Pendleton City Profile

Image: Overlook of PendletonDevelopment opportunities abound with numerous incentives to new or expanding business and industries. The community is located within an enterprise zone offering 3 years of property tax abatement. Utility rates are very reasonable and the infrastructure is capable of handling twice the current usage. Electrical power and natural gas are readily available and telecommunications capacity is great in both speed and band width.

The City of Pendleton is located in the northeast part of Oregon in Umatilla County and has the largest population of any northeast Oregon City at 17,515. Pendleton is centrally located between Portland, Oregon, Seattle and Spokane, Washington, and Boise, Idaho, and is situated at the intersection of two major highways, Interstate 84 and U.S. Highway 395. The City of Pendleton has historically been the hub of economic activity in northeastern Oregon. From a physical point of view, almost all major roads in northeast Oregon converge on Pendleton.  Interstate Highway 84 is the principal east/west route and U.S. Highway 395 is the principal north/south route and they intersect each other within Pendleton City limits.

Geographically, Pendleton is fortunate to be located in a very active recreation region. Many visitors from Western Washington and Oregon, Northern California, and Western Idaho come to Pendleton each year to enjoy some of the fantastic hunting, fishing, boating, skiing, and other outdoor activities abundant in northeast Oregon. Within a 1 hour drive east of Pendleton is the Blue Mountain Range. This mountain range has some of the best hiking, climbing, backpacking, and camping in Oregon. Additionally, the region is known for some of the finest elk, deer, upland bird and waterfowl hunting in North America.

North of Pendleton, the Columbia River offers fishermen some of the best salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, bass, and walleye fishing on the West Coast. Water skiing, sailing and boating are activities enjoyed on the Columbia River. West of Pendleton is the Columbia River Gorge. The “Gorge” has developed into a world class wind surfing center. Public access to the Columbia River is encouraged by thousands of acres of shoreline parks with trails for bicycling, walking and jogging. As a result of these many outdoor activities, Pendleton has become a very attractive stopover destination for vacationers.

Pendleton does have a healthy tourism industry. The world famous Pendleton Round-Up attracts 60,000 to 70,000 spectators each year during the second full week of September. Visitors from across the nation and world return annually for this historical event. A relatively new attraction to Pendleton is the Pendleton Underground Tours. Last year alone, the Pendleton Underground Tours had 25,000 visitors. Projections for the upcoming years are even higher, based upon the future economic development activities occurring in Pendleton and the region.  Moreover, visitors have commented that the Pendleton Underground Tours is far better than the underground tour in Seattle, Washington. Historically, Pendleton is known for its Pendleton Woolen Mill. The Pendleton Woolen Mill has been in the City for more than 85 years and continually attracts more than 28,000 visitors annually.

Another element of Pendleton's successful tourism industry is the Pendleton Convention Center. Opened in 1991, the Pendleton Convention Center hosts many conventions and trade shows throughout the year and has become a real attraction to many northeast Oregon community groups and conventioneers. Last year more than 100,000 visitors attended meetings, conventions, celebrations, and conferences at the Convention Center.

The Wildhorse Gaming Resort on the Umatilla Indian Reservation is attracting an average of 400,000 to 500,000 visitors and the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute is drawing 250,000 to 300,000 visitors annually.  An 18 hole championship golf course was completed in late 1997 and draws players from all over the Pacific Northwest.

Pendleton has the largest regional airport in northeast Oregon, operated as a fully certified commercial service airport with a complete complement of related equipment and services.  The Airport is the location of a 24-hour National Weather Service regional forecast office and Nexrad Doppler radar. The Oregon Army National Guard has sited both an Armored Unit and an Aviation Facility, providing rescue and fire fighting services as needed. The Air Traffic Control Tower operates 14 hours a day from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a 10-year average of 341 VFR days annually. Passenger air service is provided by SeaPort Airlines 3 times daily between Pendleton and Portland. Cargo services are provided by SeaPort Airlines, UPS, FedEX, Fleet Delivery, and United Express.

Photo: Pendleton OverlookIf you need additional information about expanding or locating your business in the City of Pendleton, please click here to email Steve Chrisman, our Pendleton Economic Development Director, or call his office at (541) 377-0885.

If you are visiting and/or wish to learn more about our local foods, services and culture, please contact the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce at (541) 276-7411.

Thank you for your interest in Pendleton!