REI Co-op on Wednesday announced the acquisition of its long-standing adventure travel partner Arizona Outback Adventures (AOA). For more than 15 years, REI and AOA have partnered to deliver guided active adventures in national parks and iconic destinations across the Western United States.
As a subsidiary of REI, AOA will remain in Scottsdale, Arix. AOA founder Seth Heald will continue to oversee AOA’s operations, program development and the more than 120 outdoor adventure guides and office staff. He also assumes a leadership role in REI’s experiences division.
“AOA shares our commitment to customer service and outstanding, uniquely REI experiences. Together we will continue to innovate to help people play, adventure and explore the outdoors,” said Leslie Garrard, REI vice president of experiences. “The talented AOA team guides a significant portion of our current domestic multiday active adventure trips with some of the industry’s best guides.”
“We’re thrilled to join with REI as we continue to grow our business to get more people outside through life-changing experiences,” Heald said. “Our companies have always shared a growth mindset and strong values. In this new relationship with REI, we have a vast opportunity to expand our adventure offerings in more national parks, iconic wilderness areas, and recreation destinations across the United States.”
This year, AOA will operate more than 50 REI adventure travel itineraries at 20 destinations across the American West, national parks and monuments, including new cycling and mountain biking trips, classic camping and hiking adventures.