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‘Bend’ It But Don’t Break It

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Asking guests to swear an oath before visiting a city seems like something from a medieval film, but it’s actually part of a new campaign launched this week by Visit Bend.

The Bend Pledge is aimed at establishing a code of conduct for all people who spend time in Central Oregon. It’s a web-based initiative that asks potential visitors to abide by a code of conduct that includes items like, “I will make my own memories, but not my own trails,” and, “I will be a respectful guest in Bend’s indoor and outdoor spaces.”

Visit Bend CEO Kevney Dugan explained the thinking behind the initiative. “Every community has a set of values they hold near and dear,” he said. “When you have a destination like Bend that’s so desirable for so many, we want to make sure local values are shared by those visiting the area.”

The project is part of the organization’s Visit Like a Local campaign aimed at fostering more awareness for how to enjoy Bend in the most responsible, respectful way possible. Other pieces of the Visit Like a Local campaign have included Visit Bend partnering with OSU Cascades and Zagster to sponsor bike share locations across town, a free summer shuttle to reduce traffic in Bend’s congested areas, and coasters provided in Bend restaurants to offer tips like, “use refillable water bottles,” and “signal in roundabouts.”

Featured in New Bend Visitor Guide

More information about Visit Like a Local is at visitbendlikealocal.com, and The Bend Pledge can be found there as well as at thebendpledge.com. Both initiatives are featured prominently on the home page at visitbend.com and in the new Bend Visitor Guide, which is noteworthy for being the most sustainably-produced guide in Visit Bend’s history. Released in September 2017, the new Bend Visitor Guide uses recycled paper manufactured by a company that creates two-thirds of its energy on site using biomass from paper consumption. “We’re seizing every opportunity to make our own organization’s actions mirror the values we’re promoting,” Dugan added.

With The Bend Pledge now live, everyone who takes it will be entered to win a Bend vacation that includes three nights of lodging, meals, and activities for the entire Bend stay. Visit Bend will give away two vacations a year to randomly-drawn pledge-takers.

“It’s all part of our big-picture goal to encourage locals and visitors alike to consider ways they can leave Bend better than they found it,” Dugan added. “From treating others with courtesy, to picking up litter on trails, we want everyone to know this is how we do things in Bend.”

Blog entry courtesy of Visit Bend.

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