(Courtesy of Central Oregon Economic Development Council)
Situated in the Central Oregon high desert, Bend offers a diverse range of beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. As the largest city in Central Oregon (76,693 residents) Bend is the commercial, recreational and social center of the tri-county region. It covers 32 square miles and sits at an elevation of 3,625 feet. Bend is noted for its scenic setting, year-round recreational activities, and a growing economy where job growth has mostly kept pace with rapid population growth.
Bend offers a unique mix of amenities for those individuals seeking a larger metropolitan area but yearning for the recreational pursuits of the great outdoors and a community feeling. Many residents remark that for its population size, Bend has retained its small town atmosphere and ‘feels’ smaller than its actual size would suggest. Bend has been adopted as a Mecca for many outdoor sports, including mountain biking, road biking, skiing, snowboarding, fly-fishing, hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, golf, and others. Many are also drawn to Bend for artistic pursuits, five-star restaurants, boutique shops, a vibrant music scene, and year-round festivals. Add to this an impressive parks system and an award-winning school system and one can see why Bend is constantly recognized as one of the best places to live in the U.S.
Bend’s economy got its start as a logging town, but began a transition to a more varied, sustainable economy when it became apparent that the lumber mills would no longer be sustainable. Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) was incorporated in 1985 at a time when Bend was in the midst of a distressed economy and many downtown businesses were boarded up.
Bend’s lifestyle and quality workforce is a draw for many successful companies in a variety of industries including manufacturing, renewable energy, high-tech, aviation, recreation equipment, and most recently craft brewing. Many of Bend’s companies are owner-operated and in the small to midsize range, typically with 10 to 50 employees. Companies like Breedlove Guitars, PV Powered, G5, GL Solutions, Deschutes Brewery, and Bend Research provide solid employment and bring in vital traded-sector dollars to Bend’s economy. The area has also become a hotbed of entrepreneurial activity in technology, biosciences, renewable energy, and medical devices.
BEND Stats at a Glance
Population (2010 U.S. Census)
Median Resident Age
Estimated Median Household Income (2010 U.S. Census)
Median Home Price, Owner-Occupied (2010 U.S. Census)
Average household size
Property Tax Rate 2011/2012
$15.2272 per $1000 assessed value
BendBroadband, BendTel, Qwest, Quantum Communications, Clearwire, Integra
Top Five Private Largest Employers in 2011 (in order)
St. Charles Medical Center, Les Schwab, Mt. Bachelor, Bend Memorial Clinic, Safeway