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Community Information
In 2006, the Chamber published the third edition of The Guide. The Guide provides an overview of Big Bear's assets and includes Big Bear's history; climate and topography; demographics; recreational opportunities; arts, culture and literature; special attractions; special events; clubs and organizations; education; health and child care; technology; transportation; and governemnt entities and managing districts. The Guide also includes two comprehensive directories to the Chamber's Membership. Please call 909-866-4607 or contact us today for a free copy. Highlights from the Guide include:

Big Bear Transportation: The Big Bear City Airport is a great asset to the community. The airport is open 365 days a year, around the clock and is the only airport serving the mountaintop. Airport services include three fixed-base maintenance providers, a fixed-base flight school, UNICOM, charter service and two onsite restaurants. The airport provides rental hangars, tie downs, auto storage and overnight parking. Public transportation and off the mountain (OTM) service are available through the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority (MARTA). MARTA provides bus service between Big Bear Lake, Crestline, Lake Arrowhead, San Bernardino and Victor Valley. Local, daily fixed-route service is available with designated stops throughout Big Bear. On weekends and holidays, year-round, MARTA offers its Visitor's Trolley for transporation around the valley. OTM service is provided Monday through Saturday, with three runs on weekdays and two on Saturdays. Dial-a-ride is also offered through MARTA on a year-round basis.

Big Bear Education: Of great importance to families and companies considering a community is the quality of its educational system. According to recent statistics, the Bear Valley Unified School District has been outstanding. For the Class of 2000, for instance, 55.4% of the students had completed the coursework required for entrance into the University of California and California State University Systems. This was not only the highest among major areas of San Bernardino County, it was 15% above the second place Rim of the World District (39.7%) and far above the California average (34.8%). Further, under Stanford-9 procedures where California students in grades 2 – 11 are tested in a variety of skills, in 2000 Big Bear area’s students ranked 1st in reading and math, 7th in spelling and 10th in language, compared to 16 major San Bernardino County districts with elementary schools. The district’s schools include three elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and one continuation school. The K-12 instructional program promotes student success in language, arts, math, science and history, and offers a comprehensive extra-curricular program. Within easy reach of Big Bear are 21 public and private colleges with a total of 141,000 students. The San Bernardino Community College District offers courses in the Big Bear area, as well as Career College coursework in Child Development, Hospitality and Retail.

Big Bear Healthcare: Bear Valley Community Healthcare District offers a continuum of care and community education including Bear Valley Community Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facility, Family Health Center, Family Counseling Center, and Paramedic/Ambulance Service. Bear Valley Community Hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Its services include 24-hour emergency care, acute respiratory care, inpatient medical care, in- out-patient surgery, laboratory and physical therapy. The Family Health Center provides medical care for the whole family providing physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants and a licensed acupuncturist. The Family Counseling Center provides outpatient mental health services, a school-based drug and alcohol prevention program, and special education services.

Big Bear offers multiple licensed family day care facilities throughout the area as well as a nationally accredited family day care facility. Accreditation supports the profession of family child care, encourages high-quality care for children, and provides opportunities for the accredited facility to mentor other providers, thus improving the overall level of the quality care of the area. Big Bear is proud to be the home of one of 259 accredited family day cares in the entire state of California. Other child day care includes Rainbow Kids Club, a before and after-school program

In 2004, there were approximately 17,354 full-time residents in Big Bear (up from 16,700 in 2000) and approximately 7,112 total households (up from 6,861 in 2000). Approximately 60% of the population is considered Rural Resort Dwellers and are defined by ESRI Business Information Systems to be residents that follow the scenic route, prefer pastoral settings, drive four-wheel drive trucks, bake and prepare home-cooked meals, participate in local civic issues, and like to read about fishing, hunting and home improvement.

The average household size in 2004 was 2.44 persons and the median household income was $40,276, up from $35,765 in 2000. Per capital income also increased to $23,469 in 2004, from $20,280 in 2000.

Big Bear is a resort community and as a result the majority of housing in Big Bear is owned as a second home. Of the total 20,352 housing units, approximately 65.1% are vacant (second homes), 25.2% are owner occupied, and 9.7% are renter occupied. The median home value was $207,425 in 2004 with an average value of $262,416, compared to $134,947 and 171,289 in 2000, respectively.
Future population and economic growth is expected to outpace that of the past based upon the forecasted growth for the Inland Empire (both San Bernardino and Riverside Counties). The Inland Empire remains one of the fastest growing regions in the nation. Out of the 3,100 counties in the nation, Riverside ranked 3rd and San Bernardino ranked 6th in terms of absolute population growth between 2001 and 2002.

Travel (hotel and amusement) and retail are by far the largest business segments in Big Bear, accounting for 29.8% and 28.0% of Big Bear’s 2000 employment, respectively. Combined, these two segments account for 58% of Big Bear’s 2000 employment. These segments also experienced the largest employment gains from 1991-2000, indicating the fastest growing segments. The travel segment gained 560 employees during the 10-year period, with retail gaining 373. The next largest growth occurred in the finance/real estate segments with a gain of 128. Approximately 64% of all job growth from 1991-2000 occurred in the travel and retail segments.

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