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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%.

Speaking of tourism, it really is a big deal in Bend. Bachelor employ thousands of area residents, and serve the many more thousands of visitors who come to this desert paradise to escape city life.

And while welcoming temporary masses of people can get a little tense, it’s worth it to get to experience events like Bend Oktoberfest and Central Oregon Beerfest.

Train closures, traffic delays, and even evacuations aren’t unusual in this dry, desert area.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.If you’ve never lived in Oregon, there are two things you need to know: There’s no sales tax, and people really are very laid-back. Oregon isn’t a super culturally diverse state, and Bend is no exception.A combination of rustic and up-and-coming, Bend’s beautiful landscape, budding arts and cultural scene, and recently-affordably housing market has attracted plenty of young thinkers, outdoorsy types, retirees, and young families, all of whom have heard tell of this not-so-secret secret. Before you pack up your ski poles and tent stakes and head for the hills, consider the elements: If you know only one thing about Bend, it’s that the city loves the outdoors.Located in the high desert at the foot of multiple mountains, there are outdoor activities in Bend year-round.

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