Tag Archives: economy

The Oregonian’s economic report favors Gorge cities

9 Jun

If you missed it on the dead-tree delivery Sunday morning, check out the major splash given Hood River and The Dalles in The Oregonian. The paper took a pretty favorable economic read on Hood River, and in even grander fashion, noted that The Dalles has moved beyond the boom and bust cycles of the aluminum industry. Anyone who has spent any time there in recent years knows that The Dalles has some great stuff going on. Despite the disparaging attitudes of some of my neighbors in da Pearl (I mean, da Hood), The Dalles has great people, great history, great architecture … and, yes, some rough edges. It’s a working town, after all, not all about latte this, latte that. Hell, much as I love our local wines, if I want to drink a couple of bottles a day, I can only afford the Grocery Outlet wine bin. Check it out — last week they were closing out Banrock Station Syrah for $2.99 a bottle.

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OPB is coming to town

1 Apr

Got a call Tuesday morning (3/31) from Pete Springer, a name that sticks. He’s a reporter from Oregon Public Broadcasting, who found this blog and wanted to chat about a story idea they’re exploring. What? To track a downtown Hood River business over the next few months as a window into how that business is dealing with the economy. I gave him some names of possible subjects — Hood River Hotel, Melika, Shortt Supply, and Nora’s Table. Word is, Pete has chosen to focus on not just one, but three downtown businesses. He’ll be in town next week, to begin research. It should be an interesting series. Of note, all three of his subjects are managed and/or owned by women. Not unusual in the Hood. Downtown in particular, a solid majority of businesses are owned by, or have heavy involvement of, a woman. I pitched a story along those lines a year ago to Marcus Hibdon, our media rep for the Mt. Hood Territory regional tourism marketing partnership operated out of Travel Portland. No traction yet, but it’s another story waiting to be told.

The Bad News, and Far BETTER Good News

16 Mar

I hear the whining all the time: If the damned media would just shut up about the economy, everything would be just fine. Check out the excellent piece in the Sunday NY Times, by its public editor, noting that despite numerous media warnings since 2000, we still drove ourselves into the ditch — banks printing bad paper, real-estate besotted buyers gorging on junk purchasing, and the government looking the other way.

So, the Columbia Gorge Hotel closes, and Oregon Business magazine sends a reporter to ask, “Is it true the Hood River economy is in free fall?” Well, no. We set her straight. Just to share, and thanks to Jamel Badrieh at the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce for sending this along, the Chamber compiled a list of business closures, and business startups, in recent memory. It’s worth noting that, along with all the slower activity, there’s plenty of optimism out there.

Submitted to Oregon Business Magazine
February 6, 2009

Closed Businesses within Past Year

  • Columbia Gorge Hotel (temporarily closed)
  • Isthmus Windsurf Shop (This company set up shop for a summer and realized there is too much competition for windsurf shops in Hood River. They are still in business online and have a store in Wisconsin.)
  • Abruzzo Italian Restaurant (Editor’s note: A new restaurant, Sophie’s, has leased this space and opened.)
  • Panzanella Bakery & Deli
  • Hood River Chrysler Dodge-Jeep/Hood River Ford/Mercury (Space taken over by an automotive repair business.)
  • Cliff Smith Motors – dealership for GM. (The current owner is now operating a used car business at the same site.)
  • Red Fish / Blue Fish (children’s clothing retail; this space was taken over by Enchanted Alpaca retail shop about 8 weeks ago

New Businesses Within Past Year

  • Kaze Japanese Restaurant
  • The Enchanted Alpaca (retail alpaca wool clothing/coats/accessories)
  • Café at Good News Gardening
  • Dirty Fingers Bike Repair
  • Bambino’s Child Care
  • Center Pointe Bank
  • The Candy Shoppe
  • WAAAM (Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum)
  • White Buffalo Wines
  • Dog River Cycles
  • Naked Winery
  • Benjamin & Benjamin Art Gallery
  • Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant
  • Springhouse Cellars
  • AVI Trucking
  • Flying Jenny B&B
  • Nora’s Table (opened in 2007 as Nora’s Fish House, but recently tweaked its name and menu)
  • Columbia Gorge Community College
  • Norman K. Vance Art Gallery
  • Sparkling Creations – Jewelry (retail)
  • Double Mountain Brewery (open for a little over a year, but thriving)
  • Eclipse, a music education center
  • Fifth Element Salon
  • Jacob Williams Winery and Tasting Room
  • Golf, Etc. (retail)
  • Outdoor Toy Store (A new snowmobile sales/repair shop opened in the Hood River Heights area about a month ago.)
  • Columbia Cliff Villas (18 luxury cliff-side villas and 10 carriage house units adjacent to the Columbia Gorge Hotel for lease as vacation rentals and units also for sale.)
  • Cutie-Pie Consignment (children’s clothing retail)
  • Farm Stand in the Gorge (New fruit stand and organic market to open in the Hood River Heights next week. The market will sell gourmet cheeses, quality organic meat, etc.)
  • Columbia Gorge Title

If this list has somehow missed YOUR business, or if you know of others, let us know. We’ll keep setting the record straight.