Facebook has announced that it will build a second data center in Prineville. InEnTec has raised $20 million. Black Butte Ranch is investing $3.75 million in a golf remodel. And Cascade Bancorp has reported a $2 million quarterly profit. Is Central Oregon’s economy finally returning to health?
Earlier this year, Powell’s Books made national headlines by eliminating 31 jobs in Portland, stirring up familiar questions about the future of independent booksellers in the age of e-readers and smart phones. But a quick study of the latest numbers from Oregon’s top private companies shows that Powell’s actually survived the recession in a stronger position than many of its peers.
Greg Cole and his growing team at Windward Performance recently sawed a hole in the wall of one of the seven hangars they occupy at Bend Municipal Airport to make room for their newest project: a non-motorized glider designed to soar to 90,000 feet above sea level. That would set a new world record for manned, wing borne, sustained level flight.
Yesterday’s Gorge Angel Conference 2011 event produced plenty of ideas: a new winch for securing loads on flatbed trucks, a simple cloth wrap to keep babies warm and safe in the neonatal intensive care unit, an electronic product registration system to do away with the annoying rebate’s-in-the-mail ritual and more. Now they need cash.
Intel is building a $2.5 billion factory in Hillsboro. Facebook is pouring millions into Prineville and Google is investing $100 million in Eastern Oregon wind power. Crop and beef prices are up - as are crab and salmon prices. Bank of the Cascades, MBank and others have avoided the wrath of the FDIC. Trucking is up 26 percent year over year, online job ads are up 23 percent, and business and personal bankruptcies are down 3.4 and 8 percent respectively. To me, this adds up to a preponderance of evidence.