Central Oregon Shines in Back-To-Back Outside Magazine Pieces

Seeing an Outside Magazine on the end table of a home in Bend is like seeing a Patagonia puffy jacket in the closet: Not surprising.

The award-winning adventure, sport, lifestyle and travel magazine reaches some 16 million people each month and focuses on everything we love about living in beautiful Central Oregon. But it still came as something of a surprise that two Central Oregon cities were so prominently featured in back to back issues of the magazine in 2017.

In July, Bend power couple and Picky Bars founders Lauren Fleshman and Jesse Thomas were featured on the cover of Outside’s annual “Best Towns” issue while inside the city was lauded as the “Best Multi-Sport Town.”

But beyond the mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, golf and other activities available here, the story touched on the apres-adventure lifestyle.

“There’s a booming tech industry, an exploding food-cart scene, and a growing number of concerts—this year’s include Paul Simon and Ween. In short, Bend is the kind of place where you can do the nine-to-five job thing—and actually earn a living—then do the five-to-nine fun thing, no problem.”

Just one month later, nearly 10 pages of the August issue was devoted to the surging recreation and industry profile of Prineville, a former timber town-turned-technology hub that houses huge data centers for Apple and Facebook.

“From here one can, within a 30-minute drive, catch trout on the blue-ribbon Crooked River, climb at Smith Rock, mountain bike or backcountry ski in the Ochocos, or cycle buttery roads through High-Desert juniper.

The story, “How Big Data Saved the Mountain Town, dives into the conflicting perspective from the town’s locals – those who balk at the idea of the rural community turning into something it isn’t versus those who hope for the kind of growth that begets a thriving community and economy.

The secret of Prineville is quickly getting out thanks to stories like this and a new commitment to bicycle tourism spearheaded by the team at Visit Prineville and James Good, owner of Good Bike Co.

Good’s bike shop is an oasis for bikepackers pedaling the TransAmerica Bike Trail and for cyclists who flock to Prineville’s stellar mountain bike singletrack and scenic road rides.

Bend Tops Forbes Rankings for Best Small Cities for Business and Jobs

Balloons over Bend event at the Old Mill District near downtown Bend, Oregon

Bend is accustomed to being named to multiple “Best of” lists for our outdoor offerings, mountain bike trails, golf courses and craft beer scene. But it’s a relatively new – and most welcome – trend to be honored for our booming business and industry scene.

In fact, in October 2016, Forbes named Bend the Best Small City for Business and Careers, due to continued job growth.

“But the Bend metro has come roaring back with the top job growth rate in the country last year at 6.6%. The five-year annual rate of 3.8% also ranks among the highest in the U.S. Bend companies enjoy business costs that are 22% below the national average and its high share of educated millennials ranks among the top 10% of smaller metros. Add in a strong economic and employment outlook and Bend ranks No. 1—up three spots—on Forbes’ annual look at the Best Small Places for Business and Careers.”

According to the magazine, the areas are ranked on 14 factors related to job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income and economic growth, quality of life and the education of the workforce.

It’s a great honor to top such an important list as it helps shed some of the misconceptions that Bend and Central Oregon is just an outdoor recreation and tourism town.

cancer center
The Cancer Center at St. Charles in Bend. The St. Charles Health Care System is the largest employer in the region.

Our partners at EDCO – Economic Development for Central Oregon – work tirelessly to help create a diversified local economy and a strong base of middle-class jobs in Central Oregon. The non-profit works to attract outside employees through the relocation process, mentor and advise scalable young companies from concept to exit on a variety of issues and partner with local trader-sector companies to help them grow and expand.

You can read the entire article here: Bend Tops Forbes List

HydroFlask is a Bend-based company that did $34 million in sales in 2016.

Central Oregon Hotels Receives Trip Advisor Award

Central Oregon draws visitors from all over because of its beauty and wide range of outdoor activities. Between winter snow sports and warm weather fun, the region is packed with extraordinary choices. Central Oregon’s lodging choices are just as exceptional. How exceptional? TripAdvisor has named The Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend among its Top 3 hotels in the U.S. It’s the fourth time in the last 10 years The Oxford has been ranked in the Top 10.

The Oxford Hotel, one of the area’s AAA Four Diamond accommodations, is just steps away from upscale boutiques a variety of tantalizing eateries. Known for its luxurious Eco-friendly room designs and excellent service, The Oxford is the perfect respite for outdoor enthusiasts. With its own urban chic organic restaurant, 10 Below, guests can partake of culinary delights after a day in Central Oregon’s outdoor playground.

What guests are saying:

THE Best Place to Stay in Bend, Hands Down!

The Best of Bend Hospitality-

One of the best hotels in the Pacific North West

Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend, Oregon

In 2014, Guests named both Five Pine Lodge and Conference Center and The Oxford Hotel as favorites.

FivePine1

Five Pine Lodge, located in the quaint western town of Sisters, offers the personal touch of a bed and breakfast, the privacy of romantic cozy cabins and all the amenities of a resort. Stay for a weekend or longer and indulge at the Shibui Spa with a facial or body wrap. Head next door to sample some of the region’s best craft beer at Three Creeks Brewing, followed by a movie at the Sisters Movie House.

So, whether your choice of vacation involves a cabin in the woods or a boutique hotel in town, Central Oregon’s got you covered.

Redmond a Trip Advisor Affordable Hidden Gem for Winter Getaways

Ice skaters move around the public ice rink in Downtown Redmond at dusk.
Ice skaters move around the public ice rink in Downtown Redmond at dusk.

Central Oregon’s diverse winter climate makes for a unique opportunity for visitors to sometimes ski, snowboard, ice skate, golf, bike and hike in the same weekend. Redmond – known as The Hub – often sees less snow than Bend and Sunriver, making it a perfect place to spend some time December through March. (Temps sit around 42-50)

The folks at TripAdvisor think so too. Redmond was included in the website’s Vacation Rentals blog of  Top 10 “Super Affordable” U.S. Winter Getaways for staying in a rental.

The site gave Redmond an average rental review score of 4.17 out of 5 with an average weekly rental rate of $892. Our partners SellMyTimeShareNow.com has some great vacation rental options to check out.

Jason Hall
Smith Rock State Park/Jason Hall

Once you find a place to stay, take advantage of all the recreation around you. You’re just a short drive from Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo ski areas (Hoodoo offers night skiing!) and the incomparable Smith Rock State Park. Want to hit the links during your winter vacation? Juniper Golf Course is one of few courses in the region that’s open year-round (weather permitting.) Having hosted several big-time state and regional tournaments, Juniper is a must-play course on the Central Oregon Golf Trail.

Long noted as Central Oregon’s commercial air hub (RDM), Redmond has transformed itself into a rejuvenated town with upscale restaurants, brewpubs, lodging, a bustling farmers market in summer and outdoor ice skating in winter. Add in a few open-air music events and a growing antique and art scene and Redmond is fast undergoing a renaissance. Redmond is also home to some great dining options including the 7th Street Brew House – the original brewpub for Cascade Lakes Brewing Co. From the mug club membership to taco night, 7th Street has become the hometown favorite in Redmond.  This is where people go to have a great tasting meal, a cold beer, and see good friends. In the summer, enjoy the indoor/outdoor atmosphere complete with garage doors that kick open, a fire pit to keep you warm during the brisk evenings and horseshoe pits.

Looking for more to do in Redmond? Check out our 48-hour itinerary in Redmond Country.

Mt Bachelor Ski Resort

Live Like a Local: Bend, Oregon

SUP at Sparks Lake - Central Oregon

Nestled between the Cascade Mountains and Central Oregon’s desert plateaus, the quaint, former lumber town offers myriad ways to play outside year-round along with a dizzying array of craft breweries. Whether you visit Bend to explore the hiking trails or the ale trail, be forewarned, many who visit return, often for good.

A sanctuary for nature lovers and a beacon for the microbrew scene, Bend proves that good things really do come in small packages.

Hit the Trails

You don’t have to plan a day trip to get in a good hike. The Deschutes River Trail is easy to hop on from almost anywhere in the city, making it one of the most popular spots to run, walk, and bike. The path runs along both sides of the Deschutes River from Meadow Camp to Benham Falls, ranging from paved areas in town to single track dirt paths through the forest. The full loop (over eight miles) can be easily shortened by taking one of the many bridges that cross the river, a life force that flows through the city.

Another hike that offers a quick reward for your efforts is Tumalo Falls (Tumalo Falls Rd.), where a majestic view of the 100-foot falls is just a few steps from the parking lot. Continue your waterfall hunt on the North Fork Trail toward Happy Valley. Show some love to your feet with a quick dip in the gurgling springs you meet along the way.

Read the rest of this story highlighting Bend and Central Oregon at TravelMag.Com.

Bend Named Mountain Biking Capital of Oregon

central oregon mountain biking

When you think of the best places in the US to mountain bike, Central Oregon might not yet be on the tip of your tongue. But the folks who know the sport better than anyone say it definitely should be.

In fact, the folks at Singletracks.com, one of the most comprehensive mountain bike trail sites online, just named Bend the mountain biking capital of Oregon. This comes after BIKE Magazine selected the Bend-Sunriver area as the home for its 2015 BIBLE of Bike Tests issue and National Geographic Adventure ranked Bend among America’s 10 Best Mountain Bike Towns. 

The team at Singletracks said there was some debate about Oregon’s top mountain bike town.

“But in the end, Bend won out with more than 400 miles of trail within 25 miles of town, multiple top 10 showings in our MTB tourism survey, one of the nation’s most active craft beer scenes, and super fun trails like Tiddlywinks.”

Beyond the Phil’s Trail complex, Bend’s core trail system, Central Oregon is home to additional, stellar mountain bike destinations like the Maston area between Redmond and Bend, the scenic, year-round trails at Smith Rock State Park, the expansive Peterson Ridge Trail System in Sisters and the growing mountain bike trail system near Prineville.  And for the downhill adrenaline junkies, there’s always the lift-served runs at Mt. Bachelor during the summer.

And, like the gang at Singletracks pointed out – the trails here seem to begin and end at the front step of a brewery. That’s literally the case in Sisters with the Peterson Ridge system located right next to Three Creeks Brewing Co.  and out the back door of the cabins at FivePine Lodge. Park your car at Cascade Lakes Brewing Company‘s lodge in Bend and you can take advantage of the weeknight trailhead shuttles from Cog Wild Mountain Bike Tours and Shuttles. And at Tetherow Resort, you can hook up with the popular COD trail and link to other Phil’s area routes right across the street from the parking lot.

COD-Rock-Section
COD Trail near Bend, Oregon

Golfweek Rankings Highlight Central Oregon Courses

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

View of greens and Black Butte near Sisters, Oregon
Aspen Lakes Golf Course

The accolades for Central Oregon’s golf courses continue to pour in. Last year, Pronghorn, Crosswater and Tetherow were listed among Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. This year, five of the 10 best courses in the state are in Central Oregon according to Golfweek Magazine. 

Joining our “Big 3” in Golfweek’s rankings are the Big Meadow course at Black Butte Ranch and Aspen Lakes Golf Course in Sisters.

Recently updated in 2007, the Big Meadow course stretches over 7,000 yards from the championship tees and features expansive fairways, sweeping cape and bay bunkers and elevated green complexes to challenge golfers of all skill levels.

Immaculately maintained bent grass fairways and multiple tees combined with red sand bunkers create a playing experience unique to Aspen Lakes.

With amazing views of eight different Cascade mountains, Aspen is both challenging and breathtaking, easily one of the most scenic in Central Oregon.

The stellar collection of courses is just part of the Central Oregon Golf Trail, 30 diverse courses within 45 minutes of each other.

You’ll want to play all the golf gems of the Trail, from the high mountain courses at Black Butte, Aspen and Widgi Creek, to the High Desert tracks of Juniper and Crooked River Ranch, and everything in-between, you will find unmatched quality, diversity and value in our famous course designs.

Looking for a way to sample some of the best courses? The 21st Annual Pacific Amateur Golf Classic in September features 54 holes of net, stroke-play competition on Sunriver Resort’s Meadows and Woodlands Coures and the famed Crosswater Club. The top four players in each flight earn a spot in the winner-take-all Championship Round at Crosswater. Visit the PacAm website to learn more, register and find great stay-and-play deals.

Fairway on Big Meadow Golf Course at Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon
Big Meadow Course at Black Butte Ranch

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Golf Magazine Names Pronghorn Resort Among Top 25 Golf Communities in U.S.

Spencer Schaub | General Manager from Pronghorn Resort on Vimeo.

Pronghorn Resort in Bend has been a premier golf community since it opened more than 10 years ago. Set on a massive, 700 acre forest of 1,000-year-old juniper trees and with sweeping views of the majestic Cascades to the West, Pronghorn is a true High Desert golf escape and family vacation destination.

In fact, it’s one of the 25 Best Golf Communities in the U.S. according to Golf Magazine. The list includes some clubs with heavy hitters as members, including Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, Wayne Gretzky and Rory Mcilroy. Pronghorn doesn’t boast about celebrity members (it has a few,) it just boasts about an amazing golf, residential and vacation experience.

Jerrel Grow | Director of Golf from Pronghorn Resort on Vimeo.

The club was the first to feature Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio-designed courses side by side. Both courses have received high praise from the beginning for their unique and playable designs. The Nicklaus Course is open to the public and ranked No. 31 in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Courses in the U.S.  The Fazio Course, which includes a Par 3 with a breathtaking exposed lava tube, was named No. 12 on Golfweek’s list of Best Residential Courses in 2015.

Resort amenities include multiple restaurants, a world-class clubhouse, the Troon Golf Academy, outdoor heated pools with water slide and a hot tub. The resort will also build you and your family customized adventures, taking advantage of all the hiking, cycling, fishing, rafting, and other outdoor activities Central Oregon is known for. The resort is also just minutes from the region’s cultural interests, and culinary and craft beer experiences.

The resort’s lodging right now includes 2, 3 & 4 BR vacation rental homes that feature gourmet kitchen appliances, home theater systems, private patios with fire pits and BBQs and more. And in 2017 the resort plans to open a 105-room luxury lodge located in the heart of the resort.

Kevin Linde | Executive Chef from Pronghorn Resort on Vimeo.

Sunriver Resort Honored as a Top Family Golf Destination

caldera

When looking for the best destination for a family golf trip, which would you rather leaf through in the lobby while your spouse checks in:

  • A 10-page recreation guide that includes horseback riding, cycling, hiking, arts & crafts, tennis, ropes courses, whitewater rafting, swimming and more.

OR

  • A 567-word dress code?

The former is what you’ll find at Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon and a reason Golf Digest named Sunriver Resort a Top 10 Destination for a Family Golf Trip. The latter? That’s at some other stuffy resort out East..one that ranks a casino as a highlight, requires men to wear sport coats to dinner and suggests “bonnets are always in style for the ladies.”

Seriously? Doesn’t sound too family-friendly to me.

At Sunriver, the formalities can be thrown out the window. We know it’s easier for you to wear your swimsuit to breakfast when you have a whitewater trip down the Big Eddy Thriller at 10 a.m. We know you might need to wear your hat to lunch to protect your eyes from the sun out on the patio that overlooks the Meadows golf course. And we know a true family vacation sometimes means you didn’t pack any collared shirts because you want to buy a new one in the golf shop before your round.

Meadows-Putting-Course
Meadows Putting Course

Resort accommodations include 211 Lodge Village guest-rooms and suites complete with wood-burning fireplaces and private decks and more than 300 vacation homes and condominiums, ideal for families and larger parties. River Lodges (33 total) are elegant and spacious rooms along the Sun River between the Sunriver Lodge and the Great Hall Conference Center.

Interior of a River Lodge in Sunriver, Oregon

Golf Digest has named Sunriver Resort one of its Top 10 Destinations for a Family Golf Trip, in part, because there’s so much to do off the course. Sunriver has been bringing generations together for generations with a multitude of fun family activities from sunrise to sunset. And golf is just part of the fun. With 63 holes of world-class golf, including a 9-hole executive course perfect for beginners, there’s a course here for every skill level. There’s even a 9-hole, real-grass putting course right next to the Meadows Course clubhouse – perfect for the kids to have some fun while you sit in the sun and enjoy a coctail.

Rafting the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon

For kids who don’t want to golf every day, there’s full and half-day programs at Fort Funnigan where they can participate in outdoor activities, arts and crafts and more. There’s The Cove or SHARC swimming areas and putt-putt, bumper cars and bouncy houses at The Village at Sunriver.

Does a day at the spa sound better than another round of 18? The Sage Springs Club and Spa in Sunriver has you covered with a variety of massage options, state of the art fitness and weight room facilities, over 40 group fitness classes per week, an indoor and outdoor tennis complex, indoor lap pool, hydro pools, and full service locker and steam rooms.

And after a busy day on or off-the-course, there’s plenty of great places to hunker down for a bite to eat. You can stay on property at the resort and find great food at Carson’s American Kitchen or head down to The Village and Sunriver Brewing Co., home to some of the best food and craft beers in Central Oregon.

At Sunriver Resort, they know a family that plays together, smiles together – on and off the course.

Fat Biking in Bend

Fat Bikes, Hutch's Bicycles, near Bend, Oregon
Fat tire bikes sit ready for the snow. Photo courtesy Scott Wilcox

Already known as one of the best spots in the world for mountain biking, cyclists in Central Oregon are now hopping aboard something new in the winter to help keep the season alive: Fat Bikes.

These “super sized” bikes are becoming more and more popular across the country, and as this Oregonian story points out: Bend’s helping pave the way to some really fat tire fun. http://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2013/02/bend_is_oregons_epicenter_of_f.html

(Several local bike shops, including Hutch’s, Pine Mountain Sports and The Hub Cyclery now rent fat bikes.)