KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Hundreds of customers lined up Friday for REI’s grand opening.
The store had a soft opening on Friday, October 24th, but officially opened their doors at 10 a.m. Halloween.
Brian Eversole and Nick Yarnell were first in line at 5:00 a.m. outside the outdoor retailer.
“I always thought those folks were a little bit crazy and here I am doing the exact same thing, but I’ve had a ball,” says Eversole.
Eversole says they spent the morning playing games and talking with others who have a passion for outdoor recreations.
“Usually we’re in the back country, but today we’re doing some city camping,” says Yarnell.
Both work as back country rangers in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Yarnell, who had never been in the store until Thursday, says REI offers useful items for his line of work.
“In the back country I need a lot of lightweight items, and REI offers a lot of options,” says Yarnell.
From gear, jackets to sleeping bags, he says REI offers a lot of options.
REI’s grand opening includes several events through the Halloween weekend:
- Free Continental Breakfast (Saturday 8-9 a.m., Sunday 10-11 a.m.) – A light breakfast will be available one hour before the store opens.
- Free REI gift card and water bottle (Saturday, Sunday) – The first 200 people (age 18 and older) through the door on Saturday and Sunday will receive a limited edition CamelBak water bottle with a $10, $50 or $100 REI promotional card inside.
- Free T-shirt (October 31 – November 2) – Get a free limited-edition REI Sport Tech T-Shirt when you purchase an REI membership during Grand Opening Weekend.
- REI Knoxville Sweepstakes (October 31 – November 2) – Enter to win prizes
Visit REI’s website for more details.