In Gainesville, the 23,000-square-foot store at Butler Town Center was originally scheduled to open in the spring but was delayed due to COVID-19. With more than 320,000 lifetime members in the state, REI Gainesville marks the Co-op’s third location in Florida joining existing stores in Jacksonville and Winter Park.
REI is donating $5,000 each to the Friends of Paynes Prairie and the Florida Paddling Trails Association. REI has been part of the Florida outdoor community since opening its Jacksonville store in 2013 and plans to open new stores in Boca Raton in fall 2020 and Tampa in 2021. In 2019, REI invested $140,000 in local outdoor nonprofits in Florida.
“We are thrilled to finally open our store in Gainesville and share our love for the outdoors with this incredible community,” said Wendy Green, REI Gainesville store manager. “Whether paddling, cycling or camping, we aspire to be at the center of people’s lives outdoors.”
In Billings, the 22,000-square-foot store was likewise originally scheduled to open in the spring. With more than 147,000 lifetime members in the state, REI Billings marks the Co-op’s fourth location in Montana joining existing stores in Bozeman, Kalispell and Missoula.
“We know our members in Billings have been long awaiting our arrival to the community, and we are thrilled to serve not only those in Billings but members in the Western Dakotas and Northern Wyoming as well,” said Caryn Youngholm, REI Billings store manager. “We look forward to helping our community explore and connect with the incredible outdoor places this region has to offer.”
REI plans to invest $10,000 in local outdoor nonprofits with grant recipients to be announced at a later date. REI has been part of the Montana outdoor community for 20 years since opening its Missoula store in 2000. In 2019, REI invested $73,000 in local outdoor nonprofits in Montana.
REI currently has 161 stores in 39 states and the District of Columbia.