A new REI Co-op location is reportedly set to open its doors near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2020. The new 21,500 square-foot store will open this spring in the Tower Shops at the Mountain Mile complex in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This will be the fifth area location in Tennessee after Brentwood, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis.
The store will be designed to be “a gateway to outdoor adventures in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” according to REI, and it will offer workshops, classes and guided day trips to connect people to the mountains. REI’s 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.
“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 in the release. “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.”
This year, REI said it is investing $100,000 in nonprofits in Tennessee including the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and Legacy Parks Foundation.
REI said it expects to hire up to 45 employees for the new Pigeon Forge location. Candidates can apply at https://rei.jobs.