7 Ways to Ring in the Holidays in Bend

Selecting A Christmas Tree
This holiday season, get a permit to cut your own Christmas tree and make it a family outing.

For those moving to Bend in 2020, getting involved in local holiday festivities is often an important priority for your first winters here – and also a challenge during times when social distancing is required. Here are the top events you and your families can try out!

1. Get a Permit to Cut Your Own Tree

Central Oregon offers limited permits to cut a single tree in certain areas of the Deschutes National Forest. During COVID-19 restrictions, this is an excellent and healthy adventure you can go on with your family while still staying safe. Find the right tools, learn about what trees to watch for, and have fun hiking in a beautiful winter forest! Just remember to bring supplies, a compass, and stay careful! There’s no better time than 2020 to find your own tree.

2. Festival of Trees

Traditionally, Festival of Trees had families and businesses create beautifully decorated Christmas trees and auction them off with proceeds going to charity. This year, the event has been transformed into a clever Tour of Trees, now through December 5, that culminates into a virtual auction on December 5, 2020. Funds raised will benefit the Hospice of Redmond to provide services for terminally ill people and their families.

3. I Like Pie Run

The “I Like Pie Run/Walk” is a kid-friendly event designed to help kids get out and active before Thanksgiving. This year, it’s been re-designed so families can get together in small groups and choose times and places – plus inventive costumes and delicious pies designed to be taken and shared at the event. Post pictures on social media, and your group may be able to win various prizes, too.

4. Christmas Bags Pickleball Tournament

If you like Pickleball, you’ll want to check out this doubles’ tournament combined with a toy drive to raise money for kids in early December. You can knock off a few dollars on the entry fee if you bring a new toy, too. The event happens on December 5th at Pickleball Zone – masks and regulations will still apply.

5. Drop Off a Letter for Santa

While it may be more difficult to meet with Santa in person this year, there are opportunities for kids, nonetheless. One of our favorites are the two mailboxes that will be posted in the Old Mill District now through Dec. 19, designed to receive letters for Santa at the North Pole. Authentic letters are guaranteed a response, so there’s some fun anticipation, too – just remember to add your correct address!

6. Get a Gingerbread House Decorating Kit

Gingerbread house decorating is a perfect activity for staying inside and warm with your family while still celebrating a ton of holiday cheer. You can always pick up your own supplies and wing it, but for an excellent experience you can also pick up a decorating kit from Gingerbread Traditions at the Sunriver Main Lodge (instructions are included for those new to the whole experience). Or, if you don’t make it up there, you can find a lot of ideas online.

7. Get it to Go on #TakeoutTuesdays

If you’re busy, don’t have kids, and are still trying to get settled in, celebrating the holidays in 2020 may be a challenge. We suggest taking a look at #TakeoutTuesdays, where Bend residents take one day a week to order new foods from a local restaurant and support Bend’s businesses during these trying times (Grubhub, UberEats, Doordash, and many other apps are perfect for this, while other places do pickups). It’s easy, frees up some time to spend with a significant other, and it’s a great way to try warm, tasty winter foods that you may never have gotten to experience otherwise. Local favorites like Jackson’s Corner, Crux Fermentation, Sunriver Brewery, Worthy Brewing, and many more will have amazing seasonal foods!

Meet Beth and Rick Melner from The Melner Group

Family, home and community have been central to Beth and Rick and it’s those grounding principles that help them every day in their craft.

Let’s start with a little bit about them.…

Beth grew up in Wisconsin with a large family where so many fond memories were formed and midwestern values were instilled.  Rick on the other hand, is a native Oregonian, growing up in the heart of Ducklandia, otherwise known as Eugene.  

After a few years of dating and being footloose and fancy-free, they started their family and had two sons, Max and Evan.  They survived toddler-hood and debated on adding one more to their brood.  Beth soon got pregnant and while they were at a routine ultrasound appointment, they learned that they weren’t just having ONE healthy baby — they had triplets on the way!  Excitement was building as they still didn’t know the sex of the babies.  Soon, Danika, Taylor and Maya arrived safely into this world and tipped the scale from male to female in the Melner household.  

With their family-first mentality and practical nature, they packed up the kids and headed East to Wisconsin in 2010 to be close to family.  Those were deeply meaningful and formative years for the kids and it’s also where Beth kicked off her real estate career.  However, opportunity knocked, as well as their desire to land back in the Pacific Northwest, where the mountains, ocean and temperate climate affords endless opportunities to experience the outdoors.  In 2015, they returned to Oregon and had the fortune of calling Bend home.

Staying true to their family-first values, Beth desired a career that would allow for flexibility to balance home and professional demands, and saw incredible potential in real estate. The combination of Rick’s 20+ years in marketing and Beth’s 15+ years in buying and selling real estate and property management, have proven to be a powerful and successful dynamic.

In a few short years since starting their endeavors in Bend, the Melner Group is ranked #2 in sales volume for Bend office of Stellar Realty NW.  Beth and Rick have taken pride in helping so many families find that perfect home — truly one of the most important investments in our lives.  They possess a command for negotiating and navigating competitive markets and listen intently to understand their clients’ needs.  Most importantly, they treat each client as an individual versus a transaction.  And in lots of cases, have developed long-standing clients and friendships.

Contact The Melner Goup here.

5 Ways to Shop Small Business in Bend This Holiday Season

As the holidays approach, Bend loves to celebrate its many small businesses with days devoted to shopping at the locally owned spot around the city (and picking up some sweet deals at the same time). There’s “Shop Small in Downtown Bend”, where you can gather stamps at local stores to enter a prize raffle, and “Small Business Saturday” in the Old Mill District, among other events. If you’re interested in supporting small businesses more this year, here are several tips that you don’t even need a special day for!

1. Shop Local for Holiday Gifts

Focus on local businesses when buying gifts for your loved ones! Avoid the big brands and chain stores, and instead shop locally in Bend to find your goods. There are many skilled artisans producing all kinds of great gift options throughout Bend. Stroll the Old Mill District or Downtown Bend to find some of the best options, like soaps and cosmetics, hardy plants, a wide variety of locally sourced clothing, and more. Think about getting gift cards to local restaurants as gifts, too (these can also be purchased online)! If you’re wondering if a product line is local, just ask or look them up on your phone to double-check.

2. Visit a Local Taphouse and Enjoy Food Trucks

Bend’s taphouses are food truck gathering spots (also true of nearby Redmond) and are by nature all local businesses. These are great locations to take friends for beers, enjoy a casual night out, or bring the family for an afternoon snack – and there are multiple, delicious cuisine options so everyone can find something they want. The good news is that these places are also ready for winter: Crosscut has plentiful outdoor fires and a cozy indoor space, The Lot has heated benches, and other spots have a variety of fire or radiators, plus indoor seating, to stay active throughout the colder months!

3. Check Out Online Shops and Delivery Options

If you’re practicing social distancing and watching out for the health of elderly family members over the holidays, there’s good news: Many of Bend’s local shops have online components, or support services like Doordash and GrubHub for easy delivery. Check out Oregon Body and Bath, Dudley’s Bookshop Café, Looney Bean Café, Wren and Wild, and many, many other shops with websites where you can peruse and purchase. Find a tasty restaurant you haven’t tried yet and order in for a cozy evening. All of this will help!

4. Leave Positive Reviews Online

Many small businesses depend greatly on online reviews to survive. Leave positive ratings and reviews after a good experience, and like or follow them on social media. Facebook, Google My Business, Instagram, and similar platforms are all important for local companies.

5. Try Out the Ale Trail

The Ale Trail is an excellent way to support local breweries while trying out top-notch new beers in places you may not have tried yet. In 2020, the Ale Trail requirements to get rewards have been lowered to only five stops (to get your passport stamped) and a selfie you can email in. Plus, there are six new breweries on the Trailer to check out, even if you’ve tried it before.

Remember, Moving to Bend can help you find the hottest spots to eat and the coolest new art and culture spots if you are looking for more ideas.

Why Bend Is the Remote Working Capital of the U.S.

This year has brought a number of interesting changes to business – one of the chief changes being a swift rise in remote work situations as employers have created new options to work from home to enable social distancing and follow state regulations.

Bend is no exception, but the city was already perfectly poised to tackle remote working possibility – in fact, it’s been a specialty of Bend for years. If you’re moving to Bend and interested in remote work, here’s what you should know!

1. Bend Mastered Working from Home Years Ago

In the Bend Bulletin, you’ll find this article from 2017, “Bend is the work-from-home capital of Oregon”. (The article has, understandably, been updated for 2020). The city has always been a friendly spot for freelancers and flexible working positions for people in a variety of industries, many of them working for out-of-state firms in the comfort of their favorite café or at work area at home. Back then, around 9.3 percent of workers in central Oregon worked remotely, higher than any other Oregon city area, and the ratio has grown since then.

2. Working from Home in Bend Can Be Lucrative

The American Community Survey cited in the article we mentioned had another important tidbit, too: Remote workers in the Bend area earned more than those working from home in other areas, 26% more than the median rate. While many of the remote workers in Bend are self-employed, other popular industries include management, finance, tech, science, and engineering.

3. From Oregon to the Rest of the Nation

By 2019, Bend was being cited as the Work from Home Capital of America by Startup.com: The number of remote workers had risen beyond 12 percent, and remote work represented a particular diverse number of industries, regardless of whether they had a physical presence in the city or not.

This was even more notable because the studies now showed that Oregon was also one of the best states in the country for remote work positions, with Medford and Portland also doing particularly well in this area – winning locations nationwide included Austin and Denver as well. But Bend topped them all, making it the most work-from-home-friendly city in the United States (we cover this a bit more here).

4. Working From Home is Good for Bend

We already mentioned that remote work in Bend has helped indirectly diversify the economy, as workers are part of a wide variety of industries, in and out of state, and are bringing revenue from those industries into the city. That’s a healthy economic sign, but there’s another positive benefit to this trend. The work-from-home industries that Bend supports tend to require higher education, which means more professionals with college degrees are setting up personal workspaces in Bend, helping to increase average education levels.

5. Co-Working Space are Also on the Rise

As remote work has become more and more popular, Bend has also become the center of another kind of trend: Co-work areas. While remote working is easier than ever, some projects do require in-person collaborating. Co-working spaces are made to allow coworkers to meet up for a session, set up, and get things done in person…without the need for a permanent desk or workspace location. These flexible solutions could become even more popular in the coming years as the remote work situations started in 2020 continue!

How to Find a Job in Bend

There are plenty of resources to help you find a job in Bend. Read below to learn more!

One of the most important parts of moving to a new city is securing employment, often ASAP. If you are looking for work while also moving to Bend, we understand that it can be a little overwhelming. To help out, here is a quick guide on what to know about employment in Bend, and how to make your job search a bit more efficient.

Key Jobs Industries in Bend

If you want to lock down a job right away, it’s a good idea to focus on the key industry in the Bend area. Common options include:

  • Retail: Bend has a lot of shops in areas like Downtown or Old Mill, plus centers like Cascade Village or The Forum, and new shops are opening all the time. This can be a great way to find a job fast.
  • Hospitality: Bend’s bars, taphouses, and pubs are often looking for extra servers or experienced bartenders (or can refer you to another spot that is looking for workers). It’s also a good idea to check out Bend’s food trucks and restaurants: They tend to look for new workers as well, especially around the changing of the seasons when they lose employees to schools or need to hire new workers to meet new demands.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare is one of the largest industries in Bend thanks to St. Charles Medical Center and a variety of smaller centers located throughout the city. This field can be competitive, and required training is very important, but it’s also filled with valuable opportunities.
  • Construction: The City of Bend has plenty of construction projects outlined and contracted for the coming years, which should yield a steady amount of work. Private developments also continue to expand and open as available. Construction tends to slow down over winter, but in the warmer months it can be an active and easy way to locate a job fast!

Looking for Bend Jobs Online

We probably don’t need to tell you how to search for Bend jobs online – a basic Google search will bring up dozens of sites you can check out. However, we will call out a few options for being especially helpful at this time:

Google’s own job search: Google’s job search does a surprisingly great job of staying on top of the recent jobs in Bend, favoring new jobs and popular employers to help provide the most value for your search. In contrast, sites like Craigslist aren’t used as much for Bend jobs and may not offer as much value for your time.

Bend Oregon Jobs: It may not be as large as some of the big job board sites, but www.bendoregonjobs.com is nice for searching local niche jobs in Central Oregon. It also provides handy data on the most popular industries, biggest employers, and some tips on how to look for a job in Bend.

Contacting Major Employers

Are you interested in finding work with a specific employer? Some of the biggest employers in the city include:

  • St. Charles: We already mentioned they are one of the largest employers in Bend, but you may also want to check out Summit Medical Group.
  • Les Schwab Tire Centers: These tire centers also get very busy around seasonable changeovers and may be looking for more help!
  • Cascade Bancorp: Financial and banking services offer different types of employment for those with experience in customer service and finance.
  • Deschutes Brewery: The famous brewery is also a large employer in Bend, operating both the brewery itself and one of the largest pubs. However, there are plenty of smaller breweries looking for workers if you want to build up your experience!

If you have any other questions or would like help taking some of the pressure of moving to Bend off your hands, we can help with that too.