I love that the Bulletin does this.
Early on, it became obvious to me that Bend's economy is based on tourism and retirement. Actually, "based" isn't a strong enough word. It IS the economy.
Nothing since has contradicted that observation.
Housing starts are still way below the peak, though the housing market is supposed to be strong, which just means the housing bubble created such a surplus that we have yet to work through it.
I'm not sure construction jobs are the good strong foundation of an economy anyway -- dependent on the tourism and retirement, right? And very susceptible to economic downturns.
So get used to it, Bendites. No point in complaining. These newcomers and these visitors ARE our economy.
The Great Recession seemed to push back the wave for a short time, but it's up and running again.
Thing is, there is a huge, huge amount of Creative Destruction going on in the tourism and retirement businesses. The newcomers who don't really have a clue how Bend works, opening businesses that are problematic.
Hasn't been problem for Bend so far, because there always seems to be new people willing to take the leap.
Personally, I just try to ignore the whole spandex/foodie/hipster culture. I see it every day in the paper, but it doesn't impinge on me, that I can see.
And of course my business thrives from the visitors, so I'm not in a position to dislike it. Go for it, people.
Like I said, this IS Bend.
4 days ago