A decision by Bend City Councilors to buy the Rainbow Motel and turn it into a low barrier shelter is drawing the ire of officials with the Bend Central District Business Association and Bend Chamber of Commerce.
In an interview with Central Oregon Daily News, Bend Central District Business Association President Kurt Alexander said the City’s actions and their broader impact on the community were cause for “grave concern.”
The City purchased the motel in January for $4.55 Million dollars with the stated intention of using the property as a low-barrier shelter. Future plans included using the building as a new city hall, housing or public space. Katy Brooks, President and CEO of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, said the Rainbow Motel is a poor choice given its location and prominence within the Bend Central District. She along with officials with the Bend Central District Association wrote letters conveying their concern and requesting the city provide a clear statement of intent for the hotel's use.