My GF grew up in the McMinnville/Lafayette area, so just beyond Newberg...so I am out there a lot.
Honestly....Newberg pretty much blows. I am sure the school and campus are great. I went to a similar sized school of about 2400 (Puget Sound) and most of your life revolves around campus, so as long as campus life is decent, you would probably not notice how boring newberg is.
Still....it is nice to have some other shit around. Some variety of bars, restaurants, etc is pretty nice. There isn't much in Newberg.
What other schools are you looking at? Have you visited George Fox? I would make sure you visit if you are strongly considering going there.
Traffic in on 99 to PDX can suck, but not much you can do about that. I am guessing it would take about 1 hr 30 minutes to ski bowl, 1 hr 40 minutes to Timberline, and 1 hour 50 minutes to meadows from there with no traffic (takes me about 1 hour from my apt in downtown portland to pulling into skibowl's parking lot, for reference).
At the end of the day, pick the school you are the happiest with. I personally am glad I went to school somewhere that had some more depth and variety than newberg though.
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