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Downtown Bend businesses seeing uptick for spring break, after mask mandate ends

(Update: Adding video, comments from businesses)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- It's the middle of spring break week, and downtown Bend is seeing a lot of activity, as you might expect, as COVID cases decline and the mask mandate ends. So how does it compare to last year's spring break?

The Springhill Suites are completely booked for this spring break, and the DoubleTree by Hilton is 95 percent booked. A hotel employee told me they have noticed a boost this spring break and are expecting a better summer.

I received varied views from clothing stores of how spring break sales are going.

Amy Clegg, assistant manager at Patagonia said, "We definitely have more foot traffic this year. Lots of large groups this year. Sales are definitely up this year, as well, when it comes to that."

At another clothing store, I was told they have been fairly consistent in sales.

The owner of Clementine, Gwen Whitten, said, "Well, it's pretty busy downtown, I can't say we're any busier than last year. But, I do sense the vibe is more upbeat this year, since the mask mandate has been lifted, and it's sunshine-y out."

Whitten added, "I just feel like everyone's really happy and excited to be in Bend, shopping and exploring the other fun things to do in town."

At Bend Brewing Company, business has been booming. Bar Manager Seo Martinez says because of Covid last year, they were really busy, because it was outdoor dining only, and by default they have the biggest outdoor seating in the downtown area.

Silverado General Manager Shayna Kendrick said, “I would say last year was a really amazing year -- and this year seems to be better."

"Seeing downtown businesses busy is great," she said. "Seeing all the small local businesses busy is great."

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.

Comments

15 Comments

    1. It’s like permanent masking was never really a thing and you guys whipped yourselves into a frenzy over nothing but you imaginations, like usual.

  1. Hmmm, out and about in Bend and Redmond the last few days and it seems a lot more quiet than last spring? Fuel prices and weather might be a part of this but downtown didn’t seem any more busy than usual?

  2. This wasn’t as idiotic as the stargate piece did yesterday but apparently barney found it offensive as it was deleted twice. Guess wants this as a serious thought provoking site and no humor will be tolerated.

            1. You’ve had plenty of leeway to say just about everything on your mind, thus disproving your false attack on me. You’re welcome!
              The folks falsely alleging narratives usually are pushing their own. Pretty much always, actually.
              One person’s censorship is another’s wise editorial judgment.

  3. Town seems super chill and mellow this week, and I’ve been loving it. Makes me wonder if they tourists aren’t the problem in Bend but maybe all the rich and privileged in Bend who are vacationing this week, because it really is a different and much better vibe out in town, on the mountain, and on the trails right now. Glad it’s not hurting local businesses too. Win win for all of us.

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