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Bend is the county seat of Deschutes Countymarker, Oregonmarker, United Statesmarker, and the principal city of the Bend, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Bend is Central Oregonmarker's largest city, and, despite its modest size, is the de facto metropolis of the region, owing to the low population density of that area. With a population of 52,029 at the time of the 2000 census, Bend's estimated population was 80,995 in city, 167,015 urban, and 216,310 in metro as of July 1, 2008.

Bend is located on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range along the Deschutes River. Here the Ponderosa Pine forest transitions into the Great Basin high desertmarker plateau, characterized by arid land, junipers, sagebrush, and bitter-brush. Originally a crossing point on the river, settlement began in the early 1900s. Bend was incorporated as a city in 1905. Economically, it started as a logging town, but is now identified as a gateway for many outdoor sports, including mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, white-water rafting, skiing, and golf.


Downtown circa 1920

The name Bend was derived from "Farewell Bend," the designation used by early pioneers to refer to the location along the Deschutes River where the town eventually was platted, one of the few fordable points along the river.

For at least 12,000 years, until the winter of 1824, the Bend area was known only to Native Americans who hunted and fished there. That year, members of a fur trapping party led by Peter Skene Ogden visited the area. John C. Frémont, John Strong Newberry, and other Army survey parties came next. Then pioneers heading farther west passed through the area and forded the Deschutes River at Farewell Bend.

European American settlement did not occur until the early 1900s with the founding of the Pilot Buttemarker Development Company by Alexander M. Drake. A small community developed around the area within the bend in the river, and in 1904, a city was incorporated by a general vote of the community's 300 residents. On January 4, 1905, the city held its first official meeting as an incorporated municipality, appointing A. H. Goodwillie as the first mayor. The settlement was originally called "Farewell Bend", which was later shortened to "Bend" by the U.S. Postal Service. Twelve years later, Deschutes County, Oregon was formed from the western half of Crook Countymarker and Bend was designated as the county seat. In 1929, Bend amended the charter and adopted the council-manager form of government.


Pilot Butte
Bend's elevation .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.2 square miles (83.5 km²). 32.0 square miles (82.9 km²) of it is land, and 0.2 square miles (0.6 km²) of it (0.68%) is water.

Inside the city limits is Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpointmarker, an extinct cinder cone. Bend is the only city in the continental U.S. besides Portland, Oregonmarker, to have an extinct volcano within its city limits. It is reached by U.S. Route 20.

A lesser known characteristic of Bend, the Horse Lava Tube System enters and borders the eastern edge of the city.

Just south of Bend is Newberry National Volcanic Monumentmarker on U.S. Route 97.


[[Image:Bend-Prineville CSA.png|thumb|right|300px|Location of the Bend-Prineville CSA and its components:]]

Bend is the larger principal city of the Bend-Prineville CSA, a Combined Statistical Area that includes the Bend metropolitan areamarker (Deschutes County) and the Prineville micropolitan areamarker (Crook County), which had a combined estimated population of 216,310 by the United States Census Bureau in 2008.

As of the census of 2000, there were 52,029 people, 21,062 households, and 13,395 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,624.8 people per square mile (627.4/km²). There were 22,507 housing units at an average density of 702.9/sq mi (271.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.98% White, 0.28% African American, 0.79% Native American, 1.00% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.75% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 4.61% of the population.

There were 21,062 households, out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.2% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42, and the average family size was 2.92.

The age distribution was 24.5% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,857, and in 2006 the median income for a family of four is $58,800. Males had a median income of $33,377 versus $25,094 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,624. About 6.9% of families and 10.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.


Tourism is one of Bend's largest sectors. The Mount Bachelormarker ski resort brings in tourists from all over Oregon, Washingtonmarker, and Californiamarker. The nearby Cascade Lakesmarker are also a large draw for tourists. Recreational activities include downhill and cross country skiing, hiking, biking, rafting, golfing, camping, fishing, picnicking, rock climbing, and general sightseeing.

Bend is also home to the Deschutes Brewery, the largest of several microbreweries in the city. Since 2004, Bend has also hosted the Bend Film Festival.

In 2005, Bend's economic profile comprised five industry categories: tourism (7,772 jobs); healthcare and social services (6,062 jobs); professional, scientific and technical services (1,893 jobs); wood products manufacturing (1,798 jobs); and recreation and transportation equipment (1,065 jobs).

Much of Bend's rapid growth in recent years is also due to its attraction as a retirement destination. The rapid population growth has fostered organizations such as Central Oregon Landwatch and Oregon Solutions.

Major companies

As of 2005, the top 20 regional employers (EDCO, 2005) were:
1984 photo of lumber mill and Pilot Butte
Other companies include:

Construction and real estate

Downtown construction in Bend
According to the U.S.marker Department of Commercemarker's Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2005 construction and real estate accounted for 17.3% of all jobs in the Bend metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which constitutes all of Deschutes County. This figure is about 70% more than the proportion of construction and real estate jobs in the Oregon and national economies. However, construction activity in Bend appears to be slowing - the number of building permit applications received by the Bend City Building Division fell from 826 in August 2006 to 533 in August 2007, a 35% decrease.

A large influx of new residents drawn by Bend's lifestyle amenities, along with the low interest rates and easy lending that fostered a national housing boom in 2001-2005, resulted in increased activity in Bend's construction and real estate sectors and have caused the rate of home price appreciation in Bend to grow substantially during that period. Median home prices in the Bend MSA increased by over 80% in the 2001-2005 period.

In June 2006, Money magazine named the Bend MSA the fifth most overpriced real estate market in the United States. By September 2006, the Bend metro area ranked second in the list of most overpriced housing markets, and in June 2007 it was named the most overpriced housing market in America.

The 2008/2009 housing downturn had a strong effect on Bend's housing and economic situation. According to the Seattle Times, single-family home prices dropped more than 40 percent from a peak of $396,000 in May 2007 to $221,000 in March 2009. Additional signs of the housing down turn include an April 2009 Deschutes county unemployment rate of 12.6 percent and in a tri-county area of Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties a 66 percent rise in homelessness from 2006 to 2,237.


The Bend area is served by the Bend-La Pine School District. There are four high schools (Bendmarker, Marshallmarker, Mountain Viewmarker, and Summitmarker), four middle schools, (Cascade, High Desert, Pilot Butte, and Sky View), 12 elementary schools, and three magnet schools. There are several private schools within the area as well, including Cascades Academy of Central Oregon, Seven Peaks, Waldorf School of Bend, St. Frances of Assisi, Morning Star Christian, and Trinity Lutheran [19670]. Central Oregon Community College (COCC) and the OSU-Cascades Campusmarker of Oregon State Universitymarker (OSU) serve the community with both two- and four-year programs.


Drake Park during the winter

Bend's climate is typical of the high desertmarker with cool nights and sunny days. Annual precipitation averages , which partially comes as the average snowfall of . The winter season in Bend provides an average high temperature of . Average nighttime temperatures of . According to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, the average annual minimum temperature in Bend is to .
Drake Park during autumn
A typical Central Oregon summer is marked with daily temperatures averaging during the day, for the months of July and August and averaging during the night. Hard frosts are not unheard of during the summer months. Autumn usually brings warm, dry days and cooler nights, and Bend is known for its annual Indian summer. According to the Western Regional Climate Center of the Desert Research Institute, the mean of the monthly average maximum temperatures in July, the hottest month in Bend, between 1928 and 2006 was .

Bend's growing season is quite short due to a brief frost-free period. According to the U.S.marker Department of Agriculturemarker's National Resources Conservation Service, in half of the years between 1971 and 2000, the USDA weather station in Bend recorded the last below-freezing temperatures after July 3 and the first below-freezing temperatures before August 31.

Monthly and Annual Average Temperatures (deg F), Bend (1862), 1971-2000
Parameter Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Mean max 39.7 44.1 50.6 57.4 64.9 72.8 80.7 80.6 72.4 61.7 46.3 39.6 59.2
Mean min 22.6 24.7 27.2 30.0 35.6 41.2 46.2 45.6 38.6 32.2 27.6 22.7 32.9
Mean temp 31.2 34.4 38.9 43.7 50.3 57.0 63.5 63.1 55.5 47.0 37.0 31.2 46.1
Extreme max 67 73 76 86 92 95 98 102 100 90 74 66 102
Extreme min -16 -17 -5 9 16 23 27 29 19 3 -10 -24 -24
Mean number of daysMax 90 or more 0 0 0 0 0.1 1.0 5.5 5.9 1.1 0 0 0 13.8
Min 32 or less 25.6 23.4 24.4 19.2 11.4 3.1 0.6 0.5 6.8 16.1 21.3 26.1 178.5
Max 32 or less 4.8 2.6 0.3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 1.3 4.3 13.7
Min 0 or less 1.1 0.7 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.4 1.1 3.4

Sites of interest

Historic Tower Theatre in downtown Bend


Bend is home to the Bend Elks of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League. The Elks play at historic Vince Genna Stadiummarker. Bend is also the home of the Central Oregon Hotshots of the International Basketball League. The Central Oregon Steelheaders, continually one of the top teams in the NW conference of the PASL, play at the Central Oregon Indoor Sports Center in Bend.

The Bend Renegades, a women's premier-level soccer team will compete in their inaugural season in the Northwest Women's Soccer League in summer 2009.

Bend is the home of the professional cross-country ski team XC Oregon, which competes in races locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Top team members include: Colin Mahood, Josh Smullin, Evelyn Dong, Brayton Osgood, Zach Violett, and Marshall Greene.

Bend recently has had success in landing major sporting events such as the 2008 and 2009 USA Winter Triathlon National Championships, the 2008 and 2009 XTERRA Trail Running National Championships, and the 2009 and 2010 United States National Cyclo-cross Championships as well as the 2009 and 2010 USA Cycling Elite Road National Championships.

A popular spot for cycling, Bend has over 300 miles of mountain bike trails and is the home to the Cascade Cycling Classic, the nation's longest running stage race for road bicycle racing. Bend was recently named the top mountain bike city in Mountain Bike Action magazine.

Bend features the Bend Roughriders RFC, a mens division 2 Rugby Football Club.

Bend's Lava City Roller Dolls became a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association in April, 2009.

Bend is also home to the Deschutes County Rocks amateur boxing team.



The nearest commercial airport is Roberts Fieldmarker in Redmondmarker, north. Horizon Airlines, Skywest Airlines (flying as both United Express and Delta Connection) and Allegiant Airlines provide direct service to Portlandmarker, Seattlemarker, Salt Lake Citymarker, San Franciscomarker, Los Angelesmarker, Las Vegasmarker and Mesa, Arizonamarker. The U.S. Forest Service operates an air base and training center for firefighting, and Butler Aircraft, a fixed-base operator, flies DC-4 aircraft for firefighting efforts.

Bend Municipal Airportmarker (KBDN) is located northeast of the city and serves general aviation. Several significant general aviation companies are based at Bend Airport, including Precise Flight, which develops oxygen systems, speed brakes, landing lights and other modifications for general aviation aircraft, Epic Aircraft and Cessna.


Bend was previously the only metropolitan area west of the Mississippi River without a public bus system. A measure that would have created a transit district was on the November 2004 ballot, but was defeated 53 to 41 percent. As of August 2006, however, funding was acquired and the B.A.T. (Bend Area Transit) bus service began on a limited basis. Buses have been running since September 27, 2006.

However, B.A.T has not been without controversy. While B.A.T. has supporters, many in the community take issue with the transit system being developed after voters have twice said no at the ballot box.

The city council ordered used buses purchased without conducting due diligence. The buses have been plagued with maintenance problems to the degree that none have consistently been in service. During the Summer of 2007, not a single bus purchased was in operation (though several were due to weak A/C systems) and litigation is underway. The city has filled the gaps with smaller buses previously used for the city's Dial A Ride system without any interruption to service or crowding complaints.

Additionally, plans were announced in July 2007 for building a bus barn capable of housing 35 buses for maintenance and storage. The proposed bus barn is on city owned cemetery property. Neighborhood opponents have protested at hearings against such a facility in a residential neighborhood within a block of an elementary school. They point to deed restrictions requiring the land be developed only for further cemetery use or park space. The city proceeded with the bus barn construction in 2008 and now also uses it as a parking lot for police and other government vehicles.


Bend lies at the intersection of U.S. Route 20 and U.S. Route 97. The latter runs on an expressway alignment through the city known as the Bend Parkway; a business route for US 97 runs along 3rd Street. The city is also served by the Century Drive Highway No.marker 372marker which provides access to Mount Bachelormarker.


A BNSF mainline runs north-south through the city; there are numerous spurs off of the mainline which serve industrial rail customers. The closest Amtrak service is in the town of Chemultmarker, approximately to the south; this station is served by the Coast Starlight route.



  • KTVZmarker 21 (NBC)- The region's first broadcast TV station (launched in 1977).
  • KFXO-LP 39 (FOX) - On April 17, 2006, the station launched a local news broadcast. The station later was purchased by KTVZ's parent firm, News-Press and Gazette Co.
  • KOHDmarker 51 (ABC) - Chambers Communications (Eugene, Oregon) recently purchased a broadcast license for the market and began its local newscasts in the fall of 2007.
  • KBNZ-LD (CBS) - New Vision, parent company of KOIN-TVmarker Portland, has purchased KBNZ and is offering local news segments.
  • NTVZ-CW (CW). Broadcast by NPG of Oregon, The CW carries popular entertainment programming. First local on-air broadcast was September 2006.
  • KQRE-TM (Telemundo). Spanish language television broadcast by NPG of Oregon since 2007.
  • COTV 11 - Carries RSN (Resort Sports Network), local events (parades, city council meetings, candidate forums). In addition, COTV airs local sports, including the Central Oregon Hotshots, Bend Elks, and local high school teams.




Notable residents

Sister cities

Bend has multiple sister cities:


  1. METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  2. MICROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENTS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  3. COMBINED STATISTICAL AREAS AND COMPONENT CORE BASED STATISTICAL AREAS, Office of Management and Budget, 2007-05-11. Accessed 2008-08-01.
  4. Bend Film Festival
  5. Oregon Solutions
  6. COEDC
  7. BEA : Local Area Personal Income
  8. Economy endures in housing slump | The Bulletin
  9. Welcome to the City of Bend Oregon Website - Statistics - Building Division
  10. MONEY Magazine Real Estate: Bend
  11. 'Overpriced' housing gets more overpriced - Jun. 13, 2006
  12. More home markets 'extremely' overvalued - Sep. 21, 2006
  13. Home valuations returning to normal - Jun. 15, 2007
  16. USNA - USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map: North-West US
  17. Monthly Average Maximum Temperature, BEND, OREGON
  18. National Water & Climate Center - Climate Information
  19. Bend Renegades
  20. XC Oregon
  21. Bend Rugby

External links

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