Smart cities invest in their economic strengths.
Port towns invest in infrastructure for shipping and transportation. High tech cities invest in intellectual capital. Industrial cities build utilities and factories. Agricultural cities invest in irrigation and processing systems.
While we are fortunate in Bend to have a continually diversifying economy, the foundation of our economy is, and will likely continue to be, the extraordinary lifestyle offered here. From clean air, beautiful mountains, and sunny skies, to great parks, flowing rivers, and abundant trails, Bend’s extraordinary lifestyle is what separates our city from “Any Town U.S.A.” It’s also the leading catalyst for long-term investment into our community.
The Headwaters Study commissioned by EDCO in 2010 found that “what brought many individuals and businesses to Central Oregon is not necessarily what sustains enterprises.” Prior to this study, we knew anecdotally of the important link between lifestyle and our economic vitality, but the Headwaters Study quantified just how important lifestyle and recreation are to recruiting new tourists, jobs and residents to Central Oregon.
On the November ballot, Bend residents will have an opportunity to invest in our economy. If approved, Measure 9-86 will generate $29 million to complete Bend’s trail system, improve river safety and access, preserve natural areas, improve river water quality, and create new recreational facilities.
Let there be no doubt, Bend is in the business of lifestyle and recreation. Let’s make an investment in Bend’s primary economic strength by voting yes on Measure 9-86.