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Bend Parks Board says 'no' to in-park vendors

Published On: Jun 04 2014 01:52:34 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 04 2014 01:35:25 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Femi Abebefe heard from park goers about whether they agree with the decision.

BEND, Ore. -

The Bend Park and Recreation District has decided not to commercialize local parks.

The park board said they want to keep the integrity of the parks. Tuesday evening, park-goers we talked to shared how they felt about the issue.

"I like the park the way it is, and I feel like with the Old Mill right around here, we have a lot of food options as is,” Riverbend Park user Joe Valceschini said. “It's just a short walk away."

Those sentiments were shared by the park board, which over the years has seen many businesses wanting to utilize the parks for commercial uses.

"Over the last several years, we've seen an increase in commercial business wanting to use public parks as a venue for their business operations," said Jan Taylor, the Bend Park and Recreation District's community relations manager.

That didn't sway their opinion in favor of the vendors though.

But one man said he wouldn't mind having the option of getting a snack while enjoying the park.

"It's nice to have a vendor down here sometimes,” Alvin Campbell said. “If you want a drink, instead of drinking out of a fountain, you can get bottled water. Stuff like that, if you want a sandwich or something."

Another park-goer said it's all about having the right balance.

"I think that having some temporary vendors who may be set up for a little bit at a time or traveling" would be okay, Eliza Rosenstein said.

Valceschini has lived in Bend his whole life and supports the park board's decision, more for sentimental reasons.

"Bend is growing a lot, and I think that sometimes it grows so much, it kind of detracts from the small town feel," Valceschini said.

The park district will continue to have a partnership with Sun Country Tours, which supplies life jackets and floating devices in Riverbend Park.


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