REI Outdoor School Opens Activity Center at the Historic Stanley Hotel
REI Outdoor School and the iconic Stanley Hotel have partnered to offer a wide range of outings, classes and events to hotel guests, local residents and visitors to Estes Park
Jun 14, 2016
SEATTLE & ESTES PARK, COLO. – With summer activity planning in full gear among adventurers everywhere, leading outdoor educator REI Outdoor School and the iconic Stanley Hotel have partnered to offer a wide range of outings, classes and events to hotel guests, local residents and visitors to Estes Park. REI Outdoor School instructors will guide day trips into Rocky Mountain National Park, staff an outdoor concierge called REI Basecamp, and host activities across the property.
“The Stanley’s focus to be a health and wellness center complements how the co-op and REI Outdoor School inspire an outdoor lifestyle,” said John Sheppard, REI divisional vice president of Outdoor Programs. “From day outings that give hikers a fresh perspective about one of the country’s beloved national parks to sessions where participants can master the art of s’more making at a roaring campfire, we look forward to offering classes and events for all outdoor interests.”
“Each summer, more than 100,000 people stay and visit at The Stanley Hotel. This season is shaping up to be busy and we couldn’t be more pleased to feature the expertise of REI Outdoor School,” said John Cullen, owner of The Grand Heritage Group and The Stanley Hotel. “The partnership between REI and The Stanley blends two great brands in an exciting new way to experience Estes Park and the Rocky Mountains.”
Throughout the summer, REI Outdoor School instructors will host a range of hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park with transportation and gourmet backcountry meals. Small groups will explore some of the park’s most spectacular views and trails that navigate waterfalls, crystal clear sub-alpine lakes and one of the park’s oldest trails through aspen, pine, spruce and fir forests. At the hotel, REI will host an assortment of classes and events, including “How to Climb a 14-er,” “Phone Photography,” “First-Aid Essentials,” and weekly s’mores and whiskey/wine pairings. Special events will include camp cooking with popular chefs from Estes Park, Boulder and Denver. Geocaching, outdoor games and campfire socials make for ongoing fun on and off the trail.
“For a century and a half Estes Park has served as the gateway to mountain recreation amidst scenery among the most spectacular in Colorado,” said Jim Pickering, Estes Park resident and prizewinning author/editor of more than 30 books on the history of Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado and the American West. “REI’s partnership with the historic Stanley Hotel creates a unique opportunity for visitors and the community to explore this outdoor world in new and different ways and with greater appreciation.”
REI Outdoor School is available across the country in the co-op’s 145 stores in 35 states. Last year, nearly 254,000 people learned a new activity or advanced their skills through free and low-cost in-store classes, field programs and day outings for cycling, paddling, fitness, hiking and camping, climbing, snow sports, photography and wilderness medicine. REI is one of the largest providers of wilderness medicine education through its collaboration with the National Outdoor Leadership School – last year more than 4,800 people were taught a solid foundation of first aid skills. In addition, over 4,330 people learned how to ride a bike, one of the co-op’s most popular classes. The new REI Basecamp at The Stanley Hotel complements the company’s education assortment, with a focus on Rocky Mountain National Park.
To kick off the co-op’s partnership with The Stanley, the REI Village will be at the hotel on Friday, June 24 from 10 am until 6 pm. Hotel guests and the community are invited to visit the branded experience that celebrates the national park centennial and a life outdoors. Interactive features include an Instagram postcard station, customized leather keychain stamping and make-your-own sunglasses. The REI Village will be in Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday, June 25 at the visitor center.
In addition to REI Outdoor School’s presence at the hotel, the co-op’s active travel company REI Adventures offers four fully guided trips into Rocky Mountain National Park that range from four to six days. As the “Official Outdoor Retailer” for the National Park Centennial celebration, the company is donating 10 percent of the retail price for each REI Adventures’ national park trip to the National Park Foundation through 2016. Lastly, the co-op unveiled a dynamic digital trail guide earlier this year to enable deeper experiences across the park system. Called the REI Co-op Guide to the National Parks, the free app is powered by the collective knowledge of the outdoor community.
About The Stanley Hotel
The historic Stanley Hotel, located in Estes Park, Colorado, is one of the state’s most iconic landmarks. Located less than a mile from Rocky Mountain National Park, the hotel is a gathering point for adventurers and explorers from around the world. For over 109 years, The Stanley Hotel’s been a basecamp for hiking, climbing, fishing and exploring in one of the world’s most stunning natural playgrounds. The Stanley’s storied origins trace back to inventor and pioneer F.O. Stanley, who founded the hotel and played a fundamental role in the establishment of the town of Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Park. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a member of Historic Hotels of America.
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 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 179 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.