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It was another great week of hard work and collaboration in Downtown Bend this week for the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA). Please read below to learn more about just a few of the things that we are up to in Downtown Bend!
The Downtown Bend Business Association hosted a Merchant Meeting for Downtown Bend business and building owners this week to discuss upcoming changes to Downtown parking. Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, has been serving on the Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC) for over 2 years, working hard to achieve the Downtown Bend Strategic Parking Management Plan in a way that works for business owners, building owners, local Bentides and visiting tourists.
DPAC is proud to announce upcoming changes to Downtown Parking including, but not limited to, a new merchant validation program for parking, new parking signage, improvements to the parking garage and more. To learn about the entire scope of changes, you can watch this meeting by clicking HERE.
The DBBA is currently the sole organization responsible for decorating Downtown Bend for the holiday season. This includes being responsible for all of the fundraising, labor, hard costs, installation costs, insurance costs (etc.) that is necessary to create the holiday experience in Downtown Bend.
We have a dream to be THE destination for the holidays in all of Oregon. We have a vision of creating a holiday experience where people from all over our state make it a tradition to visit Downtown Bend during the holidays, ski Mt. Bachelor, shop our unique boutiques, and stay in our great hotels. We believe that in order to achieve this vision we will need to create partnerships with the City of Bend and other community organizations and we look forward to that future.
However, we are not there yet - and we have to do the best with the current budget that we have. For this year, that means that we have invested in installing all of the larger trees in Downtown Bend with twinkle lights, we are working to repair our damaged lit snowflakes, and we are hosting a Wreath Spruce-up Ball to revitalize our current wreaths for our Downtown Winter season. We'd love for you to join us - you can find more information, and register to volunteer HERE.
We are excited to announce that the Shop Small Passport Event that usually happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving will be going on for three weeks to allow for COVID19 safety guidelines to be met. This event takes a ton of DBBA labor to make possible. First, in takes a few days just to contact every business in the district and enroll them to participate, then there are days days and days of visiting businesses and collecting donations, after that we log each donation and its value, issue each business a tax deductible receipt and thank you letter, then we have a long day of organizing all of the donations and putting them into prize baskets, and we design the passport, have them printed & we deliver them to the pick-up locations, then we need to update our website with all of this info and market the event to our community. It's a pretty big undertaking for a DBBA staff of just 2.5 people (in addition to the daily work of the district) and we rely on volunteers to help make it possible.
Another item we worked on this week was the Downtown Parklet Program. We met with the City of Bend and each business that has a parklet on the street to discuss Winter Operations, and to assure that with these added features to Downtown Bend we are all ready to collaborate to keep downtown accessible during the winter months. We also met with an advisory group to discuss the option of a permanent parklet program post-Covid and what would need to happen to make that possible.
If you missed it, City Council met last week, and you can click here to watch the video of our city councilors discussing restrooms in Downtown Bend and the Brooks Promenade pilot project. The Downtown discussion starts at 1:05. These are important topics, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or a member of the DBBA board. The DBBA staff worked hard to amplify these conversations over the last few years and we were very happy to see Councilors take a look at them. DBBA Board provided the below letter to Council and they would also like to acknowledge Councilor Piper and Ben Hemson for their great work. (Thank you!)
About 3 years ago the DBBA Board of Directors directed staff to research what would need to be done so that the organization could apply for grants to help beautify Downtown Bend. This resulted in some major changes to the DBBA, including but not limited to hiring a part time Chief Administration Director, changing the way we tracked our labor & accounting, and creating a 501c3 nonprofit, The Friends of Downtown Bend.
We are proud to report that we have applied for several grants this year, and that we've been awarded two of them. Writing grants, securing grants and reporting back to the granting agencies is a new endeavor for DBBA staff and we are currently on a bit of a learning curve, but happy to be able to secure these additional funds for Downtown Bend.
On the street work continued and DBBA staff was busy as usual with daily sweeping, trash removal, litter pick-up and in addition, this week we installed holiday lights, did extra cleaning on the trash can lids, we worked with the City of Bend to remove leaves from Downtown, we cut up and removed a fallen tree and we made further progress in our oil container clean-up efforts.
We have been managing the grease containers in the alleyways on several levels. I'll outline them from smallest to largest scope below.
First and foremost, when we see an issue like overflowing trash or overflowing grease containers - we make sure it gets taken care of right away. This could include cleaning it ourselves, alerting the City so that they can come and clean it up, calling SeQuential, or Bend Garbage, etc. We find the right person to get the job done, and we make sure that it gets done.
Then, we've been working with the City of Bend to add some "teeth" to our common and ongoing phone calls to SeQuential so that we (hopefully) will start seeing more results from this company. We provide the City with all of the photos and documentation he needed to hold SeQuential accountable.
Just this week we saw a huge success and forward movement in this conversation. Sequential has agreed to remove all containers from the City right-of-way by Nov 6th, 2020. They are transitioning their customers to smaller rolling containers that will be stored inside each restaurant.
Bigger picture on alleyways, we've been petitioning the City for over a year now to work with us to create new standards for Downtown alleyways. These standards would include requiring garbage enclosures, standardized and intuitive containers for trash and recycling, grease traps to be installed in restaurants, and pumped directly from those traps (so grease is never in the alley), etc. We will continue to advocate to the COB until we see these changes. We believe that revitalizing our alleyways is a key part to the future success of Downtown Bend.
The topic of trees in Downtown Bend is always an robust one. The responsibility for tree management in Downtown Bend falls on the shoulders of the Building owner adjacent to the tree and to the City of Bend. The DBBA is, technically, not responsible for any tree maintenance, repair or service in the Downtown district.
However, that being said, we are the only organization that provides a person-on-the-street, every day, 365 days a year to make sure that Downtown is looking it's best. As such we are often 'first on the scene' and when we are able to - we like to help out as much as possible.
This week, while we were doing our circuit of the Downtown EID, we noticed this large tree limb that had fallen down by McMenamins. We were able to grab our saw and ATV with a trailer to cut up the tree limb and remove it before the shopping day began in Downtown Bend.
When it comes to graffiti removal in Downtown Bend, this can involve several different solutions. Sometimes our staff cleans, removes and/or repaints a surface. Sometimes we need to contact Bend Garbage to replace a container in Downtown Bend. At times a specific company or building owner needs to be called if they have requested to clean their own utility boxes or buildings. No matter what the solution is, we make sure that it is solved quickly so that we can keep our downtown looking it's best.
If you see something in Downtown that needs attention, you can fill out a service request for the City of Bend here or for the DBBA here. Thank you for helping us keep downtown clean and beautiful.
Thank you for supporting the Downtown Bend Business Association's hard work to increase the vitality of Downtown Bend!
The Mala Stretch Bracelets from Bronwen Jewelry come in four varieties, White Lotus Flower, Black Om Shanti, White Om Shanti and Black Hamsa Hand. These Mala stretch bracelets step it up a notch with a parade of handmade Tibetan beads and your choice of lucky talisman.
Choose the Hamsa hand for happiness, health and good fortune. Choose the Lotus Flower for resilience, rebirth and detachment. Choose the Om Shanti for grounding and peace in body and spirit. Best yet cover all your bases and get all three!
Bronwen Jewelry specializes in delicate and durable artisan jewelry design for active & traveling women.
The Blacksmith Restaurant serves distinctive bold cuisine in a relaxed yet elegant atmosphere located in the historic Pierson Blacksmith shop in Downtown Bend, Oregon. Established in 2002, the Blacksmith Restaurant has gained a collection of rave reviews, including ones from National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveller, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Sunset Magazine for its steakhouse, full bar, and lounge serving distinctive bold cuisine. The Blacksmith Restaurant features cheese plates, seasonal salads, fresh seafood, artisan meats, and pasta dishes. If you are staying for dinner in their dining area, they offer a full menu of from-scratch dishes made by their chef, Bryan Chang. Chef Chang uses fresh and local ingredients to showcase the seasonal delicacies of Oregon. They also have a large selection of regional wines and craft cocktails.
More about the history of the building:
"Like many of the original buildings in Downtown Bend – each has a story, a history and a legacy. Built in 1923, 211 NW Greenwood was the home of Pete Pierson Blacksmithing and is an example of one of the finest blacksmithing buildings left in the country. It is not known how long Pierson was a blacksmith there, however he soon sold his business to Joe Egg, who ran the business for the next fifty years. As late as 1973, Egg was well-known in Bend and Redmond as the best blacksmith in Central Oregon. Egg once told The Bulletin that ‘although his business was fast becoming outdated by acetylene torches and electrical welding, he could still fix almost anything, and still shod horses.’ The building is now home to one of Bend’s highest rated restaurants, properly named, The Blacksmith. Owners, Todd and Nekol Bardwell have owned the restaurant since 2013 and are excited to share their story, another anniversary and a fresh update to their cocktail and food menu, debuting this summer." - Julie Furnas (read more of this story here)
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Village Interiors in Downtown Bend showcases beautiful home furnishings and decor for your new home or remodel. Right now they are featuring beautiful, one of a kind Fall centerpieces.
Anita from Village Interiors says,
"What’s new at Village Interiors on Lava Road?
Just as the seasons change, so does our home furnishings and accessories showroom.
We are now featuring harvest decorating ideas and handmade centerpieces.
Visit us every day; around the corner from the Oxford Hotel and Tangerine Salon and next door to the Jackalope Grill"
750 NW Lava Rd STE 120, Bend, OR 97703
Scout and Pine recently opened on Minnesota Ave in Downtown Bend, owner Chris says,
“I opened Scout and Pine because I saw a need for an outdoorsy, casual gift store offering plenty for ladies, pets and kids, would also offer items for men as well. I carry everything from stickers and onesies to flannel shirts, flasks, hand made jewelry for all, leather goods, games, cards and beyond. Many items are handmade here in Bend as well as from artisans around the country, all with a mountain town vibe.”
Stop by Scout and Pine today to welcome them to downtown, and pick up a new treasure for yourself or a gift for a beloved friend.
Scout and Pine
126 NW Minnesota Ave, Bend, OR 97701
Once again, the DBBA staff worked passionately and diligently this week to provide excellent service to the EID. Here are just a few of the things we did this week to further our mission.
DBBA staff met with the DBBA board treasurer to review the DBBA budget. In normal years, the DBBA budget income is created in three ways, 1. The EID levy (53% of the total budget), 2. DBBA Streams of Revenue (16% of the total budget) and 3. DBBA Fundraising (31% of the total budget). Due to a loss in the streams of revenue and the inability to hold fundraising events due to COVID19, the DBBA budget was significantly reduced this year. As a small nonprofit with a huge scope of work, stretching every dollars is always a primary focus for the DBBA staff and board, this year more than ever. DBBA staff and DBBA board are working hand-in-hand to make sure that the DBBA can continue to offer their core services to downtown regardless of the budget reduction.
The Bend Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Group met this week, and discussed livability issues, and upcoming events that will impact businesses in the community. The DBBA serves on the Chamber Advocacy group to provide a voice for downtown bend business and building owners on larger issues, and to educate the DBBA board of directors on issues that will impact DBBA stakeholders. DBBA staff and board believe that it is important for Downtown to be involved and connected to community groups and organizations throughout the City, as we are all interconnected and collaboration and consideration will ensure that we all thrive. We also understand that partnerships are necessary for creating the 2040 Downtown Vision, and developing these partnerships is a core part of our strategic plan.
Marketing has been a primary use of staff time, as directed by the DBBA Board, these last few week and for the duration of Q4. DBBA staff has been posting daily on all social media platforms, writing blogs, publishing newsletters and working on videos to support the downtown district. Last March, immediately before the global pandemic hit, the DBBA had increased their budget through streams of revenue and fundraising enough to be able to hire a marketing person for Downtown Bend. However, like many of us, we had to cancel these plans, and the DBBA executive director continued to fill the marketing job description in addition to ED duties at the organization. Recently, the DBBA board has recommended putting efforts into finding volunteers to fill this role. If you are interested in volunteering to market and promote Downtown Bend, please contact us!
On the street, in addition to the daily efforts to keep the district clean and graffiti free, the DBBA installed banners, twinkle lights and began to prepare for Holiday decorating. The DBBA has a stupendous vision for Downtown Bend during the holiday season including winter greenery baskets with lights, lights on every tree, lit snowflakes on every lamppost, lights over the streets, a place for the Community tree in the center of town, and so much more! We are, however, limited by our budget and we believe that in order to create this vision it will require community partnership and a contribution from our City (as it is done in other downtown's across the nation). This year, we are doing the best with what we have. We are pulling out our old wreaths and inviting the community to come down and enjoy some cider with us and spruce them up in a community decorating event - more info coming soon!. We'll be launching an 'adopt a snowflake' program and much more! If you are passionate about the holidays and would like to get involved, please let us know.
Finally, the DBBA Board of Directors had their monthly meeting, as usual on the third Wednesday of the month. To keep up-to-date on board meetings, or to attend a meeting, click here for more information.
It's been another busy week at the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), as we worked passionately to increase the vitality of Downtown Bend.
Our staff wrapped up our summer high-pressure/deep-cleaning sidewalk program, getting some final scrubbing in on our downtown sidewalks. The DBBA works diligently not only to sweep every sidewalk, every morning, 365 days per year - but we also spend the summer months (as temps allow) deep cleaning every inch of our Downtown.
We also met with the City of Bend this week to create a snow management plan for this winter to make sure to keep Downtown Bend, and the new parklets that have been created, snow and ice free. Downtown snow management is a partnership between the City of Bend, The DBBA, and business owners in Downtown Bend. The DBBA owns 2 snow blowers, an ATV with a snow plow attachment and a plethora of large shovels. We keep all of the sidewalks, the ADA parking stalls and the crosswalk areas free of snow. We loan snow shovels to business owners, and we help with ice melt in areas that tend to ice over in downtown. The City of Bend is responsible for keep roadways, parking lots and alleys free of snow and ice in. Downtown business owners are responsible for the areas in front of their business, their parklet, and outdoor seating areas.
Our team has been working creatively to design holiday events that will adhere to state guidelines and CDC recommendations. We've reimagined Shop Small Saturday to take place over three weeks instead of one day in order to spread out guests and keep folks safe! Plus, you'll be able to choose if you want to participate in-person or online!
If you've never participated in our Downtown Bend Shop Small Saturday event - you don't want to miss it this year!! This event is a ton of fun and you can win AMAZING gift baskets filled with incredible local products from our Downtown merchants.
Are you interested in learning more about the DBBA or volunteering to help us keep Downtown Bend thriving? Contact us!
The Downtown Bend Business Association is a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.