The Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC) has announced a partnership with Deschutes County and the City of Bend to provide access to free public parking at the Deschutes County Administration building parking lots on weekends and during special events. The Deschutes County Administration building parking lots, located between Wall Street, Lafayette Ave and Olney Ave, contain as many parking stalls as the Downtown Bend parking garage on Lava Rd and Oregon Ave. DPAC anticipates that utilizing these parking lots at the Deschutes County Administration building, during the busy summer tourist and special event season, will allow more people to easily access Downtown Bend. The parking lots will be available from Friday evening after 6pm to Sunday night.
“Downtown Bend is one of the greatest assets of our City, and currently we are seeing parking reach capacity during our popular events and attractions”, says Aisling, Executive Director for the Downtown Bend Business Association, “This partnership will allow more people to experience our vibrant Downtown with ease.”
The Deschutes County parking lots are only 3 blocks from the core of Downtown Bend, with well-lit sidewalks on both sides of the road, making it easily walk-able to and from Downtown Bend. For those who would rather catch a ride or require mobility assistance, DPAC has partnered with Ride Bend, a free shuttle service that operates 12pm to 8pm daily July 1st through Labor Day. Ride Bend operates a ten-passenger shuttle van that riders can request on demand using the new Ride Bend app.
“Commute Options is excited to add a new park and walk option for folks to easily attend exciting happenings in Downtown Bend." said Kim Curley, with Commute Options and member of the DPAC, "Carpoolers can access free parking off the Bend Parkway and Wall Street and take an enjoyable walk to downtown. Ride Bend adds additional accessibility for families and individuals with disabilities.”
The DPAC was created based on the goals outlined in the Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan adopted by Bend City Council on June 7th, 2017. The committee is responsible for outlining, advocating, and initiating decisions that will improve and maintain a vital transportation system for the City of Bend, and create a model that can be used city-wide for the betterment of the entire community.
Scott Douglass, CEO of Cascade Relays and member of the DPAC, said “Parking demands are at their highest during our busy tourist season and especially during special events. Through this partnership with Deschutes County, we are providing convenient free parking to the public within a few blocks of Downtown Bend.”
The third season of the free Ride Bend transit service will launch in Bend on July 1, with a new twist! Instead of waiting at a bus stop, riders can request rides on demand via the new Ride Bend App (or via phone).
Within the defined service area (below), The Ride Bend shuttle picks up riders at their door and shuttles them to their destination with other riders heading the same way. The service will enhance overall mobility and reduce parking demand and congestion in popular areas of Bend (including Downtown Bend, the Old Mill District, and along the busy Galveston Avenue corridor).
"Ride Bend is a fresh, new improvement to our transportation options" said Mayor Sally Russell. "Especially during the summer months we need to make it easier and more efficient for residents and
visitors to move around our community"
The free Ride Bend service will include three vans, one fully ADA accessible, providing curb-to-curb
service on demand. Service will be available daily, from noon to 8 p.m.
Rides can be requested via the Ride Bend App, available for iPhone and Android. A call-in number will also be available for passengers without access to a smartphone.
After Labor Day, the Ride Bend service will connect Oregon State University-Cascades, Central Oregon Community College, Northwest Crossing and all residential areas west of 14th Street. That service will run through the middle of December, coinciding with the students’ fall term.
The Ride Bend service is provided by Downtowner, a national leader in microtransit, with successful
programs running in California, Utah, Colorado, Georgia, and Florida. The Mobility Lab at OSU-Cascades will oversee the service as a pilot study intended to help regional agencies identify a more efficient way to provide transit to a region that lacks the density of larger metro areas.
The program is sponsored by the City of Bend, Visit Bend, The Downtown Bend Business Association, the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, St. Charles Health Systems, Cascades East Transit, OSU-Cascades and Bend 2030.
What is Ride Bend?
Ride Bend is an on-demand, app-based transit service available to everyone. This service will be available at no cost to any rider who summons the vehicle with the Ride Bend app. Funding partners include: the City of Bend, Visit Bend, the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, St. Charles Health System, OSU-Cascades, and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.
How do I use Ride Bend?
Download the Ride Bend app and enter your desired trip origin and destination. The app will tell you how soon we can pick you up. If the pick-up time works with your schedule, request the ride.
You can also call [phone number coming soon] to request a ride.
How much does Ride Bend cost?
The Ride Bend service is free.
Can I take Ride Bend from my house near Galveston Avenue to Safeway? To my friend’s house? To get dinner?
Yes! You can use Ride Bend to get anywhere within the service boundary. For those interested in traveling outside of the service area, Ride Bend can drop you off at Cascades East Transit’s Hawthorne Station.
Will my ride go directly to my destination? Or will we stop to pick up other people?
The Ride Bend vans fit up to 12 people, including the driver. On busier days, expect to share the van with other passengers (and possibly their dog).
How many vehicles will be in service?
Three vehicles in total will be in service, with seating for up to 12 people, including the driver. One vehicle is wheelchair-accessible and all vehicles are dog-friendly.
Can I bring my bike?
Yes. Ride Bend vans are equipped with bike racks.
Can I take Ride Bend after floating the river?
Floaters can ride the Ride the River shuttle buses for $3.00, and enjoy unlimited rides all day.
How do I request a ride in an accessible van?
Within the Ride Bend app, select the option for an ADA vehicle. Or, call us to request an accessible ride. Phone number to be posted by July 1.
When will Ride Bend operate in 2019?
Ride Bend will operate a summer service July 1 through September 2 (Labor Day). After Labor Day, the service area will shift west to include the OSU-Cascades and COCC campuses. The most up-to-date information on hours of operation can always be found on the app.
Is there an age limit for who can utilize Ride Bend?
In the interest of safety, children 12 & under may not ride Ride Bend alone. Children must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible rider.
Why was Ride Bend introduced?
Ride Bend was introduced to reduce parking demand and congestion within the areas that see the most traffic during the summer months. Ride Bend connects to the Cascades East Transit system to make it easy for those traveling to other parts of Bend or Central Oregon.
How is Ride Bend funded?
The program is sponsored by the City of Bend, Visit Bend, the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, St. Charles Health Systems, OSU-Cascades, and Cascades East Transit, with in-kind support from Bend 2030 and the Downtown Bend Business Association.
The Downtown Bend Business Association is currently seeking volunteers for the Downtown Bend Ambassador program. Downtown Ambassadors help to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who lives, works in, or visits Downtown Bend.
A great program starts with great people. We are looking for Bendites who are willing to learn, have the ability to think on their feet, and who can provide a high level of customer service with a smile and a great attitude!
If you take pride in your community, want to work to make it better, and want a place to contribute your skills where no two days are alike, then you’ve come to the right place! If you are bright, cheerful, friendly, compassionate, and have a desire to make a difference, you have what it takes to be a part of the Downtown Bend Ambassador team!
We are proud to report that there are several areas of alignment between the 2019-21 Downtown Bend Business Association's Goals and the 2019-21 Council Goals and Strategies. One of these aligned goals is to address livability crimes in the Downtown area. A key step in this effort is increased patrols in the Downtown Economic Improvement District (EID) with Bend Police School Resource Officers during the busy summer season. Earlier this week Bend Police Department officers, City of Bend staff, and the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) took a walk through the Downtown Bend EID. You can expect to see these increased patrols within the EID in the coming week.
A common question we hear from business and building owners in Downtown Bend is when to report a crime, especially if it’s already happened or no one was there to witness it. Bend PD tracks crime data and has a team of officers that focuses on trouble spots. Even after the fact, you can log crime issues via the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 541-693-6911 or online by clicking here. Of course, if a crime is still in progress or there’s an emergency, please call 911!
"The Downtown Bend Business Association's number one priority is to assure the people feel safe and welcomed in Downtown Bend." says Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, "This year we were proud to be instrumental in getting the Downtown Bend Police Substation established, and this summer, in addition to working with the City of Bend, Bend Police Department, and Security Pros, we are also piloting our new Downtown Ambassador program. We anticipate great results, and we are grateful to be able to provide our community and visitors with an outstanding experience in Downtown Bend."
Downtown Bend remains year after year the number one tourist destination in Bend, it is also currently the largest employer in Bend, as well as the City's civic center and cultural core. With thousands upon thousands of people utilizing Downtown on a daily basis, providing a safe and welcoming culture is key to the vitality of our city.
Downtown Ambassadors have been added to the list of services provided by the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA).
The Downtown Ambassadors are a dedicated team of dynamic and responsive volunteers that keep Downtown friendly.
The Ambassador team is comprised of local citizens who share a common affinity for Downtown and an intimate understanding of what's happening around the neighborhood.
Please note: Across the nation, Downtown Ambassadors are changing the definition of hospitality.
These photos (below) are not our Bend Ambassador team, they are from a Downtown that has modeled this program for us to follow.
The Downtown Bend Ambassador Program will pilot the Summer of 2019. Volunteers will be stationed Fridays thru Sundays, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm offering downtown patrons a positive, interactive, visitor-friendly experience.
Each volunteer would be scheduled for one, three-hour shift from 12:00-3:00 pm or 3:00- 6:00 pm. The program will run Friday, July 5 thru Sunday, Sept. 1, for a total of nine weekends.
Volunteers will be set up in a booth/tent where visitors can come by for materials and information.
Volunteers will engage Bend residents and visitors to downtown with information and suggestions on eating establishments, public restrooms, lodging, parking, entertainment, etc.
Downtown Ambassador duties include but are not limited to:
The Downtown Bend Ambassador program has been a vision of the DBBA's Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, since she began working in Downtown 4 years ago.
"In a world where people are becoming more and more disconnected, Downtown's across the nation represent community hubs where connection flourishes. My vision is for our Ambassador program to provide a level of hospitality and kindness that models to our community the welcoming and inclusive characteristics that Bend stands for."
After many discussions and brainstorming sessions, the Downtown Bend Business Association discovered key partners that could help bring the program's vision into fruition.
The Tower Theatre Foundation, the long-standing nonprofit that owns and operates the historic performing arts venue in the center of downtown Bend, proposed a partnership where the DBBA could test an Ambassador program this summer, harnessing the power of the theatre’s already established and thriving volunteer corps.
Joan Gallinger, the Tower’s volunteer coordinator, said: “The summer is a great time for several of our volunteers to help launch this much-needed effort downtown. Our ushers already answer lots of questions from patrons about places to go, see, park and eat downtown. Plus, they’re trained for emergencies and on giving top customer service. Putting those skills to work on behalf of the city we all love seemed like a very logical, and effective, solution.”
Starbucks in Downtown on Wall Street, who is deeply rooted and involved in the Downtown community, partnered with the program by providing the space for the information booth, and (of course) water for all our favorite dogs in Downtown Bend!
You will be able to find the Downtown Ambassador booth at the Courtyard between North Soles and Starbucks at 812 NW Wall Street. Make sure to save the date for our Ambassador Launch Party on July 5th from noon to 1pm.
It's Friday, Folks, and what a wonderful Friday it is. First Friday Art Walk is happening tonight in Downtown Bend and you don't want to miss it!
Local food, music, art, beer - and so much more! View the list below and plan to meet up with friends in Downtown Bend!
First FAIRY Friday Bubbles
Alpenglow Jewelry & COTA at Outside In
Outside In guests for the June Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk are:
Alpenglow Jewelry- Leanne and her nature inspired Jewelry will be at the store showcasing her vast array of earrings, necklaces and rings. If you can't join us for First Friday, don't worry, we carry a selection of her pieces at the store.
Central Oregon Trail Alliance- Are you a mountain biker? Do you know who plays an intricate role in the quality of the trails you ride on? New to Bend and want to learn more about the mountain biking trails and how you can help? Meet representatives of this non-profit to learn about their programs and how you can get involved!
The Hot Club of Bend at The Commons
Time to get jazzy with it!! The Hot Club will be bringing their sweet sounds to the Commons plaza for a fun night of string and horn jazziness. The group is made up of some of the most talented musicians in the area and are sure to entertain. Come grab a patio beer from Immersion Brewing and some food from a local food cart and hang out with us.
Intuitive Readings, Broken Top Candles & Wild Folk|Wren & Wild
Join Wren and Wild as they bring in Affton from Broken Top Candles to share with you her beautifully crafted clean beauty candles, new perfume oils and more. We will also have Julie Tartak from Whole Soul Wellness in house doing Intuitive readings and of course gorgeous cocktails from Alyson at Wild Folk. Wait! There's more but you will just have to show up to see what we have up our sleeve. xoxo, W&W
Juniper & Gin at Velvet
Tonight at Velvet, The original Oregon folkgrass comes as close to describing Juniper and Gin as any genre can. Juniper and Gin deliver finely crafted songs with excellent musicianship, three part harmonies and real soul. Their sound encompasses bluegrass, folk and old country, melding them into a good ol’ pot of musical stew. Their songs touch on themes of life’s ups and downs with honesty and superb storytelling. Juniper and Gin is one of Oregon's most exciting up-and-coming string bands. You are guaranteed to have a foot-stompin' good time and you may even find yourself singing along to these catchy original tunes.
Lava Rd First Friday!
Join Sage Beauty Boutique June 7th for Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk with Village Interiors. Wildflower Mobile Boutique will be parked outside and Michelle Bauer Barnett Photography will be offering Mini Head Shot Sessions. Our featured artist is Notions of Lovely! S
The Haven & OCO @FootZone
Are you ready for a summer SUP on the river? The Haven has these Amenities plus Showers to refresh before coming back to work. They will be at FootZone to get you on board with their various Memberships & Programming! FYI: The Haven is a Title Sponsor for OUTCentralOregon's Bend Pride 5K Run on June 22nd; come learn about details from OCO! Join the festivities FootZoneBend - shop for your summer active wear and enjoy beer/wine with us too!
Ella Rosenzweig at Eclectic Soul
Join Eclectic Soul for a glass of wine and some beautiful art by young local artist Ella Rosenzweig at our very first "First Friday"! We are so excited to display her fun art at our new store this weekend!
Ella Rosenzweig captures her passion of the natural world in her paintings including beaches, rivers, mountains, and wildlife. Ella was chosen to represent her school at the Portland Art Museum's The Heart of Portland in 2018. Her art had recently been recognized by staff at William E. Miller Elementary and was featured on a poster for the Miller Student Art Night. She lives in Bend, Oregon amongst the nature she loves most.
Ember's Wildflower Animal Sanctuary at Lotus Moon
Enjoy First Friday Art Walk, meet Solstice and I and talk about our mission! Home made energy balls, lemonade and dog treats for sale .
Marigny Goodyear at Legum Design
As seen on HGTV artist, Marigny Goodyear returns to Bend for a 3rd year in a row. "A Lovely Mess" is a series of paintings that represent the love, beauty and growth that can occur from going through and understanding trauma and dark times of our lives. By using torn paper hearts, dark and stormy colors, along with bright bursts and calming patterns, I show that every situation that has darkness and complications, also has beauty and light, and vice versa. They are two sides of the same coin.
Rhythm & Brews - Summer Concert Series at BBC!
First Friday June at Found Natural Goods will be extra full of jewelry.
We are, of course, serving complimentary 100% agave tequila margaritas ––radical mixer to be announced–– with the distinct style of Navone Jewelry for the evening.
Cheers to spring!
Pride Month Karaoke at Bishops!
Pride Month Karaoke is coming back to Bishop Barbershop
Come and join Central Oregon Pride in Downtown Bend for Karaoke on First Friday
This is an all ages event and a safe space for everyone
Donations will be accepted and will be going toward Central Oregon Pride
Hope to see everyone there
Jennifer has been sharing the magic of painting for more than 20 years. Her pieces are largely inspired by nature and the colors and textures she experiences in her outdoor adventures. She often uses alternative methods such as finger painting to achieve desired textures. She wishes to offer new perspective on the wilderness that surrounds us.
Art at the Oxford
Join us, The Oxford Hotel - Bend, Oregon, for #FirstFridayBend! This month we'll be presenting Anne Gibson's "Wandering the Deschutes" exhibit, comprised of paintings of scenes along the mighty Deschutes River.
Anne brings years of artistic experience to her paintings. She captures variations of seasonal beauty on the river: lush scenes of the green foliage and blooms along the Deschutes in spring and summer, barren trees with reddish bark as fall ends, and wintery skies with darkened waters as winter arrives.
After graduation from Tufts University, many years of professional experience at noted institutions (Director of Publication and Marketing at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts and Senior Designer at Gilbert Design in Providence, RI) brought both rewards and challenges.
A move to Bend further grew her considerable skills, and launched Anne's enhanced painting career; after the study of art history and a career in graphic design, she began studying printmaking and pastel.
In her current series, Anne paints from her “own photos and memories of places I have frequented along the Deschutes that most often bring me joy or peace. Expressing the feeling of place now dominates my impulse to represent landscape.”
Stop by our lobby during First Friday #inbend to meet Anne and view her paintings.
High Desert Art League at Layor Art+Supply
High Desert Art League is celebrating their first show at Layor Art + Supply in downtown Bend. The show runs from June 5 until July 1. There will be a First Friday reception on Friday, June 7. Please join us and check out our latest artwork!
Kristen Riggle at Cascade Sotheby's International Realty
Please join us Friday, June 7th at our Downtown Bend Showroom (821 NW Wall St, Bend, OR) from 5 – 8 PM, to enjoy the artwork of Kristen Riggle.
This event is sponsored by Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty and your hosts for the evening, Sandy and John Kohlmoos, along with co-sponsors Academy Mortgage, who will be serving wine and beer samples.
Tyler Spencer live at The Capitol
Lindsay Wiseman at The Bend Store
We will be proudly pouring a keg of "Lil' Squeezy Juicy Ale", donated by downtown Bend's original brew pub, the Deschutes Brewery!
And our June First Friday artist is Weaver Lindsay Wiseman. We love her work! She will be bringing one of her looms with a current project. Come and see and touch her wonderful textiles. She makes zippy bags,, clutches, purses, tea towels, carpets, and much more.
Stop in to say hi to our newest staff members, as we kick off the beginning of our busy summer season. We are ready!
Princess Athletic hosts Jen Koistinen & Taylor Brooke Barton
Stop by for wine, snacks, and to visit our featured artists!
Artist: Jen Koistinen - local watercolor artist
Author: To kick off Pride month we have Taylor Brooke Barton.
She is the author of critically acclaimed New Adult titles—FORTITUDE SMASHED and CURVED HORIZON. Her Young Adult debut—THE NINTH LIFE—is being published by Inkyard Press in Fall 2020.
We will also have Forever Free Cryotherapy here to demo their latest technology!
The Wooden Jewel Grand Opening!!
Come join us for our Grand Opening! Enjoy food and wine, jewelry, and fine art. The Wooden Jewel will be giving away two $500 gift certificates through a drawing. We have new and unique art pieces and jewelry all the time, so come in and be amazed!
Come in and hear Tara Snow perform her original songs and your favorite covers!
Stroll downtown for First Friday Art Hop and support your local shops while looking and buying some fabulous art. Drink specials all night The Wine Shop And Beer Tasting Bar Bend
Remember we are open until 10:00 pm so make us the last stop on your Art Hop evening!
Salsa De Wela at Ranch Records
Every first Friday, visit us inside Ranch Records in downtown Bend to try out our delicious Salsa de Wela!
Aaron Rathbone & Juan Marante at Revolvr