Bend vs. Californians in the NY Times

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.

6 thoughts on “Bend vs. Californians in the NY Times

  1. I have Californian clients right now that are building a 6,000 SF house in the area. They are contributing to the economy and should never ever be thought of as harming the area. Anyone who thinks that Californians spending money in this area is a bad thing is a short-sighted nit.

  2. I can’t get excited about the "calfornia problem". I currently live in San Diego, and previously in Portland, OR. I’m a native San Diegan and this city is full of people who weren’t born here. I can’t say I blame them either. Perfect weather, beaches, sun, mountains. We just don’t dwell on who is a native or not. It’s a losing battle. Everytime I hear a "poor me" article regarding californians "overtaking oregon", I laugh.

  3. Don’t Californicate Oregon….period….and you can have San Diego, So Cal, No Cal….all of it….just keep it there.

  4. I love the Bend vs Cali crap. It really cracks me up. If you weren’t born and raised here, shut the hell up. If you were, then feel free to shake a cane at all them damn kids these days with their Californian ways from your front porch. Someone has to keep them off your lawn.

  5. Bend has changed, I am 28 and it was a much better, safer town when I was growing up. Not even sure I would want to raise kids here now-way too superficial.

  6. Having lived in several states including Calif., I would venture to say that most of the "Californians" in Central Oregon are not native Californians. I also get frustrated with anyone who moves to a new area and proceeds to complain or try to make it like the place they came from. However, I believe they are the minority, it’s just that those are the ones we notice and remember. Over the last 14 years, I have seen the same problem with people from other metropolitan areas such as Portland and Eugene.

    As long as people in this country are free to live wherever they choose this problem will exist. Given the alternative, I think that we ought to concentrate on the problems rather than where people came from. Check the news, there are more than a few "native sons" causing trouble also.

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