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Bend, Ore.
Bend, Ore.
Situated among central Oregon's lush forests, lakes, rivers, and mountains, Bend's economy thrives on outdoor recreation. Bend was once a logging town, but decades of unsustainable harvesting eventually depleted the timberland, driving the lumber companies out of business. Brooks-Scanlon, at one time a major employer, closed its doors in 1994.

Since then, the city has become a tourist town, although smaller mills continue to produce some wood products. Mt. Bachelor, a popular ski destination, is Bend's second-largest employer. Tourists and the rapidly growing local population also enjoy kayaking, hiking, fishing, and rock climbing.

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Last updated March 26 2008: 3:40 PM ET