REI Expands Offerings for National Parks

Gear deals and programs mark NPS centennial

Apr 1, 2015
Outside Magazine
REI Expands Offerings for National Parks

REI aims to make the national parks more accessible and fun.    Matt Matches/Flickr

Through 2017, outdoor retailer REI will be offering promotional details on gear and guided travel specific to the National Park Service in celebration of the NPS’ 100th anniversary, according to a press release on the company’s website. 

Touting the parks as a crucial site of inspiration for its co-op members to better enjoy the outdoors, REI president and CEO Jerry Stritzke said the company would concentrate its efforts in making the parks more accessible and fun.

“REI is aiming to connect people everywhere, including our community of 5.5 million members, with America’s greatest natural spaces—in particular the hidden gems,” Stritzke said. “We’re channeling a good portion of our support for the centennial into stewarding these places so that their beauty can be enjoyed for generations.”

This week, REI was among the key corporate sponsors of Find Your Park, a public awareness program designed to help people better connect with the parks system. In addition, the Kent, Washington–based retailer will offer new NPS-specific gear and travel programs, including five new trips to U.S. national parks through REI Adventures, its proprietary travel company. Through 2016, REI will donate 10 percent of the retail price for each of these programs to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of the NPS.

According to the press release, REI’s partnership with the NPS extends from a long-held policy of supporting nonprofits that seek to make the outdoors more accessible, of which the National Park Foundation is a prime example.

“REI began in the national parks. Seventy-six years ago, our founders and their friends searched for an ice axe to climb Mount Rainier, and the co-op was born,” Stritzke said. “Spending time in these treasured places often creates a deep and lasting connection with the outdoors.”