New store offers top-quality outdoor gear, full-service bike shop and outdoor experiences with REI Outdoor School

05.04.2018
SEATTLE – Outdoor co-op REI will be officially open for business in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Waterside development on May 18. The new 25,000-square-foot store will offer a wide assortment of quality gear, experiences and expertise, as well as a full-service bike shop. Chattanooga is home to nearly 6,000 active REI members, and is within approximately 100 miles of the Chattahoochee National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cumberland Plateau and the Appalachians.
 
“Chattanooga is a hub for recreation in the southeastern United States, and we are working hard to make sure we show up for this community in a big way,” said Jacki Harp, REI Chattanooga store manager. “REI Chattanooga will offer quality gear for the many outdoor activities this community has to offer, and a full-service bike shop, where customers can enjoy low-cost maintenance and repairs. We’ve also hired 62 employees who bring local knowledge and outdoor expertise.”
 
Starting June 10, REI Chattanooga will also be home to REI Outdoor School, offering free and low-cost classes on mountain biking, paddling, climbing and navigation. REI Outdoor School is a national leader in outdoor education, teaching more than 375,000 people across the country last year.
 
REI Chattanooga is celebrating the new store with free public activities, events and giveaways prior to and continuing throughout the grand opening weekend.
 
  • REI Play Days, May 5-6: In anticipation of the store opening on May 18, REI is sponsoring free outdoor community activities including free bike rides with the City of Chattanooga’s Bike Share program, waived entry fees for climbing at Stone Fort bouldering area, and free SUP rentals with L2 at Coolidge Park. Learn more here.
  • Enjoy free food and activities, May 18-20: Starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, REI Chattanooga will host a party in the parking lot, with free breakfast, music, games and REI Outdoor School classes. Vendors will also be on site until noon, with exclusive giveaways and demonstrations.
  • Shop early, get rewards, May 18-20: The first 250 people (age 18 and up) through the door on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will receive a limited-edition Nalgene water bottle with a $10, $50 or $100 REI promotional card inside. The store opens at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
 
To celebrate the new store, REI invested a total of $40,000 in four Chattanooga nonprofits: North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, Wild Trails, Lookout Mountain Conservancy and Southeastern Climbers Coalition. In 2017, REI donated $57,000 to the local outdoor community in Tennessee, including a $12,000 grant to Girls Inc of Chattanooga through its Force of Nature fund. With more than 86,000 members in the state, REI also has stores in Brentwood (opened 1999) and Knoxville (opened 2014), and plans to open a new store in Memphis later this year.
 
Store facts:
  • Address: 2507 Lifestyle Way
  • 25,000 square-feet
  • Grand Opening Date: May 18-20
  • Specialty bike shop, REI Outdoor School classes
  • 62 employees
 
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 17 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 151 stores in 36 states. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI.com/rei-garage or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner-to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.
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