It was a wonderful week in Downtown Bend!
This week we welcomed a new business and a new mural in Downtown Bend. Check out the images below. The new space on the corner of Newport and Brooks is almost finished, and we are so grateful to the family who developed this space for creating such a beautiful addition to Downtown Bend.
We are excited about our flowers growing, and we appreciate all of the care that Landsystems gives to them before they are installed in Downtown Bend. Flowers will be planted in Downtown containers and baskets will be hung on or around Memorial Day weekend.
We are accepting applications for new directors from now until May 15th. Directors are made up of the following groups:
Downtown Bend Business Owners
Downtown Bend Building Owners
Downtown Bend Community Members
Anyone with an interest in contributing to Downtown is encouraged to run for an elected position on the Board of Directors. Directors serve two-year terms and oversee staff, policy, direction, and budget of the organization. Click here for more information.
The Downtown Bend Business Association is a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend by enhancing the experience, image, and lifestyle of the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District.
We are excited to announce that David Rosen, injury attorney and founder of High Desert Law, has been
elected to serve on the 2021 Oregon State Bar Board of Governors (OSB BOG).
The Oregon State Bar’s (OSB) more than 15,000 active members vote by region to decide who will
oversee the legal profession in Oregon. A nineteen-member volunteer Board of Governors oversees the
activities of the OSB. David was elected to serve for Region 1, which encompasses 17 Oregon counties -
making it the largest region in our state.
David brings to the position a very strong leadership background in local and state efforts regarding
Access to Justice; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Lawyer Wellness.
“The Bar – through its mission, goals, and programs – has taken great strides to reduce the Access to
Justice gap, to make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion a priority and to emphasize the importance of
Lawyer Wellness in our practice. I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to help to carry this
David’s efforts to reduce the gap in Access to Justice (ATJ) has manifested on a local level where he sits
as the chair, and co-founder, of the Deschutes County Access to Justice Committee. Several years ago, the
Committee established a Lawyer in the Library program, providing free consultations every week to help
participants with potential legal issues determine their next steps.
Another project headed by the ATJ committee, is the push for access to court documents. This program, in
partnership with the Oregon Judicial Department, provides individuals with easy access to their court
documents from all 6 of the Deschutes county public libraries and residents will be able to print legal
papers and track recent developments in their cases.
At the foundation of this work is lawyer wellness. Rosen states, “I believe that a focus on lawyer wellness
has the power to change the profession. Finding a healthy work-life balance is perhaps the most
challenging task of our careers.”
As a member of the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors, David is hopeful about expanding these efforts
in creating access to justice throughout Oregon, “I see opportunities to expand programs like the Lawyer
in the Library program and library access to court documents throughout the State.”
CONTACT: David Rosen
PHONE: (541) 306-6553
WEBSITE: High Desert Law
Landscape Necklace - Forest
Perfect in it's simplicity, this lightweight pendant necklace is an ode to forest lovers everywhere. Sweat/swim/shower friendly; sporty yet elegant, there really isn't anywhere you won't wear it. Mixed metals makes it a great choice for everyone and every outfit. Choose your cord color.
Conveniently located on Minnesota Avenue in downtown Bend, Good Drop Wine Shoppe is the place to drop in for an incredibly wide selection of wines from around the world. Vintages from Bordeaux, France, and the Napa Valley mingle with bottles from Walla Walla, the Willamette Valley, and other parts of the Pacific Northwest. Good Drop Wine Shoppe has the “tough job” of searching the globe for the very finest wines and is committed to exceeding the expectations of discerning palates by seeking out wineries and wine makers that still make great wine. They also delight in introducing customers to unusual selections and sophisticated subtleties. The store is open seven days a week so you can sit and enjoy a glass or buy a bottle to take with you; or both. True oenophiles will appreciate Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s wine club with different levels designed to provide novices and connoisseurs with the opportunity to appreciate variety and value in premium wines as well as allocated boutique wines. And Good Drop Wine Shoppe’s downstairs room is available for rent for private tastings or other special events in an intimate setting.
With Summer temperature starting to make a regular appearance, we are excited for shorts and flip flops season. With 17% of Oregon’s population fully vaccinated and another 11% have had their first dose, we must keep following guidelines and wearing our masks, we are on track to have a fun summer in the sun!
Easter Sunday is this weekend and with warm weather on the schedule, this is the perfect opportunity to get out and have a nice brunch with the family. Keep an eye out for some Easter specials in our fantastic assortment of restaurants.
We had an incredible lunch this week from Toomie's Thai Cuisine, our favorite dish was the Sweet and Sour Pork, steamed rice, Phat Thai noodles with a Thai salad. This insanely delicious sweet and sour pork is accompanied by onion, tomato, cucumber, pineapple, and celery. A great meal and its one heck of a deal!
We stopped by Stihl Whiskey bar this past weekend and had a blast, with a selection that features over 400 whiskeys, there a style for every whiskey drinker, as well as a great cocktail list for those who aren’t as interested in whiskey.
In-person or online, we've made it easy for you to support local Downtown Bend merchants: For a list of Downtown Bend businesses: click here, for online shopping links: click here, for curbside pick-up and delivery from Downtown Bend restaurants: click here.
It was a fabulous and sunny week in Downtown Bend!
The primary item that I want to report on today is our recent Merchant Meeting. This meeting was the first one that we have held in-person in over a year. We had great attendance and we talked about several different items. Thank you to Dan, at The Commons Café & Taproom for hosting a COVID-safe outdoor environment.
The DBBA hosts Merchant Meetings on a variety of topics throughout the year. Our recent meeting, rather than being educational/lecture based, was simply a Q&A/discussion. While our primary objective was to discuss re-opening the Downtown district as COVID19 recedes and regulations are lifted in the coming months, we ended up discussing a variety of topics; parking, parklets, bathrooms, communication, and the future of Downtown Bend. Here is a quick recap of what was discussed on each of these subjects:
Prior to this meeting, we sent out a survey on reopening events in Downtown Bend. Among other things, this survey informed us that about 90% of merchants were ready to welcome back First Friday Art Walk. Other information this survey gave us is that merchants were concerned about the return of larger festivals that close the streets for multiple days in Downtown Bend. Many merchants reported that even in the mist of the COVID19 global pandemic, there sales were increased during the times that multi-day street closures would have normally occurred in Downtown. We also learned that merchants were excited about the return of parades to the district, and the reopening of the Tower Theatre. If you did not get a chance to complete the survey, you are a business or building owner in Downtown Bend, and you would like to share your thoughts with us, please click here to complete the survey.
The bulk of the discussion at the meeting ended up being about parking. I have now been with the DBBA for 5 years, and parking has always been on of the primary conversations. As I always say, “Not having enough parking is a good problem to have – it means we’re thriving”. When you are managing a large district, you are never bereft of problems, and here at the DBBA we have learned that all problems are solvable – but some problems are better than others to have. We would rather be solving a parking capacity problem then solving the problem of having empty parking a lack of business traffic to our merchants. So, starting from a place of gratitude for our abundance, we are always happy to discuss how to make parking better in downtown bend. Here were some of the concerns that we heard from merchants (if you were there and I missed anything, or you have another concern you would like me to address it, please email me)
The first and largest parking concern was regarding communication. Merchants felt like communication about how to park could be greatly increased. They requested new/additional signage, more brochures, posters for doors, and more press and social media efforts to educate the local customer. Merchants also suggest a volunteer program, or perhaps the DPAC could volunteer to put in a few hours talking to people about parking in the Mirror Pond lots during Downtown’s busiest times this summer. Merchants requested another round of the “Sasquatch Says” educational campaign flyers as things start to open and summer traffic returns to Downtown Bend. One idea that I thought was particularly fun was to have a large metal sasquatch by the lot that was holding a sign describing how to park. This would match the educational campaign and assure that parking instruction was not hard to find.
We also discussed time limits and loading zones. There was consensus that merchants wanted to explore the idea of allowing longer times in the Mirror Pond lots. Merchants agreed that customers did not mind paying for parking if it made their stay in Downtown Bend more convenient. Allowing for longer parking times in the Mirror Pond lots might help accomplish this goal for visitors who find themselves staying longer than 4 hours. There was some discussion about increasing the length of the street parking (increasing from 2 hours), but there was not a consensus on this. The DBBA explained why the various parking time limits had been created, and how it helps accommodate each type of visitor to Downtown Bend. The DBBA also documented requests for loading zones and agreed to bring them to the DPAC.
Parking availability and capacity were discussed. An oft-repeated complaint came up about the lack of on-street parking. We discussed how merchants can educate and encourage their customers to use the parking garage and parking lots to help remedy this problem. We also discussed that increasing the time limit on the street would only exasperate this issue and that even if we were to build another parking garage, it would not necessarily relieve this issue as our current parking garage is not being used to capacity. We discussed how merchant-to-customer education is the “front line of defense” in changing the habits of people driving around in a circle looking for a place on Wall or Bond.
Safety in the parking garage was addressed. The DBBA explained that while we understood that people did not feel safe in the garage, that Bend Police Department data did not show that the garage was unsafe, therefore there was either a discrepancy in perception vs. reality or incidences were not being reported, allowing that data to be logged with Bend PD. The DBBA reminded everyone to call 911 or the non-emergency number (541-693-6911) to report anything that made them feel uncomfortable in the garage. The DBBA also informed Downtown merchants that there were many upcoming improvements planned for the parking garage, including opening the restrooms, moving Diamond Parking into a location next to the garage, adding better lighting, and painting murals.
Some merchants were curious and asked about where their staff could park. The DBBA gave a description of the parking permit program, more information can be found HERE.
Additionally, merchants requested DBBA advocacy for a new parking study to be completed. Merchants felt like, due to the accelerated growth in Bend, using data that was years old could impact the effectiveness of the actions currently being taken.
Finally, there were some merchants who were concerned with the concept of paid parking in general. There were a minority of stakeholders that felt that paid parking was bad for downtown and should be removed completely.
Parklets were the second most discussed topic. The DBBA educated merchants on how the pilot program was going to continue post-COVID. Most concerns revolved around how parklets were going to impact parking. Many merchants did not want to see the continuation of parklets in Downtown Bend. There was a robust discussion about the interconnectedness of all businesses in Downtown Bend and the need to support each type – including restaurants. The DBBA shared that parklets could also be utilized by other types of businesses if they desired. Merchants requested that the DBBA advocacy that parklets be required be in-use for a specific percentage of time during businesses hours so that those spaces were not “sitting empty”. The DBBA agreed to bring this suggestion back to the parklet committee.
The need for Downtown restrooms is top of mind for all Downtown merchants as summer. The DBBA updated merchants about what happened during covid in regards to trying to get more restrooms in Downtown Bend, and about the opening of restrooms in the parking garage. Merchants requested that DBBA advocate for more public restrooms in Downtown Bend, and that the DBBA also research port-a-potty options and prices as a temporary solution for this summer.
Many merchants attending the meeting wanted to know how they could get involved, and who they could contact with their concerns about the topics discussed. Here is all the contact information that you need to make your voice heard:
DBBA service request from HERE
DBBA member portal HERE
DBBA Phone: 541-788-3628
City of Bend Parking Demand Manager, Tobias Marx, firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-323-8582
Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC) information HERE
Bend City Council, Mayor
Bend Business Advocate, Ben Hemson, email@example.com, 541-388-5529
Bend Police Department
Diamond Parking, Terrence, 541-317-2805
Information on Downtown Bend parking permits HERE
Future of Downtown Bend
Finally, we briefly discussed the future of Downtown Bend, creating a future visioning committee, working closer with community partners and what a future EID increase could fund. If you are interested in more on this discussion, please email us.
Oxford Hotel Bend Awarded Top U.S. News & World Report Honors