REI Launches United Outside to Bring D.C. Residents Together in the Outdoors During Divisive Political Season
Co-op kicks off 100 days of outdoor activities this summer to open flagship store in NoMa, including free weekend of events July 16-17
Jun 18, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In one of the most heated political races in recent history, REI is marking the opening of its D.C. Flagship store this fall by giving residents a way to disconnect and reconnect with one another. Today marks the start of 100 days of REI events designed to help everyone recharge in the outdoors. Launched under the banner "United Outside", the campaign culminates with the opening of REI's fifth flagship store in NoMa this fall.
United Outside will give residents and visitors to the nation’s capital the chance to find common ground in nature during a divisive election year. REI is offering a weekend of free outdoor programs on July 16 and 17 in Washington, D.C., and plans to take the free weekend national later in the month.
“One thing we can agree on is the transformation that happens when we put down our laptops, turn off our phones and head outside. Being outdoors changes both our own psyche and our relationship with the people we adventure alongside,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI CEO and president. “We believe in a life well-lived in the outdoors for all.”
100 Days of Outdoor Events
As Congress heads out for recess, REI will kick off a free weekend of adventures for all residents and visitors on July 16 and 17. Some of the events include:
- A collection of REI Outdoor School classes for hiking, cycling, padding and more
- Free Capital Bikeshare rentals across the Greater D.C. area
- Kayak and standup paddleboard rentals at the Key Bridge Boathouse on the Potomac
- Free entry to C&O Canal National Historic Park at Great Falls Tavern, MD
The fun continues throughout the summer with United Outside events and opportunities to hone outdoor skills. REI’s event line-up includes a two-day backpacking trip in Shenandoah National Park, REI Wrench Night at Three Stars and a range of outdoor programs held at the Wunder Garten near the new REI DC Flagship in the NoMa neighborhood, including Campfire Chat Series, Backcountry Cocktails and the co-op’s popular Thingamajig Gear Swap.
Vote for the Outdoors
Those who join REI at any of the 100 United Outside events and help the co-op decide how to share $100,000 with five local nonprofit organizations: C&O Canal Trust, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Anacostia Waterfront Society and Outdoor Foundation’s Every Kid in a Park. Throughout the summer, participants can vote at the Wunder Garten for one of these dedicated organizations doing important work on behalf of the outdoors in and around D.C.
REI in the D.C. Community
With roots in the D.C. area since 1987, the member-owned co-op has a history of supporting a strong outdoor community. This includes partnerships with WABA, Rock Creek Conservancy and Anacostia Watershed Society in creating access to local outdoor places, and helping nearly 300,000 members enjoy nature through inspiring gear, employee expertise and REI Outdoor School. As the nation’s largest provider of outdoor education, REI Outdoor School last year taught nearly 16,000 people across the D.C. area a new activity or advanced skills.
After an event-filled summer, the co-op will open its D.C. Flagship in the NoMa neighborhood this fall on the first floor of the historic Uline building. The more than 51,000 square-foot store will be the co-op’s fifth flagship location among 145 stores in 35 states across the country.
About the REI Co-op
REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 184 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.