August 26, 2015 · by Cheri Smith & Molly Brundage
With an idyllic setting along the banks of the Deschutes River and at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, Bend enjoys almost 300 days of sunshine a year. For a town of roughly 78,000 people, Bend has outstanding facilities and amenities. Bend locals and visitors engage in year-round recreation such as downhill and cross country skiing at Mt. Bachelor, rafting and kayaking, rock climbing, golfing, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and much more. If you’re not the outdoor type, Bend’s qualitymuseums, theaters, art galleries, parks & recreation, and shopping will keep you busy. If you’re a pet owner, Bend is generally very dog friendly. The state-of-the-art medical facilities and selection of world-class physicians and specialists are more like what you would expect to find in a much larger city.
At an elevation of 3,625 feet, the climate in Bend consists of sunny days and cool nights. A typical Central Oregon summer sees daily temperatures around 80°F and between 40°F—50°F at night. Our winters are fairly mild with daytime temps between 30°F—50°F and evening temperatures between 22°F – 51°F. The average annual precipitation is about 12 inches. Brief, and often unexpected, thunderstorms usually provide most of the summer rain. The average annual snowfall is 33.8 inches. Snow rarely accumulates to more than a few inches in depth in town nor stays on the ground for more than several days before melting.
INDUSTRY & EMPLOYMENT
Bend is powered by small businesses and energetic entrepreneurs. Central Oregon’s businesses are typified by innovative, small companies producing niche-market products and services, from semi-conductors to software, medical instruments to recreational equipment. Some of the region’s largest employers include St. Charles Medical Center, Bend La Pine School District, Les Schwab Tire Center, Brightwood Corporation, Mt. Bachelor, and Columbia Aircraft Manufacturing. More Details
Even with so much to do in Bend, you might decide you want to get away. Robert’s Field – Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) is the 4th largest commercial airport in Oregon. Alaska Air, United Express, Delta Connection, and American Airlines offer 15 daily commercial flights to and from Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and San Francisco.
THE OLD MILL DISTRICT & DOWNTOWN
The Old Mill, just south of downtown Bend, is a 270-acre mixed use development that was originally the historic site of the Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company. Today it’s a vibrant hub for shopping, dining, andconcerts set against the stunning backdrop of the Cascade Mountains and the Deschutes River. Les Schwab Amphitheatre has attracted many well know artists including Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, BB King, Brooks & Dunn, Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, and hosts the always anticipated Bend Brew Fest every summer.
Whether you want to shop, dine, hang at a coffee shop, browse art galleries, or take a stroll along Mirror Pond in Drake Park, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you entertained in historic downtown Bend. On the First Friday of each month, the Bend Gallery Association hosts “Art Walk.” Galleries are open to the public until 9:00 pm and many feature refreshments and musical guests. The historic Tower Theater is known for performances and events including The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Peking Acrobats, Noche Flamenca, Bend Film Festival, and an annual “Hollywood Style” Academy Awards red carpet event.
The Bend-La Pine School District serves three distinct communities: Bend, Sunriver and La Pine. There are 28 schools in the Bend-La Pine Schools – 17 elementary, two K-8 schools, one charter (6-8), 5 middle and 5 high schools serving more than 17,1600 students. Since 2000, students in the Bend-La Pine School system have continually scored higher on SAT tests than their peers nation and statewide. More than half of our schools rated ‘Strong’ or ‘Exceptional’ in recent years on Oregon’s School Report Cards. Students met or exceeded statewide averages in every category measuring student performance and academic achievement in the 2006 State School Report Card.
As of Q2 2015, the average home price is $382,417 and the median home price is $321,000. Bend offers a wonderful mix of affordable and luxury homes. People refer to Bend as either west side or east side with Highway 97-Third St. being the dividing line. Most people prefer to live on the trendier west side because of the proximity to downtown and The Old Mill District but homes on the west side are more expensive.
The west side tends to have more pine trees because it’s closer to the national forest and it has less of a high desert appearance. Because of that, it also gets a bit more snow than the east side.
Don’t discount the east side, as homes on the east side are generally more affordable and offer larger lots, including some small farms and ranches. Many east side neighborhoods are still very close to west side amenities. Truthfully, ask anyone how far it is to something in Bend and the answer is always “about 10-15 minutes.” St. Charles Medical Center is located on the east side so it’s a natural fit if you want to be close to medical services. The east side is also home to The Forum shopping center where Costco, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods, and Old Navy reside. The east side now has a brewery, Worthy Brewing Company.
No matter which part of town you decide is right for you, Bend is a wonderful place to live. It still has a cozy small town feel but seems to have everything you need in the way of amenities and recreation and I think you’ll find that the people are friendly and welcoming. We like to say that our unofficial motto is “I came here for vacation and never left!” The Brundage Smith real estate team has helped countless families relocate to Bend or purchase vacation homes. If you are considering moving to the area, we invite you to contact us for assistance.
COVA (CO Visitor’s Association)
EDCO (Jobs & Economy Info)
Bend Bulletin (newspaper)
KTVZ (local news station)