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REI plans store in Huntington Beach, Calif.  See new store photos & grand opening

For Immediate Release
Mike Foley

SEATTLE, March 18, 2004 — The 22,500 square-foot store will serve 45,000 active cooperative members in Orange County. While anyone may join or shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. REI was founded in Seattle in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers.

"Huntington Beach is a great outdoor community with access to beaches, Chino Hills State Park and the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains," said REI Vice President of Real Estate Jerry Chevassus. "Bella Terra with its dining and entertainment, open air fountains, court yards and cobblestones, provides a convenient and exciting place to shop."

The new construction store will be leased from the J.H. Snyder Company, the development manager for Huntington Center Associates. Bella Terra was formerly the Huntington Center. The renovation of the center into an open air entertainment and lifestyle center began last year.

The Huntington Beach store will be REI's sixth in the Los Angeles market. Other stores are located in Santa Ana, Arcadia, Manhattan Beach and Northridge. A store will open in Rancho Cucamonga in November 2004.

The store will employ 50 full- and part-time staff and provide REI's full line of outdoor gear and clothing for hiking, camping, climbing, cycling, paddling, snow sports and travel. It will offer top outdoor brands including REI's own gear and apparel. A gear rental department will encourage people to try outdoor sports.

REI stores provide an interactive environment where customers can try out gear. The Huntington Beach store will include a camp stove demonstration area, a water filter testing station and a hiking boot testing rock, plus space to climb into tents and heft backpacks. REI is also known for knowledgeable employees who help select the right gear and offer information and useful tips on how to achieve a great outdoor experience.

REI was recently named for the seventh consecutive year to FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" list, ranking 24th. REI is one of only eight companies to have been included on each of the magazine lists and two book versions.

REI sells outdoor recreation products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning gear and apparel.

A portion of REI's profits is set aside each year for support of outdoor recreation and environmental stewardship causes, with $2 million to be awarded in 2004. REI currently operates 69 stores in 24 states, two online stores – and – and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures.

REI products are ideal for camping trips and outdoors activities..  Some resources you may enjoy include California National Parks photos and California State Parks photos and information.