So to the person quoted in the paper who moved to Bend a grand 11 years ago, who wanted a "small town mid-western" feel: you can actually move to the mid-west for that. Of course, it won't have mountains or high lakes or a world class ski resort or Smith Rocks or...well, the list is endless. That's why we have tourism.
People often ask how I feel about the growth because I'm a native.
Hey, my store couldn't exist in the town I grew up in. 13,000 people, max. The 20,000 extra people in town on summer days is what makes my store possible. Without them I wouldn't have a store, or it would be a very different store. (My rent would be a lot cheaper too, I suppose, but whatever...)
The other answer is--I find the craziness easy to ignore. The traffic is the only thing that really impacts on me, and as a local I know ways around that most of the time and it certainly isn't a dealbreaker.
The outlines of old Bend are still here. I just ignore those other places. Northwest Crossing could be in another country for all I notice. I have no reason to go out there. No reason to be upset by anything they do.
Here's a rule of thumb I've found to be true. The first stop on a tourist route will be twice as crowded as the second stop, which will be twice as crowded as the third stop, and so on. So if you're willing to go a little further off the beaten track, you'll be fine.
I go walking every day in the high desert. On my path, I've run into people 3 times in the hundreds of times I've walked it.
But if you go to Tumalo Falls, or Sparks Lake, or Drake Park in the middle of July and August, then yeah, it's a zoo. If you go to the festivals, or the concerts, or any of the other venues, then it will be hectic. But, come on...those of you who moved here instead of the real mid-west, you kind of like that activity, don't you?
If you really hate the crowds, then don't do that.
If you want to see places like Dillon Falls, or Lava Butte, or any of the other cool places, you have April thru mid-June, September thru mid-November to do so. The weather might actually be nicer.
Live your life as normal, ignore the rest, and we still have nice small town.
7 hours ago