Fun Facts About Bend
Bend Oregon is notably an outdoor enthusiasts’ vacation hot spot that shares similarities with a ski town. However, there are a few interesting topics to amaze your family and friends next time you are sharing a craft brew together.
Bend is home to the last remaining Blockbusters Video Rental Store that is still in operation today. Once an American icon in the late 1990s to early 2000s, the Blockbuster Brand was known coast to coast as the go to store for VHS (then DVD) movie rentals, prior to streaming capabilities. This last store is so iconic that it was featured in a Netflix documentary in 2020 called The Last Blockbuster and Ellen DeGeneres visited the store on a segment of her show. The store also features Russell Crow’s memorabilia from the movies Robin Hood, Cinderella Man, Les Miserables, and American Gangstar. The Last Blockbuster has become a popular tourist destination and Instagram photo hot-spot.
Not only does Bend have the only remaining video rental store but is also home to over a quarter of the nation’s llama population. Located just north of Bend off the highway is Crescent Moon Ranch. This ranch is home to llama’s and alpaca’s and permits visitors to take self-guided tours through many of the walking paths on the property. For a fee of $5 a visitor can purchase feed and get up close and personal with the animals. The ranch also features an onsite boutique selling a variety of unique gifts (homemade blankets, socks, sweaters, gloves, etc). What a unique gift and photo idea!
And speaking of buying gifts, this leads to the next interesting fact … no sales tax. Oregon is only one of four states with no sales. So your tourist budget will stretch a little further by saving that extra 4% to 8% state sales tax each time you purchase a good or item.
Another interesting fact about Bend is that the city has the highest average number of sunny days in the state. Clear days average 158 days per year with an additional 105 days that are mostly sunny. Many of the remaining days also provide substantial sunshine. Some stats represent close to 300 days of sunny to partly sunny days. Bend provides the perfect weather to enjoy all the outdoor activities, especially during the summer months with a sunset close to 9pm.
Bend has two official sister cities: Condego, Nicaragua and Belluno, Italy. Belluno is very similar to Bend with a smaller population that is growing rapidly and is also located next to a ski resort. Belluno has a river flowing through the middle of town and a very similar elevation to Bend. And Belluno, just like Bend, is known for its beauty. In Condego, Nicargua the map looks very similar to Bend also with a river flowing through the middle of town with the highway and streets in a similar pattern. However, with Condego there is a further connection with volunteerism efforts that started 10 years ago with the Bend Sister City Foundation donating water filters for wells and school uniforms and textbooks. A few local families have visited Condego to give a helping hand and the mayor of Condega has visited Bend for advice and future planning; forming a strong connection between the two sister cities.
Bend just might look like a popular vacation destination but just like most cities in the US, there are always a few quirky and interesting facts that aren’t commonly known. Who knows, you might even amaze a local!