New store will offer top-quality outdoor gear, rentals, expertise and experiences in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains  
11.21.2019
SEATTLE – REI Co-op will open a new store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in spring 2020, bringing quality outdoor gear, rentals, expertise and experiences to the region. Designed to be a gateway to outdoor adventures in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the new 21,500 square-foot store will offer numerous ways for people of all skill levels to get outside. Located in The Tower Shops at The Mountain Mile shopping center, REI Pigeon Forge is designed to both serve the nearly 250,000 lifetime co-op members in Tennessee and the millions of visitors that adventure in the region every year.

“When exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, one of the best places to start is Pigeon Forge,” said Gail Kirkland, REI regional director for the south. “From hiking to backpacking to mountain biking, our goal is to connect our members to the activities they love and the ones they are eager to try.”

REI Pigeon Forge will also offer workshops, classes, and guided day trips to connect people to outdoor experiences in the Great Smoky Mountains. A national leader in outdoor experiences, last year, REI helped more than 350,000 people across the country get outside through classes, tours and events last year. In addition, REI’s active adventure travel company, has operated fully guided trips in the Great Smoky Mountains for more than 12 years and currently offers five overnight travel options in the region.

REI is a member-owned co-op offering top-quality gear, expertise and experiences to connect people to a life outdoors. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay $20 for a lifetime membership and share in the company’s profits through an annual dividend. In addition, REI actively works with nonprofits to steward local trails and public lands and connect people to the outdoors. The co-op annually gives more than 70% of its profits back to the outdoor community through member dividends, employee retirement contributions and investment in nonprofit partners. This year, REI is investing $100,000 in nonprofits in Tennessee including the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and Legacy Parks Foundation. REI Pigeon Forge joins existing stores in Brentwood, Knoxville, Chattanooga and Memphis.  

Join the REI team
Candidates interested in joining the REI team at any local store can apply online at REI.com/jobs.  REI expects to hire up to 45 employees for the Pigeon Forge location. New employees will receive a wide variety of benefits, including generous product and service discounts, competitive pay and retirement contributions. REI employees also enjoy unique perks, like two paid “Yay Days” that allow them to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity and an additional paid day off on Black Friday to #OptOutside with family and friends. REI has been recognized as one of Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 22 consecutive years.

Store facts:
  • Address: 2655 Teaster Lane
  • Square footage: 21,500 square feet
  • Open date: Spring 2020
  • Special features: Bike shop; expansive gear rentals; guided outdoor programs
  • REI Co-op membership: Nearly 250,000 lifetime members in Tennessee, learn more at REI.com/membership
  • Other Tennessee stores: Brentwood (opened 1999), Knoxville (opened 2014), Chattanooga (opened 2018), and Memphis (opened 2018)
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 18 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 162 stores in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the free REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company, a global leader that runs more than 250 itineraries across all continents. In every community where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops 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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