There they go again: USA Today has published another Chamber-of-Commerce-style puff piece on Bend, touting it as "the new Boulder."
"Bend's popularity as a second-home destination may be short-lived," the story begins. "Many buyers lured here by the small city's outdoor living, natural beauty and mild weather are finding their vacation homes too good to be true and are relocating as full-timers."
The story is illustrated with a color photo of hot-air balloons sailing above Mirror Pond in a cloudless blue sky.
The usual recreation attractions are listed - "easy access to an array of outdoor activities, including skiing, biking, white-water rafting and kayaking, hiking, golf and world-class fly-fishing" - and realtor Virginia Ross, who moved here from Oahu, expounds on the glories of the Bend climate: "There is great recreation out just your front door all year long. I was so happy to go from palm trees to juniper trees. Seasons were a change for which I am thankful each day."
A local realtor - now there's a real objective source.
In many respects the comparison to Boulder might be a little shaky. Boulder is a cosmopolitan city of more than 90,000 people with its own symphony orchestra and a much more liberal political climate than Bend. It also is home to the University of Colorado and a bunch of top-tier high-tech employers, including IBM, Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Medtronic and Lockheed Martin.
But, hey, we've got COCC and Cessna!
Writer Larry Olmstead looks at "three Bend neighborhoods" - Pronghorn, Northwest Crossing and Broken Top - which he evidently thinks are representative of the Bend lifestyle. He also informs his readers that "Bend is split into east and west sides with downtown on the east," which will come as a surprise to the folks who live here.
But at least he didn't repeat the bogus "300 days of sunshine a year" claim.