REI Opens Soon

November 18-20 Celebration Planned for Outdoor Gear Shop

An invitation-only community party is planned for 6 p.m. on November 10 at the Santa Barbara REI outdoor gear store the day before it officially opens at 321 Anacapa Street, company officials said Tuesday.

The store is in a 24,500-square-foot building near Gutierrez Street.

From November 18 through 20, the weekend after the store officially starts business, a public grand-opening celebration is planned, with a free continental breakfast to be served. The breakfast will be served beginning at 9 a.m. on November 18 and 19 and starting at 10 a.m. on November 20, an hour before the store opens each day, REI spokeswoman Bethany Hawley said.

“The new store in Santa Barbara has approximately 62 employees, with approximately 10 transferring from other REI locations,” Hawley said. Store recruiters said they have filled all the jobs at the Santa Barbara store, but still are taking applications.

The first 200 people, age 12 and older, through the door from November 18 to 20 will receive a limited-edition CamelBak water bottle with a $5, $10, $25, $50, or $100 REI gift card inside. Contests to win REI gear prizes also will be offered during the weekend.

Anyone who buys an REI membership will receive a free, limited-edition OXT Tech T-shirt during the weekend, while supplies last.

Founded in 1938 by some Pacific Northwest mountaineers, REI operates more than 100 retail stores nationwide, two online stores, and an adventure travel company. It sells products for camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, fitness, paddling, snow sports, and travel.

Company officials say they are “committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations, and financial contributions.”

The South Coast Biz Blog is a roundup of the latest business news in the Santa Barbara area and is written by Ray Estrada,, who has covered business in the region for numerous publications over the past couple decades. See more at and

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