We are just about two months into 2020 and so far things are going splendidly in the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District (EID). We are seeing positive results from efforts invested in 2019, and we have great plans & opportunities for the upcoming summer season.
This last month we hosted two merchant meetings on the upcoming transportation changes in the Downtown core. We hosted both ODOT and the City of Bend in back to back meeting at At Liberty Arts Collaborative. These merchant meetings allowed our stakeholders an opportunity to educate themselves and provide important feedback to decision makers.
We have also been meeting with the Downtown Bend Parking Committee Advisory Work-group for two hours every week to guide upcoming changes to parking in Downtown and the surrounding areas. I am excited about the future of parking in Downtown Bend, and I see positive action steps being taken to solve some of the challenges we've been facing. I want to give a huge shout out to Tobias, the new City of Bend Parking Demand Manger, for the incredible work he has been doing and the plethora of innovative ideas he has brought to our city.
We've welcomed several new businesses to Downtown Bend recently, and we have several more opening soon. Here's a peek into what's new in Downtown Bend:
In the last two months we've spend over 130 hours sweeping sidewalks, picking up trash, and removing graffiti and stickers to make sure the Downtown Bend is always putting it's best foot forward. In addition, we've been working on a Downtown 'real estate box' program to assure that the boxes that are on our Downtown sidewalks stay clean & filled. It's Springtime right around the corner, and we've just begun to plan our deep 'Spring cleaning' for Downtown. We'll have volunteers dedicating extra hours to make sure we give downtown a good cleaning before going into our busy season.
We've had many folks ask us how to communicate with the City of Bend about issues in Downtown that need to be address that are outside of the DBBA scope of work. We recommend alerting the City of Bend by filling out a Citizen Service Request form. It's easy to do and we've attached printable instructions below. This form can be used if you see grease spilled in the alley, a dangerous sidewalk, a damaged sign, a pothole, or just about anything else that you'd like the City to give attention to.
We've been investing staff time and energy in creating better integration between events and merchants in Downtown Bend, and we are proud to report that due to our advocacy, we have seen a plethora of positive changes. As a merchant in Downtown Bend, this event season, you'll see changes in the City of Bend procedures, Lay it Out Events procedures (plus, check out these cool FREE marketing offers from Lay it Out!), Bend's Farmers Market procedures & more. We are really proud of our results in this area of service.
We also had a successful meeting with Bend City Councilors on this topic earlier this year, and we want to extend them a huge 'Thank You' for their support in this process and throughout this conversation.
In addition, we are looking at welcoming a new event to Downtown Bend, Giving in Style! This event will draw hundreds of people to Downtown, as well as featuring some of our local stores like Hotbox Betty, Jack + Millie, LuLu's, Outside In and Revolvr.
Speaking of Events, here is the 2020 calendar for your easy-to-use printable reference to event dates for the rest of the year.
This report certainly wouldn't be complete without a shout-out to the Waldorf School of Bend and all of their efforts to bring a little love and kindness to Downtown Bend during the annual 'Heart Bomb' in Downtown Bend. Hearts sprung from Winter tree branches, newspaper stands, benches and doorways. Community members arrive to open their businesses amid 'love bombs' of all shapes and sizes. Thank you, Waldorf School of Bend, for allowing us to host this event for another year.
We'd like to congratulate and offer a deep bow of gratitude to the business that will go down in history as being the very first businesses to ever have featured ads on the Downtown Bend on-street directories!
Thank you for helping Downtown Bend grow and thrive!
The new on-street directory inserts will be installed the first week of April, so keep your eye out to see these businesses featured in Downtown Bend! If you are interested in becoming a part of this stellar line-up, we have less than a handful of spaces left, contact us to reserve your space.
As always, I am honored and proud to serve Downtown Bend. It is my desire to serve Bend to the very best of my abilities and I welcome all community comments, feedback, and suggestions. Feel free to reach out to me at anytime.
Downtown Bend Business Association
There is a lot happening in Downtown Bend! Stay up to day with this easy one-page event calendar!
Lay it Out Events, in partnership with the Downtown Bend Business Association, have come up with some exciting new ways for Downtown businesses to take advantage of the upcoming 2020 event season. This year, Lay it Out Events is offering a bundle of promotional opportunities for Downtown retailers to maximize foot traffic and sales during festivals. The opportunities cost you nothing more than your time, energy, and willingness to participate. Below is a list of items that Lay it Out Events is launching to make summer fantastic!
New Festival App
This new app will place retailer discounts in front of festival goers. Discounts, special items, or timely announcements are all possible for your business. Let Lay it Out Events know what you have planned!
Limited to a select number of retailers each festival, the scavenger hunt feature on the app is designed to be a family-friendly way for event attendees to move between festival vendors and downtown retailers. Each retail stop has a prize (provided by LIOE) that allows scavenger participants to weave their way through and into your store in search for scavenger greatness.
Sidewalk Sale Promotion
Each printed guide to the festival will have a space dedicated to information about promotionals and interesting aspects to your business. This Guide is distributed in 15,000 copies of the Source Weekly one week prior to the event with extended distribution at the event.
After Festival Activity Promotion (Downtown Lit!)
When the festival ends the fun is just starting for many downtown businesses. If you are a business that stays open past the festival conclusion, take the opportunity to be mentioned as part of Lay it Out Events' new 'Downtown Lit' promotion. Participating businesses will be mentioned int he guide and on the music stage as an exciting place for after festival entertainment. Space is limited. This promotional opportunity will have stage mentions, social media, print advertising and poster support.
Art of Song Workshops
Lay it Out Events is interested in partnering with several local businesses to launch a new aspect to the Bend Summer Festival. We are looking for businesses willing to have a local singer-songwriter in their location for one hour performances throughout the day. We will be promotion this series on stages, and with an independent marketing campaign. This is another great way to bring the festival inside.
Tres Chic Lingerie has moved into a permanent location! After 10 years of being in Downtown Bend, Tres Chic is now at it's permanent home on Bond Street. This new location has over 200 additional square feet. It’s brighter, with a rustic chic boutique charm, a welcoming location, and inviting floor plan.
Tres Chic Lingerie's inventory is growing more on a daily basis. They specialize in bra fittings, weddings and anniversaries, foundations and fun.
Come check out the new Location at 841 NW Bond Street, next to Great Harvest Bread Co. and the Brew Doctor Teahouse.
The store is open everyday.
Q: Does every business in the EID get a FREE online directory listing on the Kiosks?
A: Yes. Every business gets a free online listing that links to their website, as well as a map link that will pop up the GPS feature on the user's smartphone. This business listing can be accessed via the QR code or link on every kiosk facing. You can review your business listing here.
Q: How do the additional printed directory listings work?
A: If a business wants additional exposure, you can purchase (for $50/mo) a printed listing on the kiosks. Listings appear on all 8 facings of all 4 kiosks. A listing includes your business name next to a number and directional coordinates. This number corresponds to the number on the map at your business location. (For example: 1. Cowgirl Cash A7). Listings must be purchased for a minimum of 6 months ($300). If you would like your business listed, it's easy, just reply to this email with the message, "List me, please!"
Q: Why doesn't every business get a free printed listing on the directory kiosks?
A: For a few reasons. First and foremost, we couldn't possibly fit all the businesses printed with corresponding numbers on the map, there are just too many. For example, the building that the DBBA office is in holds 9 businesses alone. It would be impossible to fit 9 numbers on our location on the map. This is true for all of downtown. Second, we can update the online directory in real-time as businesses move or change location. Printed businesses understand that they are making a six-month commitment and know they will be in the same location for that duration. This way we don't end up with outdated information on the directories. Third, we raised funds to purchase these new directories so that we could increase our revenue to pay for much-needed downtown improvements & future development. Click here to see some of our ideas.
Q: How much does a printed directory listing cost?
A: A printed directory listing is $50/month with a six-month commitment. (Must be paid in full, $300)
Q: Are the ads on one kiosk facing or on all the kiosks?
A: When you purchase an ad it appears on one facing of one kiosk.
Q: If you purchase an ad, does it also include a directory listing on every kiosk?
A: Yes, all ads include a printed directory listing on every kiosk facing.
Q: How much do ads cost?
A: Ads cost $223 - $950 per month.
Q: If the size and/or location I want is already sold, can I put my name on a waiting list?
Q: Can I split an ad space with another business?
Q: If I purchase an ad now and wish to continue it when the contract is up, do I get "first dips" before it's sold to another party?
A: Yes. The business with the current ad placement always has the chance to renew before we open it up for sale again.
Q: What will the money raised with the new directory kiosks be used for?
A: We would like to use the funds we raise to further beautify downtown. This could include new benches, trash cans, art installments, and more. Funds are spent at the discretion of the DBBA board of directors. If you are interested in serving on the board, click here. You can take a peek at some of our ideas (dreams!) here.
Q: If I have ideas for how the kiosk could be better, who do I tell?
A: If you have ideas for the kiosks, please let me know (email@example.com). We will be replacing the kiosk inserts every three to six months, so we'll be able to make changes fairly quickly. If you have ideas - please share them with us!
Community Parking Meeting
Dear Community Member!
The City of Bend would like to invite you to a community input meeting on residential and business parking districts.
During this meeting we will
Please join us and represent your neighborhood or business community.
Please feel free to pass on this invitation to neighbors and friends. For your convenience a printable invitation is attached to this email.
Date, time and place:
Thursday, February 27, 2020
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Public Works Campus
575 NE 15th Street, Bend, OR 97702
Please RSVP here!
When Mindy Aisling moved to Bend, Oregon she knew that she wanted to be a part of helping the Bend community grow and develop. From day one, she began volunteering and attending meetings to learn about, and give back to, the new community in which she was establishing herself. Now, 5 years later, as the Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association (known as the DBBA or the Downtowners) she is ardently pursuing her passion to leave things better then she found them, and to expand and develop the historic core of the city that is Downtown Bend.
Working closely with building and business owners within the Economic Improvement District (EID), and the DBBA board of directors, Aisling quickly transformed the organization.
"I quickly realized that the DBBA needed to grow and change just like our city was growing and changing," says Aisling with a chuckle, "It wouldn't suffice for us to just to continue to sweep sidewalks and put up banners - we had to build the vision for Downtown's growth, advocate for it, and find a way to pay for it."
Upon being named Executive Director, one of Aisling's first orders of business was to develop a closer relationship with the City of Bend and City Council. She realized that much of their work was interconnected, and that both organizations could increase there efficiency and effectiveness by working together. In addition, it was important to gain a greater understanding of where the City of Bend was in regards to growth development and budget, and where Downtown Bend's development fit into that scope.
"Most people don't realize that it is the DBBA that funds daily cleaning, flower baskets, holiday decorating, web development, marketing, and more in Downtown Bend." says Aisling, "We are the organization that creates the look and feel of Downtown as you know it, and we are the backbone of downtown development. As such, we need to find a way to fund necessary Downtown growth."
In 2018, Aisling directed the most profitable Bend Oktoberfest fundraiser to date, and in 2019, Aisling added additional fundraisers, like the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl, to help the DBBA meet their goals. Because of these fundraising efforts, the DBBA was able to purchase and install 4 Downtown Directory Kiosks. These kiosks will serve to help drive more traffic into Downtown businesses as well as create an additional stream of revenue for the DBBA.
Each kiosk guides the user to an online directory where that user can see a list of downtown businesses, go to each businesses website, or open a GPS map on their smartphone to that businesses location. In addition, the new directory kiosks provide a map of the entire EID, downtown parking locations, and for businesses that desire extra exposure, there is an opportunity to be listed in print on the map with a marker to their corresponding location. Each kiosk also features 4 ads spaces on each side. These ad spaces are open to any business in the Bend community, as long as that businesses doesn't compete directly with a current business in the EID. Ad rates are on the low end for print and display advertising, starting at (for the intro special) only $2.50 per square inch of full-color advertising space.
These kiosks are intended to grow and develop with Downtown Bend. The DBBA will be changing out the inserts every three to six months so that downtown developments and seasonal photos can be updated.
"We are excited to include downtown developments as they happen." says Aisling, "For example, we'll be able to show the new EV Charging stations on the directories as soon as they are installed."
The DBBA is a small nonprofit dedicated to the vitality of Downtown Bend. They are funded through the EID, advertising programs, and fundraising. The new directory kiosks could be the 'seed of change' for future downtown developments. Developing programs that can continue to feed the organization is key to meeting Downtown's needs as our city grows.
Did you know that a small nonprofit called the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA for short) is actively working to build and grow our vibrant downtown core?
Currently the DBBA is responsible for everything you think of as the 'downtown experience'... daily sidewalk cleaning, decorating, snow removal, branding, marketing, community events... and so much more. For a full list of DBBA responsibilities, click here.
The DBBA is earnestly raising funds to beautify our downtown. They recently purchased and installed new directories in the Downtown core. These directories will help downtown guests find the locations and experiences they are looking for as well as providing a stream of revenue to the DBBA to further downtown beautification. The DBBA also provides banners for downtown, and holds several fundraisers throughout the year, including Bend Oktoberfest & The Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. In addition, the DBBA always gratefully accepts your tax-deductible donations.
What is your dream for our Downtown?
Interactive art? Reclaimed alleys? Trash cans and benches? Parklets? Murals? Covered bike parking? Holiday decorations? What is your dream for Downtown?
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) and Business for Bend Film hosted a Downtown Business Merchant Meeting at the Tin Pan Theatre this morning, Thursday Feb 6th, 2020. Today’s guest was Melissa King and Aaron Switzer with Lay it Out Events (LIOE). About 35 business owners attended the meeting to learn about changes to Fallfest, Summerfest and the Bite of Bend.
The informal presentation by Aaron Switzer and Q & A session that followed was positive, constructive, and was met with extreme gratitude from local merchants.
The meeting ended with a resounding applause.
“Lay it Out Event’s staff is here and they accept hugs,” joked Mindy Aisling, Executive Directory of the DBBA, in response to the overwhelming acknowledgement of the positive changes that LIOE had presented.
These changes include:
Questions from the engaged audience included, but were not limited to:
Q: Will you be able change the placement of vendors so that a competing vendor isn't right in front of my store?
Q: Is there a way that we can still get our deliveries during these events?
Q: Can I have my own booth in front of my business?
A: Yes, and we'll give you a discounted rate
Q: Is there a cost for all of the new integration tools your suggesting (scavenger hunts, art of song, full downtown page in the event guide)?
After asking half a dozen questions, one business manager exclaimed, "I can't believe it, you've solved all of the problems we've been having during these festivals. This is amazing."
The final comment of the meeting was from a long-time business owner in Downtown Bend, “I’ve been here for 20 years, and these festivals have always been a burden for my business. I’ve never experienced collaboration like this, and I’m incredibly pleased with this development.”
The Downtown Bend Business Association is a small nonprofit committed to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend. For a full scope of work, click here.
AT LIBERTY ARTS COLLABORATIVE FEBRUARY CALENDAR
At Liberty Arts Collaborative encourages the exploration of arts and culture without restraint. Please join us for these contemporary arts and cultural offerings at Bend’s cultural hub.
First Friday Art Walk
featuring Rick Silva
Friday, February 7, 5:30pm
Western Fronts: Cascade Siskiyou, Gold Butte, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Bears Ears is an experimental video that reflects the political and ecological threats that face four U.S. National Monuments.
Vicky Falcón Vázquez & Pedro World Citizen
Saturday, February 8
In collaboration with the Latino Community Association, At Liberty presents V. Falcón Vázquez and Pedro World Citizen performing Poetry, Music and Sound with poems from Falcón Vázquez' new book "Tiempo" and new music from Pedro.
Love Your Neighbor: Presented by The Source
Wednesday, February 19, 7pm
Creating an open door to know people of color in your community. Fostering Civility, Creating Community in Central Oregon.
& Artist Talk
February 29, 11am
Eclipsecore screening and Artist Talk
At Liberty Annex
The At Liberty Annex
is a new space within the gallery featuring smaller works, a gallery store and our non-profit partners ScaleHouse and Muse. Starting in 2020 we will be exhibiting contemporary and functional ceramics by Heidi Weiss-Hoffman and narrative wood sculptures by Stan Peterson.