Regional News




Sunriver Chamber Moves to the Sunriver Business Park

Reprinted with Permission by Susan Berger, Sunriver Scene

With the Central Oregon Visitors Association firmly planted in The Village at Sunriver and focused on promoting regional tourism, the Sunriver Chamber of Commerce will now be devoting a majority of its resources to promoting area business, residential and economic development activities.

The nonprofit organization will also concentrate on networking, grants, job banks and employer/employee training on an ongoing and customized basis at a new center of operations in partnership with Ryan Culp, the new Sunriver-La Pine Economic Development director.

“EDCO is thrilled with the possibility of a co-working space located in Sunriver, which proves the community wants entrepreneurs and small businesses to succeed in southern Deschutes County. We’re fortunate to have the Sunriver Chamber as a passionate partner in this process,” said Culp.

Relocating from Two County Mall on Beaver Drive to the Sunriver Business Park to occupy space in the Fall River Place plaza at 56825 Venture Lane, Suite 110 (formerly occupied by ATL Communications), the chamber is expanding to offer “incubation” office space to new and/or small businesses that cannot afford to rent full-sized (and retail priced) office space.

The business incubation/workspace sharing concept allows businesses to start and grow their businesses with the assistance of local “angel investors” and mentors as well as small business development organizations offering training and free consultations through small business development entities. A similar incubation program in Bend, BendTech Coworking, was successfully launched and is currently self-sustaining.

The shared workspace will include a centralized receptionist, conference rooms and the fastest Internet connectivity available in south county. Spaces will be rented at affordable prices on a drop-in, as-needed basis. Spaces will range in price from $50 to $250.

The building is owned by the O’Neill family, who were instrumental in providing the space to allow businesses to work together to share resources, budgets and wisdom to jumpstart and maintain a successful and profitable business.

The Sunriver Area Chamber is seeking those who can assist in cross-promotion of each other’s services, such as marketing, web development, photography and product development along with residential and business relocation
related services.


Deschutes County to Study Traffic Flow, Pedestrian Access in Sunriver Business Park

Reprinted with Permission by Susan Berger, Sunriver Scene

In late July, the Deschutes County Commission tapped the county’s road department to examine traffic safety issues around the Sunriver Business Park – located east of South Century Drive and south of Sunriver.

As one of the busiest sections of road in the Three Rivers area, the road department will put out a request for a contractor, who will look at traffic flows at each of the intersections along the loop, particularly the troublesome spot where South Century Drive connects to Venture Lane, one of two main roads through the business park.

Chris Doty, director of the Deschutes County Road Department, said the contractor will consider several ideas already submitted by the community, including the possibility of making Venture Lane a one-way road and adding bicycle/pedestrian lanes.

Established more than 20 years ago, the Sunriver Business Park is one of three business districts in the Sunriver area, which includes The Village at Sunriver and a small collection of businesses along Spring River Road. The business park itself is home to around 100 businesses, ranging from a gas station, hardware store and medical clinic to Sunriver Brewing Company’s brew facility, a U.S. post office and Three Rivers School. It is also one of two entrances to Caldera Springs.

When school is in session and tourists are in town, the area struggles with congestion. The business park only has one entrance/exit at a T intersection traffic light on South Century Drive that immediately intersects with Venture Lane, which is controlled by stop signs. Doty noted that it isn’t uncommon for backed-up cars to spill over from one intersection to another. “Any time you have queued vehicles going into another intersection… you’re going to run into problems,” Doty said.

Local business owner John Holland said the congestion is compounded by the business park’s lack of sidewalks and bike lanes and can be dangerous for kids going to Three Rivers School. While Holland said there haven’t been any serious accidents, there have been “so many close calls that we’re waiting for something to happen.”

The business park continues to get busier as the community grows – with Sunriver Brewing adding a tasting room and plans for a food cart court next to the post office by next spring.

“We’re not a sleepy little recreational community anymore,” said Kent Elliott, executive director of the Sunriver Chamber of Commerce.

Holland and four other business owners in the area formed a committee to look at possible solutions to the congestion in the business park, including making Venture Lane one way (basically a giant traffic circle) and additional entrance and exit points. The county road department will review those ideas.

It will likely take a month or two to find a suitable contractor, then another few months to look at the traffic flow before formalizing plans to improve access not only for vehicles, but for cyclists and pedestrians as well.


Local Option Levy Support – Thank You!

By Dylan Webb, Contributing Writer

On behalf of the men and women who represent Crescent Rural Fire Protection District (CRFPD), I would like to extend a sincere thank you! On Tuesday, November 7, 2017; voters within CRFPD elected to renew a Local Option Levy for personnel.

In November 2012, CRFPD placed the original Local Option Levy on the ballot. The emphasis for the Levy was to allow for continued staffing levels. Now, just as five years ago, staffing levels remain very low. Without a renewal of the Local Option Levy, staffing levels were at risk of reduction.

With the support of voters, the future of CRFPD’s current staffing level will remain as is. The Levy provides for one “dual role” Firefighter/Paramedic.

What does this mean?

• Pay’s for emergency medical responses and fire protection by retaining 1 full- time Firefighter/Paramedic.

• Continued Advanced Life Support on your Ambulance.

• Facilitates training and recertification support for our volunteers.

In part of CRFPD’s conservative budgeting practices, the current levy will remain the same amount ($0.87/$1,000 assessed valuation) as originally passed in 2012.

Your support for CRFPD will help us help you, in your times of need. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Dylan Webb is the Fire Chief of the Crescent Rural Fire Protection District/Central Cascades Fire & EMS.