Thursday, May 7, 2009

EMS Grand Opening Celebration in SoHo

If you live, work or play in the New York City metro area, get yourself down to the Eastern Mountain Sports Grand Opening Celebration in SoHo (that is the South of Houston Street neighborhood for non New Yorkers) this coming weekend, May 8-10, 2009.

I have lived in New York City less than two years and this will be the third and best EMS location in SoHo I have known. The new location, on the north-east corner of Spring and Broadway at 530 Broadway (pictured right), is an awesome location. Step outside the door, look north, and see the Empire State Building. There is a Chase Bank across the corner if you need fast cash and a Starbucks a block east on Spring Street to celebrate that new outdoor gear purchase by drinking a latte. There are plenty of street vender food carts near the corner most of the day so hunger should never be a problem. And the closest subway, the 6, is only two blocks east on Spring. Several other lines are within easy walking distance.

The new store is totally awesome. It offers more space, more natural lighting, more gear, more services, and more comfort than the previous two locations. The new location also includes a bike department and kayaks as well as an adventure planning center.

When you enter through the one and only public entrance at 530 Broadway you walk into the climbing area (as in Ice, Sport, Trad and Alpine) and will see the steps to the upper and main level in front of you. Beyond/behind the steps is the library and adventure planning area with plenty of guidebooks, adventure epics, and maps for sale plus plenty for in store use only to help you plan your next adventure.

At the top of the stairs you will find kayaking accessories to the right (this area will eventually be expanded), men’s apparel straight ahead and women’s apparel and the check-out area to the left. Walk left past the registers and turn left at the wall to enter the bike department complete with mechanic.

Walk straight back from the top of the steps through men’s apparel and eyewear and electronics will be to your right. At the far end is footwear and to the left is base camp, filled with packs, bags, tents and just about every accessory you could ever want to take with you regardless of whether you are going to summit or shore (that was shameless self promotion).

Normal hours are Mon-Sat 10 AM-9PM and Sun 11 AM-7 PM. During this weekend Grand Opening everything will be on sale, some up to 40% off. You will receive a free NYC-SoHo Techwick T-Shirt with a $125 purchase. And there will be cool prizes from Marmot, Osprey, SmartWool, Asolo, Salomon, The North Face, Vasque, NRS and other name brands every hour. On Friday from 11:30 AM- 1 PM and 5-6 PM you can meet and greet ultrarunner Dean Karnazes.

EMS Employees working the floor are called “Guides” because they are able to guide you with knowledge gleaned from experience to the best gear to meet your needs. They can do so because EMS Guides are themselves bikers, skiers, runners, hikers, backpackers, kayakers, climbers, etc. who use the gear and wear the apparel in the store.

Disclaimer: In the spirit of transparent self-disclosure, I inform my readers that I am indeed a part-time Guide at the EMS SoHo store but I was neither asked to write this post nor compensated for doing so. I did receive verbal permission from EMS SoHo management to blog about EMS SoHo but management neither pre-approved nor edited this post. This post represents my own views and opinions and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Eastern Mountain Sports.

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