REI set to open May 2

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Finishing touches are being done at the REI building in Keizer Station, set to open in early May. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Finishing touches are being done at the REI building in Keizer Station, set to open in early May. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Looking for new outdoor gear in Keizer?

If so, here’s some good news: the REI store in Keizer Station is about to open.

Washington-based REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) already has several stores in the region but none in the Salem-Keizer market. That will change early next month as Salem REI opens at 6035 Ulali Drive NE, the former Circuit City building.

“The opening date is May 2 and we will have a variety of grand opening activities May 2 to 4,” said Bethany Hawley, senior public affairs associate with REI.

Circuit City closed its store in March 2009. Since January 2010, the Keizer Soccer Club had been using the building as the Futsal Center, with the understanding they would leave if a new tenant came in.

That finally happened last fall, as REI submitted plans to convert the building.

The conversion included adding 1,735 square feet to the back of the building, making it 22,165 square feet total.

A VIP community reception is taking place at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 1, with the public opening the next day. Juan Quintero will be the store manager.

“We are thrilled to open a store in Salem and look forward to partnering with your community,” Quintero and REI CEO Jerry Stritzke said in a statement.

REI is a retail cooperative founded in 1938. The Keizer Station store will have gear and clothing for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, travel and more. It will also have a bike shop, with a full range of services.

For more information on the store and upcoming events, visit www.rei.com/salem.

With the opening at Keizer Station, REI will have five locations in the greater Portland area, with the next closest being in Tigard.

City leaders have been waiting for the opening since the news came out last October.

“This is certainly not only good, but it shows some panache,” Keizer mayor Lore Christopher said at the time. “This is something we always wanted Keizer Station to do. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

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