REI plans to open a store in Bend, Ore., in November 2005 in The Shops at the Old Mill District along the Deschutes River.

The 28,000 square-foot store located in a former power plant is REI’s first in Central Oregon. REI has about 5,000 active members in the city of Bend, who have shopped at four Western Oregon stores in Portland, Tigard, Hillsboro and Eugene as well as online at The Bend store will employ about 55 full- and part-time staff.

“REI members have been asking for a store in Bend for quite some time,” Vice President of Real Estate Jerry Chevassus said. “Bend is one of the top outdoor recreation communities in the country. The Deschutes, Metolius and Crooked rivers, Mt. Bachelor, the Three Sisters Wilderness and Newberry National Volcanic Monument highlight a landscape that invites paddling, cycling, skiing, hiking and camping.”

The store will provide REI’s full line of outdoor gear and clothing for hiking, camping, climbing, cycling, paddling and winter sports and all the top outdoor brands including REI’s own gear and apparel.