We had a couple of horrendously slow days in the week after PPP. Don't get me wrong -- if I had a little red button with the nuclear option, I wouldn't push it. The Pole, Peddle, Paddle, Puddle, Perpetual Motion event has become part of the Bend scene. It gets a pass in my book, like the 4th of July parade and a few others.
Just pointing out that contrary to common opinion, these events do not spread their benefits evenly. I'd say I got little or nothing out of it.
It ain't about you, I hear you say. OK. Right. Anyway, this Memorial weekend has helped make up for it.
Speaking of events, there was an article in the Bulletin about Bend Film. I've got to tell you, I barely noticed this event last year, in fact, I remembering wondering if it was even going to happen. Very different from those first couple of years. I'll always remember the inflatable screen that was almost wider than the street. Because someone thought it would be a great idea to completely block off the street -- as well as place it in a notorious wind-tunnel. (I noticed they replaced the canopies on the building across the street for the umpteenth time last week...)
It does feel as though the constant mindless boosterism of Bend has toned down overall.
Which brings me to the quarterly University of Oregon Central Oregon Business Index which the Bulletin publishes.
I love that these are objective observable statistics that have a track record.
What the graphs appears to show is an increase in business, but it's not the steep bubble-like increase of 2003 to 2009. It's more like what the graph might have looked like in those years without the bubble. A more sustainable growth rate.
If you look at the graph for the state over all, there never was a bubble --
I'm amazed that as many houses are selling as are selling, though it doesn't look like the days on the market have declined much.
The biggest factor for good job growth, to me, are the building permits, which are still in the doldrums. It appears to me that these houses must be selling to people who don't need jobs -- in other words, retired or wealthy folk.
So, more or less slight increases overall.
What shows the least downturn from the peak and the most recovery is the tourism gauges.
But that's what I've always thought about Bend. We are a tourism and retirement economy, with all that implies, both good and bad. Notoriously low paying jobs in service. Restaurants continue to open and close. Downtown continues to cycle through businesses, though the rate of failure seems to have slowed down.
Overall, considering the huge bubble we had -- I always say, Bend had a bubble within the housing bubble -- we weathered it better than we had any right to.
What I thought would happen was that tourism and retirement monies would bridge the gap, and I think that is exactly what happened. The rest of Oregon saw a decline, but not a bubble pop, so they just kept coming to Bend for recreation.
So settle in for being a tourist destination.
P.S. I may have spoken too soon about the mindless boosterism. I just read the editorial in the Bulletin about the urban growth boundary.
Really? That again?
Hey, tell you what. Find a couple of more businesses for Juniper Ridge and I'll reconsider my position. If you can't even do that, why bother? Look again at those Building Permit statistics.
What are selling are existing houses, and I'm still firmly convinced that there is a huge shadow inventory in Bend -- and rising prices will unlock more houses. We'll have a ready supply for years to come.
5 days ago