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Bend Parks Apologizes For Winter Registration Issue

BEND, OR -- Hundreds of people trying to sign up for Bend Parks and Rec activities Monday morning ran into issues including transactions that timed out before completion and a frozen website. Monday was the first of a three-day registration period for winter and early spring recreation activities. 

Director of Recreation Services Matt Mercer said Monday, "We feel very terrible for the experience that people have had and we’ve worked hard to improve it over the last year. And, until today, we’ve been able to deliver on that. But today we weren’t."

Registration opened at 6 a.m. for enrichment activities and no-school-day programs, but by 7 a.m., dozens had taken to social media complaining they had classes in their online "cart" but couldn't finish the process. Mercer tells KBND News the problem was resolved by 8:45, but by then, many popular programs had filled. "We have identified that there are around 50 people that attempted to register for a program, and tried to register for a program on a return visit and were unable to get those programs." He added, "We’ve certainly had some people call, and we’re working with people who had that experience and doing our best to accommodate them."

Mercer says the system is constantly updating, just like our phones and computers. On Monday, "An update in our security/anti-virus software ended up affecting registration. It’s something that was unknown to us. And the challenge that we face is being able to truly load-test our system at the level that it experiences - the volume it experiences on the first day of registration." The update caused to a glitch with credit card processing. He says, "Over the last year, we’ve optimized the system where we have been able to have 100 people on per minute, very successfully. We were dropped all the way down to 15 people per minute. We ended up registering, actually, more people than we did last winter. It just took a lot longer to do that."

Registration continues Tuesday for swim lessons and Wednesday for sports leagues. Mercer does not believe those sign-ups will be impacted.


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