BEND, OR -- Winter may still be two months away, but Central Oregonians are already preparing for winter driving. Adam Lugan is the manager at Discount Tire on the north end of Bend where business is nearly double what they typically see in late October. "I think a lot of it has to do with how bad our winter was last year. People are just trying to be a lot more prepared and ahead of the game on it." He tells KBND News, "A lot of the new residents coming in to Bend, as well. Last year, that threw a lot of those new residents off guard; and they came rushing in. Now, a lot of them are more aware and they want to be safe when they travel. They’re coming in and trying to get it handled before it gets into November because, despite how busy we are now, when it snows, it’s a completely different busy."
That’s exactly why Travis Dickey, of Tumalo, got his studless tires put on, recently. "It’s a mad-house in here, first off. And, I’m sure most shops in town are like that. The second reason is with what happened last year, to not get caught before the storm actually comes." Bend resident Sarah Douglas got her winter tires put on last Friday because she doesn’t want to worry about heading over mountain passes, "Last weekend, I drove to Portland and I didn’t have my tires on. On Friday, going over Mt. Hood in the afternoon, it was icy and slick and there was snow on the road and I thought, ‘oh, dang! Wish I had my winter tires on'."