Parking in Downtown Bend is an important discussion in our community. In 2017, the City of Bend invested in a Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan (to view the full plan, click here). In 2018, the Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC), and the DPAC Work Committee was formed. This committee achieved several successes:
"We are really excited about the parking changes being developed for Downtown Bend," says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, "and we are excited to work closely with the new parking manager and the City of Bend to assure that the needs our our businesses and customers are met throughout this process."
The full list of strategies from the Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan are as follows:
For more information, please feel free to reach out to the DBBA at firstname.lastname@example.org
The DBBA is a small nonprofit with a mission is to grow the vitality of Downtown Bend by enhancing the experience, image, and lifestyle of the Economic Improvement District (EID). For more information about the DBBA, visit www.downtownbend.org.
BendTel is a locally owned and operated telecommunications company with a mission to provide Central Oregon customers with the highest quality communication services at affordable prices. They are a full service, facilities based, Competitive Local Exchange Company (CLEC), that has been focused on providing voice, long distance, data, Gigabit Internet and hosting services to businesses in the Central Oregon area since 2003.
BendTel is constantly working on expanding their Gigabit Fiber Internet footprint throughout downtown and adjacent areas. Their use of Gigabit Bandwidth Internet and the latest cutting-edge technology recently earned them an award at the 2019 Oregon Connections Telecommunications conference. They were awarded for their “Excellence in Telecommunications Projects and Regional/Local Strategies” for developing and implanting innovative projects that provide better access, reliability and affordability to telecommunication services.
BendTel is also the official sponsor of the annual Downtown Bend Celebration Night that happens every May and the WiFi sponsor of Bend Oktoberfest. Both of these events are fundraisers for the local nonprofit, The Downtown Bend Business Association. BendTel is a key asset to the health and vitality of Downtown Bend – and it’s not just about the direct services they provide. Because of BendTel’s support for Downtown Bend, we are able to have things like flower baskets and Holiday decorations!
Right now, BendTel is offering an exclusive deal for DBBA Members! This offer includes a Sangoma IP Phone –featuring Voicemail to Email & Find Me/Follow Me, gFiber Internet (50x10Mbps) with reliable service and guaranteed speeds on their multi-gigabit capable gFiber network and bHosted Managed Voice – backed by their local support team. Plus, when you sign up, you’ll get the first month for free!
Call BendTel today, and join the DBBA/BendTel Team! You’ll be glad that you did.
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) is a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.
In addition to our other services, we are the 100% responsible for the cleanliness and beautification of the Downtown Bend economic improvement district (EID).
Our scope of work includes, but is not limited to:
We would like to extend a huge “Thank you!” to our staff, board, volunteers, donors and community partners for helping us keep Downtown Bend beautiful! By being committed to positive communication, community support, and a shared love for Downtown Bend, we can continue to keep our Downtown vibrant and thriving!
We are excited about several new Downtown Bend beautification projects we have coming up, stay posted to learn about all the great stuff that we have in store for Downtown Bend!
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 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.
March is National Women's Month, and we are celebrating all of our female-owned businesses in Downtown Bend. For our final post, we are featuring the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA). The Downtown Bend Business Association is run by a female Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, a female Board of Directors President, Jen Steigman and Board Vice President, Sarah Jordan.
Mindy Aisling is a 3rd generation entrepreneur, both parents and both sets of grandparents all owned and operated small businesses. Mindy grew up working at her mom's photo lab and her dad's auto repair and auto body shops. As an adult, Mindy has owned and operated 3 different successful small businesses. Mindy is passionate about entrepreneurship, creativity and communication. Her values also include a strong belief in volunteerism and giving back to the community. She previous served as a volunteer mediator at the Deschutes Court House and Community Soulutions of Central Oregon.
Mindy brings decades of expertise in leadership and small business management to the Downtown Bend Business Association, where she's been in service to the Downtown Bend community since 2015. In her free time, Mindy loves long backpacking adventures, challenging mountaineering trips, playing board games with friends, listening to live music, competing in bar trivia, and like any good Bendite - drinking craft beer.
At last night City Council meeting, Downtown Bend Business Association's Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, urged City Councilors to collaborate for the good of Downtown Bend business and building owners.
"I'm looking for that next level of communication and care for Downtown Bend." said Aisling. "I think that by working together we can really improve what we do for the next snow event in Downtown Bend."
Aisling submitted a letter to Councilors on Monday outlining the Downtown Bend Business Association's response to the record snow storm, and sharing challenges that Downtown Bend businesses experienced due to the City's response to the snow. She also shared data gathered from businesses on the lost revenue due to the COB's snow maintenance conditions for a two week window beginning 48 hours after the storm.
Aisling's letter stated, "One of the interesting things about Downtown Bend is that it competes with other shopping districts for local and tourist dollars, but unlike other shopping districts, it is public as opposed to private. This distinction means that we rely on the City to care for Downtown at a standard that allows us to remain competitive with other shopping districts. With almost 400 businesses and 4,000 employees, Downtown Bend remains one of the largest employers in Bend, representing a significant tax base and revenue generator in our city"
The Downtown Bend Business Association's mission is to increase the economic vitality of Downtown Bend. They are located at 916 NW Wall Street in Downtown Bend. You can learn more about how they fulfill their mission at www.downtownbend.org/the-dbba.
To view Aisling's letter, download the document below. To view Aisling's comments, view the video below.
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), a small local nonprofit, is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalks within the entire Economic Improvement District (EID). You can see the boundaries of this district on the map here. During the recent record snowfall in Bend, the DBBA staff worked around the clock to ensure that all businesses were accessible in Downtown Bend.
"It is of utmost importance to us that during a storm like this, our businesses remain accessible to our community members and Bend visitors." said Mindy Aisling, Executive Director at the DBBA, "We had 2 snow blowers, an ATV with a snow plow attached, and a staff of 7 with snow shovels working around the clock to make sure our businesses were taken care of. This is difficult, cold work and I am so proud of our team and the incredible job that they did serving our local community."