(Update: Added video and participant comments)
Amid continued growth, event connects people to history, nonprofits and more
BEND, Ore (KTVZ)– The community of Bend has plenty to offer visitors and newcomers alike, from hiking and skiing to breweries and shopping.
Tom Carlsen, who has lived in Bend for more than 40 years, says he understands what it means to be a Bendite and wants newcomers to understand how special it is to be a Bend resident.
So Carlsen and others teamed up with the Bend Chamber of Commerce to create Bend 101.
“I feel like Bend is for families, especially outdoors. Being able to go to the mountains in the winter. Then go golf in the spring. Paddleboarding in the summer,” said participant Haley Jensen. “Just everything you can imagine for families, and there are a lot of small families here, and with young children. And we loved that.”
I asked Brooks Resources Chairman Mike Hollern if he ever planned to leave Bend.
“Not really,” he said. “We came here and said we would stay for two years. But we liked it so much we never talked about it again.”
So what makes Bend so special? And sets it apart from other cities?
“I have to say the small town vibe, and yet the opportunities for art and music,” Linda Redecker said. “Just culture and education.”
The inaugural event included a history lesson on the founding of Bend, an introduction to some local nonprofits, and tips on how to explore the area.
The event drew 230 attendees who paid $15 to register, organizers said, and Bend 101 hit its goal of 250 people with staff included.
It took place on Tuesday evening at the Tetherow Event Pavilion. They plan to hold it quarterly throughout the year.