Having lived in Maryland for seversal year prior to moving to Georgia, i have seen and used various REI locations in the greater Washingon D.C. area; i am in fact an REI member.
That said, I recently received an email about how REI rents equipment. After putting my location, i was shocked to see that REI does not offer any canoe or kayak rental in the Atlanta, Georgia area. I live just a few easy miles from the Chatttahoochee River, which includes equally easy access to the NPS Island Ford National Recreational Area; also situated on the river.
In turn, Roswell Road is a significant route thru the Roswell-Sandy Springs Area; a significant route of travel for the local population. There are several shopping centers in this area in need of tenents. The other year, Kroger Grocery stores closed one of their Sandy Springs location, leaving an large anchor store available to rent. Bigs lots closed a large store many years ago, also with lots of parking like the closed Kroger store. If this sounds like a downward trend in sales, i can assure you it is not. Mercedes Benz has gone into the same area in a big way, and other retailers are following suit. Redevelopment has begun in earnest.
I respectfully suggest that REI consider one of these locations for a retail store, or perhaps a specialized store that offers canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals. Perhaps an indoor climbing gym could be tied into such a location as well. While the sale of climbing gear does not make an outdoor retailer rich ( I have worked for and managed many small outdoors stores in my life, so i am fully aware ) I also know that climbing, climbing gear, and accessories to water sports such as paddles, life vests, and helmits do contirbute to the flow of customers into a store such as REI. With the Chattahoochee River so integrel to the community, REI would compliment the surrounding community perfectly. (The REI Perimeter store is simply too removed from the river to serve this purpose. ) I hope you take this request seriously, and forward my idea to whomever has the authority to give it serious consideration.
@John_Arsenault thank you so much for this post and these suggestions! One of the things we are most excited about with this new community is our ability to receive feedback, ideas and suggestions from our members, so your post is great! We will absolutely pass your suggestions along, both to our Rentals team to consider adding boats to our Atlanta rental fleet, and to our New Store Development team to consider the Roswell-Sandy Springs Area for some kind of REI presence! As you likely know, it does take time for us to select and commit to new locations, as well as to add new rental categories to our current fleets; please know that a lack of visible action does not mean there is no action happening behind the scenes!
(Lastly, we have removed your email address from your post to help protect your privacy.)