Eye on Travel — Tetherow Resort in Bend, Oregon — June 5, 2021
This week’s broadcast of Eye on Travel comes from the Tetherow Resort in Bend, Oregon. We’ll have a full global update on travel, ranging from new airlines like Avelo (which now flies to Bend, Mesa, Arizona, Ogden, Utah, and Bozeman, Montana). And we’ll also talk with David Neeleman, CEO of Breeze. And with airfares starting to soar, Peter has a game plan. He also sits down with Drew Bledsoe, Former NFL Quarterback and Bend resident, and now Founder of Bledsoe Wine Estates. Bledsoe joins the show for more than a football memory lane and speaks about what brought him to Bend, what keeps him there, and how many other NFL greats are now winemakers. And, about that picture: I’m standing at the last remaining Blockbuster store on the planet, with my purchase (for $2, the best of Johnny Carson, on VHS). Now if I can only find a machine to play it! There’s all this and more on this week’s Eye on Travel.
Press the play button above to stream the full broadcast. Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. E-mail him at email@example.com, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).
David Neeleman, CEO and Founder of Breeze Airlines, talks about his newest airline, Breeze, expanding on its philosophy and where the airline can succeed in today’s market. Neeleman says that the airline is for leisure travelers, explaining the flight schedule and the reasoning for choosing the locations where Breeze will fly into. By tapping into untouched markets, he speaks about how this new airline has already provided cheaper and faster alternatives. With his expertise from his former start-up airlines such as Azul, he explains why this airline where “trip costs are king” will work. Neeleman then informs us that one of his biggest challenges so far is simply making sure operations are running smoothly.
George Endicott, Mayor of Redmond, joins the program to speak about the staggering growth the city and the nearby Bend have experienced in the last couple of years. The Mayor shares some of his local hidden gems and discusses the Redmond Airport and the routes that are starting or coming back post-pandemic. He dives into the great staycations you can have in the region (he speaks from personal experience) and the most surprising thing for people who visit. People tend to think about the lush rainforest of Western Oregon and realize that the Bend/Redmond area is a high desert and a different world.
Drew Bledsoe, Former NFL Quarterback & Founder of Bledsoe Wine Estates, teaches everyone how to properly say “Oregon” and walks us down a football memory lane before diving into his thriving wine business. Bledsoe knew close to nothing about wine and speaks to the competitiveness of the industry, standing out and the collective spirit of the local wineries. He further expands on why it’s much more than just a hobby and explains the different types of grape we see across Oregon and how each is beneficial to varying juices.
Laura Ferguson, Senior Curator of Western History at the High Desert Museum, describes exactly what the high desert is and what people commonly think about when they think of Oregon, but this is the eastern side. She describes the new exhibits at the museum, the Oregon cowboys you might not know about and the indigenous history that is endemic to the region. Ferguson also talks about the Burning Man exhibit, the stories that have shaped the area and what surprises visitors the most.
Joshua Savage, Author of 100 Things to Do in Bend, Oregon Before You Die, was traveling all over the country until he found his place – Bend! He describes what attracted him to Bend, what got him to stay and how it compares to the other places he’s been. Savage then discusses some of the biggest surprises about the region, what he discovered when writing the book and what he continues to learn today. He speaks to some of the best ways to see Bend, mispronouncing places and some of the beautiful outdoors that Bend has to offer. Then, he reveals the beer passport he has that gets stamped around town. He’s filled this passport twice!
Steve Cohen, of Chamber Magic, founded the magic show 20 years ago and is now reopening at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel. He says that he will perform close-up magic and he explains how he decided that the show will not reference the pandemic. Cohen describes a few tricks of his, including the “Think-a-Drink” and Peter’s favorite, “The Rising Card” trick. The two discuss Cohen’s historical magic show he worked on with the History Channel and the various magic tricks he was able to try for the show in countries such as India and England. Then in detail, Cohen shares a story of an “Indian Rope Trick” he witnessed during those travels.
Brian Barth, Founder and CEO of UpLift (a buy-now, pay-later travel booking service used by over 200 travel organizations), speaks about how Uplift opens the door for more people to travel by eliminating the stress of paying for a trip upfront by allowing people to break up the bill into smaller, manageable payments. Barth adds that Uplift is different from credit cards in that the customer has the power to choose how many payments they want to make to pay off their purchase, there aren’t any late or hidden fees, and interest rates can be as low as zero with many of its partners and are almost always less than what a credit card company would charge.
Sandi Harding, Manager at the last Blockbuster in the world, chats about how the local community of Bend and its spirit of supporting local businesses keeps the store running. She recounts stories of tourists buying VHS players for one night of nostalgia and how families bring their children just so they can try something new. As the sole remaining Blockbuster, she explains how it has kept a licensing agreement with Dish Network to continue running under the famous name. Harding says that everyone comes in with smiles on their faces, which makes it a great place.
Trish Connolly, Battalion Chief at the Bend Fire Department, explains how she ended up in Bend and what it’s like looking to the future of wildfires in the high desert given that temperatures and the drought are already here. The Chief speaks to staying safe in the region. A lot of people don’t know what to expect when they come to the Bend region, an area full of outdoor activities. Connolly then shares what she argues to be unparalleled food and her picks around town.
Julia Cooke, Reporter & Author of Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am, speaks about the enigma behind the airline’s stewardesses and their pseudo-diplomatic role not just in airline history, but in U.S. history. She describes the John F. Kennedy International Airport event that sparked her interest and inspired her to write the book. There was a time where Pan Am was more recognizable to Americans than even Coca-Cola, and Cooke shares more on its iconography and the significant role the airline’s stewardesses played in the Vietnam War.
Jamar Adams, Executive Chef at Tetherow Resort, explains the distinction between Central Oregon cuisine and the rest of the state, along with the common misconceptions about Pacific Northwest food. He speaks about truffles, local sourcing and keeping his food “as close to Oregon as possible.” Adams speaks about all things mushrooms and the best beers around. Bend might just be the “beer capital” in this region.