SEATTLE – National outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) today held the first of many Twinkie Roasts across the country, a quirky annual employee event to beckon Mother Nature to provide a hearty snowfall on behalf of snowsports lovers everywhere.
The REI Twinkie Roast began in the late 1970’s at the co-op’s Berkeley, Calif. store. Today, its headquarters, two distributions centers and many of the company’s stores hold employee events to generate excitement about the upcoming winter season.
While REI doesn’t formally track the success of its Twinkie Roasts, there are several noteworthy, some might say mysterious, successes. According to employee accounts, after the Denver store’s 2006 Twinkie Roast, fondly remembered as the burning of the “Twinx” (Twinkie sphinx), there was a Christmas blizzard and the sixth highest single day snowfall on Colorado records. This success was surpassed in 2007 by the burning of the “Twinnacle” (climbing pinnacle wrought from sponge cake) when snow fell in the mountains 59 out of 62 consecutive days.
The co-op happily outfits its members and customers for a wide variety of snowsports, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, sledding and other activities. During the 2008-2009 winter season, REI sold enough skis and snowboards that when stacked equal the height of Mt. Rainier (14,410’) 19 times.
Editor’s Note: Images and video of REI’s Twinkie Roast at its headquarters and retail stores will be posted on the co-op’s social media pages as they are available -- Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/REICoOp); You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/reifindout), and Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rei-findout).