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Oregon has a reputation for liberalism — thanks, Eugene — but truthfully, it’s actually a fairly conservative state.
Most voters in Oregon are registered republicans, and the same is true of Deschutes County voters; in 2012, Deschutes County went for Romney.
The city, which was once just a little resort town in the desert, has added about 50,000 residents since the 1990s.
And while the growth has been quick, Bend has handled it in stride, carving out a special niche for itself.
Already, startups have begun to crop up, employing all the smart young folks in high-paying, emerging tech jobs. The city goes out of their way to make it easy for folks to spend their finest years among the lava rock, enjoying the seasons and taking in the culture.
As the population tops 80,000 and housing prices continue to drop, Bend could be the next Silicon Valley. And even though the median age in Bend is under 40, the retirement population is sizable at over 12%.
Which means there’s pokey lava rock all over the place and also a lot of historical information about volcanos and even a pretty rad theater/bar called the Volcanic Theatre Pub.
The largest employers in town are the hospital, Les Schwab Tire Centers, and the many resorts and hotels in the region, which serve Bend’s sizable tourism industry.Hiking, fishing, boating, skiing, cycling, running, snowshoeing, camping—it’s all there, right in your backyard, and everyone is jealous of it.Of course, if you’re someone who isn’t into winter sports, Bend’s climate can be a problem.Plenty of handcrafted beer brewers have sprung up in Oregon over the last decade, but Bend has truly led the charge with their immensely popular Deschutes Brewery, which was founded in 1988.Deschutes, which is now the fifth-largest craft brewery in the world, is in good company; with 24 craft breweries (and growing) in Central Oregon, you never have to go a day without a pint of the finest locally-sourced IPA available.