wonder if they think the retailers need their business so bad they can get price breaks?

Trouble is, if they need business that bad, cutting prices is sometimes the last thing they should do.

It's a fine line in both issues -- stocking and pricing, between being too careful and too stubborn; and being too careless and too easy.

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As I mentioned, I'm about 12% over my estimates this month. But I almost gave some of it back yesterday, because it was so slow. At the end of the day, I had a couple of big sales which saved the day. Not sure what that was about. The weather? The end of the month? Swine flu? The economy getting worser?

The month of May has lots of events and product releases, so I'm hoping that will spark some sales. If not...summer is coming. May not be a big summer, but the threat of actually going DOWN from current levels is less.

On the other hand, it does appear to me the economy in Bend in worsening.

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Last -- some more grandiose 2005 thinking.

When Cascade Bank was flying high back then, some of us wondered if they weren't maybe a bit overextended. From this mornings article:


"Moss admitted the bank made some loans it has since regretted but affirmed the bank's philosophy of investing in real estate and small businesses as sound business practices...."

Well, all right then. As long as the "Philosophy" is sound. I love philosophy.

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Linda and I drove to Yarrow in Madras a year or two ago, just as things were cracking, and were surprised by how big it was -- and how empty.

I mentioned a few months ago, when Yarrow announced it's new pricing that they were essentially selling two lots for half the price of one.

This morning, they were using the "Twice the land, half the price" as their actual slogan.

I suppose they don't have all that many people pissed off that they bought at regular price....

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Oh, 2005. We could do anything back then! 5 star restaurants, water slides the size of a skyscraper, a world class 4 year college, ....all was possible.

Or......maybe not.

Oh, 2005. You Vixen. You took all our money and disappeared.

9 comments:

Jeff said...

"Twice the land, half the price"

A move in the right direction, although I'd be surprised if it generates much more sales.

Imagine if all the lots developed over the past 10 years would have been twice the size. There'd be half as many houses right now!

And I think most people would like to have a larger lot.

This is common everywhere east of the Rockies. The 0.12 acre lot seems to be a west coast invention.

blackdog said...

"Woke up this morning and this white stuff was floating down from the sky. Anyone know what that stuff is? It being nearly May, I figure it's got be floating dandelion seeds or something...."

Jeez, Dunc, how long have you been living here?

It always amazes me how Bendites pretend to be shocked -- SHOCKED! -- when we have crappy weather in April and May. Is it loyalty, or just self-delusion?

March, April and May CONSISTENTLY have the lousiest weather of the year here. Winter doesn't really let go until mid-June, when the goddam Portland Rose Festival is over.

blackdog said...

"Swine flu, because we don't have enough to worry about."

No worries, if the swine flu doesn't kill us the world is gonna end in 2012 anyway. Or so says the Mayan calendar.

Duncan McGeary said...

"It always amazes me how Bendites pretend to be shocked -- SHOCKED! -- when we have crappy weather in April and May. Is it loyalty, or just self-delusion?"

But I am shocked -- SHOCKED! -- every year. It's part of the Spring Rites of Passage.

Duncan McGeary said...

That's how you can tell a real Bendite.

They're shocked --SHOCKED! -- every year.

Bend Economy Man said...

The Bulletin's BOTC headline said "Cascade Bancorp remains cautiously optimistic."

In a place like Bend, when even an ear-to-ear smile and a whole raft of optimistic B.S. rarely means there's any substance to a venture, cautious optimism is the same as admitting defeat.

It blows me away that Patty Moss and her team are still in charge at Bank of the Cascades. How can you lose well over 90% of a bank's value, to the point where you can't rule out FDIC receivership, and basically have to admit that every decision you made in the last 5 years was wrong but "looked right at the time," and still keep your job?

blackdog said...

"That's how you can tell a real Bendite. They're shocked --SHOCKED! -- every year."

Dr. Johnson called that (in another context) the triumph of hope over experience.

I am no longer shocked -- SHOCKED! I am just disgusted -- DISGUSTED!

And us allergy sufferers are screwed two ways -- we get the pollen, but we don't get the spring-like weather that's supposed to go along with it.

Can't wait to escape from this godforsaken place and its endless winters.

tim said...

I'm waiting for the "infinitely as much land, infinitely less money" sale.

blackdog said...

Weather note: As I sit here typing and looking out of my office window, pelletized snow (looks like hail but isn't) is coming down in absolute torrents. It started two minutes ago and there's already about two inches of it on the ground.

I truly believe that Bend during the months of March, April and May has THE shittiest weather in the United States. Or at least the Lower 49.