Powder in the winter and golden tans in the summer are found in Bend. The city offers year-round recreation, making it the perfect playground for tourists, this summer's visitor stats indicate.
"Predominately, people are coming to Bend to play," Visit Bend President and CEO Doug LaPlaca said Monday." And the number one reasons they voice for visiting Bend is outdoor recreation and sight-seeing."
People flock to Bend, and the proof is in the numbers. This year broke revenue records for the second year in a row, and local water-sport company Sun Country Tours said it felt the impact.
"We've definitely noticed it this year," said employee Brit Oliphant. "We've had a lot of people from out of town. And people are just really excited about the area. Everyone who comes here doesn't want to leave."
The growth of the industry is recorded and calculated through a city-collected tax on hotels and other short-term lodging within Bend. The data collected allows Visit Bend to best measure the ups and downs of the tourism industry.
LaPlaca said the room tax collections exceeded $3.5 million, which represented a historic high in Bend. He added it also meant a 7.4 percent increase over last year's fiscal year.
"The fundamentals of our destination are still very much intact," LaPlaca said. "Meaning as the national and regional economy continues to improve, people still want to be here."
The economy may be improving, but Oliphant said she believes a poorer economy may still be a factor keeping people close to home.
"We had a lot of people coming from the Portland area and Washington, and I think it's because with the economy this year, less people are going to places like Hawaii and Mexico," she said.
Portland resident Tyler Green is one of those tourists.
"We have a couple of really good friends who live here, so we come to visit them," Green said. "But just watching how much fun they have -- you know, you see it on their social media, you're like, 'We have to come and experience this as well.'"