The NY Times this evening published a doozy: Slump Dashes Oregon Dreams of Californians.
The freefall has made Bend a succinct symbol for the economic perils of “lifestyle destinations” in the so-called New West, recreation-heavy communities where jobs have been heavily tilted toward construction and services and where many of the new residents were self-made exiles from California cashing in on their overpriced real estate.
Now the Californians who contributed to Oregon’s growth are in some cases adding to its economic struggle…. While some other states with high unemployment, including Michigan, have seen their labor forces shrink, Oregon’s labor force has grown. Economists say some of the growth appears to be driven by people who moved here with money they made in California, whether from real estate or stock market investments, and expected to get by but now must look for work.
Overall a good article, succinct in laying out where Bend has largely gone wrong. (Hint: it’s not all Californians.)
One interesting tidbit that I did not know: Bend Living, the ultra-glossy local magazine, has folded (a "casualty" in the article’s terms). I was wondering why I hadn’t seen a new issue lately.