Bend calls itself the outdoor recreation capitol of Oregon, where visitors and residents can literally ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. Outdoor activities run the gamut, from hot air ballooning to hiking and other winter sports to relaxing fishing on glassy lakes.
Known as "the sunny side of Oregon", the Cascade mountains act as a protective buffer, giving Bend only 12 inches of precipitation per year, say officials. That compares to 42" for Portland, 36" for Seattle and 20" for San Francisco.
Bend has slowly changed its economy from wood products to tourism. A healthy dose of high tech, manufacturing, health care and professional services, is providing job growth which in turn is spurring housing.
"The Old Mill District is now the "hot spot" for retail merchants and many new craftsman style offices are springing up - mostly in the $1.50+/SF range. Westside Bend still outpaces the other areas in terms of "desirability" to builders. The new $30 million Summit High School in NW Bend is particularly attractive and indicative of our strong tax base. Lots for building new homes aren't plentiful, and prices for good lots are continuing to climb rapidly."