Giving Thanks for the Gift of Giving

Giving Thanks for the Gift of Giving

Kudos to the Redmond delegation of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors,  who teamed up for the third year with the Redmond Albertson’s store to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for those in the community who might not otherwise be having a meal on Thanksgiving. This year, the group raised more than $5,500, which will provide a full Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings to some 185 families in...
Bend Tops New Forbes List

Bend Tops New Forbes List

Bend has made it to the top of another “Best of” list. This time, it’s Forbes’ recently released “Best Small Places for Business and Careers.” The reasons cited by Forbes? Bend has “the fastest job growth of any metro in the country in 2015 at 6.6 percent.” Forbes also says Bend “has one of the highest high-school attainment rates” and is “a gateway for many outdoor sports such as mountain biking, fishing, camping, white water rafting and skiing.” Other numbers cited here worth note: an unemployment rate of just 4.7 percent and cost of living that’s 1.9 percent below the national average. However, the statistics featured actually encompass the Bend-Redmond metro area. To wit: It cites the population as 175,700 (Bend’s latest figure is 87,014 while Redmond’s is 28,654) and lists the median home price as $264,600. That’s more in line with the 2016 median price for a Redmond home; the median sales amount for a Single Family home in Bend for third-quarter 2016 is $359,900, according to statistics from the Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon. Bend wasn’t the only Pacific Northwest locale to make the Top 10 on the list of 200 small American small towns (which Forbes defines as a population of 265,000 or less). Corvallis came in at No. 5, and Bellingham, Wash., is No. 10. Here’s a complete breakdown of the Forbes Top 10 list: Bend, Oregon Sioux Fall, South Dakota Logan, Utah Columbia, Missouri Corvallis, Oregon Ithica, New York Lafayette, Indiana College Station, Texas Iowa City, Iowa Bellingham, Washington About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional...
Redmond Named Among Top Affordable Winter Getaways

Redmond Named Among Top Affordable Winter Getaways

When it comes to destination locations, it’s become fairly common for Central Oregon to be mentioned favorably in the national media (I’ve lost count of the “Best Places to…” lists we’ve made). Typically, though, it’s Bend that gets the press. So it’s refreshing to see that a new list focuses not on Bend but on nearby Redmond. This time it’s TripAdvisor’s “10 Affordable Hidden Winter Gem Getaways,” which highlights both winter-weather and summer-sunny locales that feature rental properties that don’t cost an arm and a leg and are surrounded by an abundance of outdoor activities to keep you entertained. Nearby Depoe Bay and Chelan, Wash., also made the list. As for Redmond, the town’s easy access to the area’s two skiing options (Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo) were mentioned as draws, along with extensive opportunities for mountain biking, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, white-water rafting, skiing and golf. (Surprisingly, the article didn’t specifically mention Smith Rock, nor did it tout downtown Redmond’s thriving Antiques District or its growing craft brewery/brewpub scene. Hmmmm.) In addition to seeking out scenic locales with diverse recreational activities, TripAdvisor ranked hot spots based on the average cost of a week’s stay combined with the average winter temperature. Here’s the TripAdvisor short list: Redmond, Ore: AVG Rental Review Score: 4.17/5.00; AVG Weekly Rate: $892; Winter Temperature: 42-50 degrees Depoe Bay, Ore.: AVG Rental Review Score:61/5.00 AVG Weekly Rate: $1,108; 
Winter Temperature: 45-55 degrees) Chelan, Wash.: AVG Rental Review Score:00/5.00 AVG Weekly Rate: $845; 
Winter Temperature: 35-45 degrees Cody, Wyo: AVG Rental Review Score:50/5.00 AVG Weekly Rate: $1,016
; Winter Temperature: 35-45 degrees Banner Elk, N.C.: AVG Rental Review Score:80/5.00 AVG Weekly...
More Kudos for Bend’s NorthWest Crossing

More Kudos for Bend’s NorthWest Crossing

 Where to Retire Magazine has named NorthWest Crossing, one of Bend’s most popular westside subdivisions, as one of the 50 Best Master-Planned Communities in America. A team of editors spent nine months and reviewed hundreds of neighborhoods across the country before compiling their list, which included communities in 16 states that offer a well-rounded, active lifestyle and had a positive impact on the health of the towns and cities in which they’re located. The communities aren’t ranked (they’re profiled alphabetically by state). Almost half the developments are active-adult communities, where residents must meet minimum age requirements. NorthWest Crossing was the only Pacific Northwest community included in this year’s list, and the only neighborhood without homeowner fees. The article, which appears in the July/August issue of the magazine, praises NorthWest Crossing’s tree-lined streets, extensive parks and open spaces, and convenient mixed-use retail center. Residents interviewed for the article cited the neighborhood’s popular Saturday Farmer’s Market and easy access to outdoor recreation as some of their favorite aspects. Another NorthWest Crossing  Achievement: Discovery Park Opens Bend’s newest park, which opened in NorthWest Crossing earlier this month, was more than a year and a half in the making, but the final product was worth the wait.   It’s not surprising that when Discovery Park opened in early June, it was an instant hit. For starters, the expansive 31-acre park provides yet another water-based recreation outlet for young swimmers, paddle-boarders and the like: The centerpiece of the park is a scenic three-acre lake, which adjoins approximately 12 acres of developed park and 16 acres of natural open space. Also on site: walking trails, a nature play area, a picnic shelter, a lakeside water play area and an off-leash dog park....
Bend Named Among Fodor’s ‘Best River Towns’

Bend Named Among Fodor’s ‘Best River Towns’

When it comes to travel info, folks trust Fodor’s. Over the years, the international travel-guide business established by world traveler Eugene Fodor in 1949 has evolved into the world’s largest publisher of English-language travel and tourism information. So when the Fodor’s Travel website recently posted “America’s 10 Best River Towns,” my interest was immediately piqued. How could Bend not be included? Even the feature’s author, Jayme Moye, seemed to be speaking specifically about Bend in her introduction: “Maybe it’s the towns’ proximity to the mountains, like beacons beckoning adventure, or the fact that river town residents live there by choice, not chance, having made quality of life, scenic beauty, and active outdoor pursuits like kayaking and whitewater rafting a priority. Then again, it could be the beer—microbreweries tend to open up near rivers, which provide a plentiful source of pristine water for making handcrafted brews.” So, no surprise, as I read further, I did find Bend on the list (it’s No. 4, although I don’t think the list was arranged in any particular order). In the blurb about Bend, Moye describes the town as “a destination that’s become synonymous with adventure. Rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, hiking, and even skiing at nearby Mount Bachelor are all in play in Bend, but it’s still a river town at heart. World-renowned fly-fishing and easy access to notable rapids like ‘First Street’ originally put Bend on the map, and the river remains its biggest attraction.” Yes, indeed. Two other towns in the Pacific Northwest also cracked the Top 10. Leavenworth, Wash., and Talkeetna, Alaska: Fodors’ labeled Leavenworth as “the most unique river town...
Pubs Dub the Best of Central Oregon 2014

Pubs Dub the Best of Central Oregon 2014

Because many of my clients are new to Central Oregon, I often serve as a sort of unofficial ambassador for the region. I’m asked fairly regularly to provide recommendations to out-of-town visitors who are looking for a good place to eat, shop or recreate. And I’m happy to provide my own suggestions whenever possible (right now, it’s the Tumalo Peddlers’ Market for antiques, Bend Farmer’s Market for fresh produce, the Steak and Gorgonzola “Not Just” Nachos at 10 Barrel Brewing, sunset at Smith Rock, the kitchen and garden decor at the Cutest Store Ever in NorthWest Crossing, the yurts at Three Creeks Lake and just about anything at Joolz). But a gal can only eat, drink or play so much. And, to be honest, like many folks I tend to stick with time-tested favorites once I find ‘em. So I’m always curious to read our regional publications’ “Best Of” issues. (As a former editor for the city magazine of Dallas, I have fond memories of compiling our annual ‘Best Of’ lists — much research was involved. But I digress…) Anyway, Bend’s The Source Weekly and Central Oregon magazine recently released their “Reader’s Choice” issues, so I thought I’d pass along the suggestions mentioned by their readers as the best of their specified categories. The people of Central Oregon (at least some of them) have spoken, and here’s what they had to say. For many Central Oregonians, these choices will come as no surprise. And, in fact, many of the same places were named in both lists. There’s the Best Breakfast: McKay Cottage. Best Lunch: Jackson’s Corner (runner-up in The...
‘Sunset’ Includes Bend Among Best Places to Live and Work

‘Sunset’ Includes Bend Among Best Places to Live and Work

Sunset Magazine has included Bend among its latest “Best of” List — “The West’s Best Places to Live and Work.” For this most recent feature on life in the West, Sunset named six winners and 18 runners-up in six cleverly defined categories: “Best Place to Launch a Career,” “Best Place to Postpone a Career,” “Best ‘Burb,” “Best City ‘Hood,” “Best Place to Reboot Your Life” and “Best Place to be Finally Free.” Not only did the magazine determine the runners-up, but the magazine’s readers (more than 19,000 of them) weighed in on their favorites, too. Wonder where Bend fit in the mix? We were listed as Runner-Up for “Best Place to Reboot Your Life,” along with Bellingham, Wash., and Chico, Calif. Not surprisingly, Bend was also the Readers’ Pick in that category. What town topped Bend? That would be Bozeman, Mont. Other winning locales on the list: San Francisco was named “Best Place to Launch a Career.” Honolulu was both winner and readers’ pick for “Best Place to Postpone a Career.” Talk about a no-brainer! Issaquah, Wash. (a suburb of Seattle) was named “Best ‘Burb.” Sugar House in Salt Lake City was named “Best City ‘Hood.” Flagstaff, Ariz., was named “Best Place to be Finally Free.” Here’s a link to the Sunset article, which includes a brief description of each awardee, along with its demographics.   About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and...

Bend Named Among Best Mountain Bike Towns

According to a recent article, Bend is among the country’s Top 10 Mountain Bike Towns. The article, which was written for TheActiveTimes.com, gained wide traction after being reprinted on USAToday.com. As the article points out,  mountain biking has come a long way since its debut as a fringe sport in the ’70s, evolving into an athletic outlet embraced by communities everywhere. The folks at Active Times consider both Bend and Asheville, N.C., as “classic stand-bys” on the list (which is to say that any self-respecting mountain biker is already aware of the area’s outstanding network of trails and scenic settings). Other top biking locales that made the list are Grand Junction, Colo.; East Burke, Vt.; Park City, Utah; Harrison, VA.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Louisville, Ky.; Tucson, Az.; and Marquette,...