“Feeling” out the local economy

Posted on June 30, 2008

I have to say, I can actually feel the slowdown happening. Truly feel it. In 2005 I thought Bend,OR would never take a breath. Now though, this city is gasping for air. It bums me out.

Here is just a list of ancedotal stuff.

  •  Getting my hair cut by the same barber I have gone to for over 3 years, I ask “How is business?”. He says that he has only cut one person’s hair that is a tourist. Usually he does 20x-30x that amount ($400-$600) .
  • On July fourth we went out on our friend’s boat. We got to Billy Chinook at 12:10pm and had no problem parking. Also, the lake didn’t seem any where close to as busy as last year.
  • Wal-Mart’s parking lot has few or no RVs parked in it for over night stays.
  • Craigslist car adds. The asking prices are way down. I have been keeping my eyes on the SUV market for about 2 years speculating that it would take a fall. Boy am I glad I didn’t buy one.
  • Downtown Bend seems like a ghost town. I am down there every day at the school admin building. Again just a feeling statement.

Yet we are still trying to prop this town up on pipe dreams.

It makes me realize how lucky the District is. If you have never met Brad Henry (Fiscal Service Director:Bend La Pine Schools) he is a helluva guy. I have heard him on several occasions talk about “controlled growth”.  Taking the money from the boom or growth years and using it to cover you during the tough ones. Brad is a very smart and incredibly gracious person and I have learned a lot from his example. I just hope that he can keep the District on the road to financial success while many local entities are having to issue reductions in their work force.