Seattle-based action sports retailer evo has officially opened a brand new shop in Portland, Oregon. Known for its dominance within the online retail realm, evo has expanded within the brick-and-mortar market by launching its second storefront locale in the Pacific Northwest. The 11,000-square-foot, 120-year-old historic building located in downtown Portland was host to a grand opening shindig this weekend, including appearances and signings from athletes such as Sammy Carlson, Wiley Miller, Tim McChesney, Tatum Monod, Chris Benchetler and Eric Pollard, as well as a special musical performance from Wu-Tang member GZA. The night also featured a silent auction with all proceeds benefiting The Chill Foundation, drinks galore, catered food and more. Lucky for us, FREESKIER had the opportunity to check ‘er out and throw down with the evo crew on their special night.
Upon arrival, my fellow staffer Zach Berman and I were greeted by a hefty line of anxious partygoers. The spirits were high as we battled the chilly Oregon temps, and the stoke meter increased as we filtered into the brick building (formerly a Salvation Army HQ, pictured below) that was packed with industry folk, plus an abundance of ice-cold-beer.
A crowd of more than 1,000 cruised the store’s multiple stories, home to a ski, snowboard and bike service shop in the basement, as well as retail space catering to each sport on the first and second floors. Berman and I joined in for a full tour and gazed upon the inventory of schwag from the featured launch partners, including Adidas, Armada, Burton, Dakine, Line Skis, Nike, Quiksilver, Saga, The North Face, Arc’teryx, Lib Tech, Smith and YES.
Nearly everyone in attendance reaped the benefits of a cold one (or ten). The music was poppin’ and attendees flooded around a stage set up on the main floor of the store as rumors began to fly of a surprise musical guest. At 11 p.m. the lights dimmed, and the entire crowd was stunned as rapper GZA made his way onto the stage, grabbed a mic and began to spit some lyrical fire. For the next hour, we bumped, grinded, rapped and screamed “Wu-Tang is for the children!” over, and over again.
Once again, evo has upped the ante for the action sports retail market. The brand’s combined brick-and-mortar and online shopping presence is unmatched within the industry. Also, evo’s continued commitment to serving the community goes above and beyond. Throughout the evening, the silent auction, ticket and bar sales at the grand opening combined to raise a significant amount of funding for Chill Portland, an organization that aims to motivate our youth to accomplish their goals. We are incredibly thankful to have been able to attend the launch of the new building, and we’re sure that the brand will have great success with the many events, art shows, fundraisers, movies, premieres, parties and ladies’ nights that will be sure to go down at the new venue. Big ups, team, on this big step.
For those in the Portland area, be sure to stop by; the store is located at 200 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. For more on evo, and to browse its vast selection of badass skiing goods, head on over to evo.com, now.