(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."