REI Adventure Tours
The Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) is a national outdoor retail chain who’s main objective is to design, inspire, educate and outfit it’s customers and members who are passionate in participating in outdoor activities just as they are! Many people are unaware that REI is much more than just your average outdoor retailer for recreational equipment and clothing. REI offers a a variety of different educational classes that cover various topics such as: Wilderness Survival and Winter Skills, Winter Camping Basics, Wildreness First Aid and much more! To gain a better understanding of the REI business and all that they offer, I spoke with the Fort Collins REI store manager, Jason Orr.
How long have you been in business?
We have been around since 1938 and we have been in Fort Collins for 22 years.
What kind of trips/classes does REI offer?
On our main REI.com site we have different categories that include: camp/hike, climb, cycle, paddle, run, snow, travel, yoga, men, women, kids and more. We take our outdoor education to another level because we host classes in the store as well as hosting local trips.
What are REI’s Adventure Trips?
Essentially, REI Adventures is a travel agency within REI. They’re REI staff and people who appreciate customers just like we do in the physical store and then they connect customers with the appropriate trips. Then we contract with in-country guides because it’s not just about an outdoor activities for many of our travelers but a cultural experience as well and we believe that our in-country guides are some of the best on the planet.
We are a leader in sustainable tourism around the entire world. So these are our international trips, often times using contracted guides within the countries in which we do business. All of the details for these trips can be found within a travel tab that allows you to see all the trips that we are doing along with reviews and recommendations of why you should travel with REI.
What level of expertise do these tour guides have?
Anywhere you start to look on REI adventures you’ll start to see the accolades and some of the awards we’ve won as well as being able to read feedback from customers about the trip. Everything from the coordination to the guide itself and even to the overall experience. Often times, people will say that it’s been the best trip of their lifetime.
Are there trips offered year round?
Yeah, for sure and there’s different levels of activities. So some activities are much more strenuous and some are a little lower key that involve drinking and more walking as opposed to mountain biking or kayaking, so there is really a variety of trips.
How do I become a member?
Membership is a one time 20$ fee and folks are members forever. There is no annual fee or anything weird like that. We want people to engage with us, it’s not just this give us your money thing. We want to have fun outdoors with you and our members are friends,as well as a part of our community and we get to serve them.
What I could tell from this one-on-one with Jason was that REI’s entire outlook and business plan is about educating customers and inviting them to enjoy the beautiful outdoors locally. While also encouraging their members to explore other parts of the world. Everything about REI just bleeds community and engagement, which is shown in the trip reviews that customers leave. One thing is forsure. The next time I plan on taking a trip abroad, it’ll be done through REI Adventure Tours!
“We inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship.”