Recreational Equipment, Inc. plans to open a store in Asheville, North Carolina in the fall of 2008 at Biltmore Park Town Square, a new mixed-use village. The one-story 29,000 square-foot store will be located approximately 12 minutes from downtown Asheville at the intersection of Long Shoals Road and Interstate 26. Employing about 70 full- and part-time staff, the store will feature a community room with capacity for 50 people for classes, presentations and events.

“We look forward to opening our store in Asheville in late 2008 and being a resource to outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities,” said REI Retail Director Gail Kirkland. “The area boasts some of the most exciting recreation opportunities along the East Coast, in Asheville and more than 1.6 million acres of public lands within 50 miles.”

REI's retail presence in North Carolina dates back to 1992 when the cooperative opened a store in Cary, N.C. Other REI locations in the state include Durham, Raleigh, Greensboro and Pineville, a suburb of Charlotte. Earlier this year, the co-op announced the opening of a second store in the Charlotte-area for spring 2008.