By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host
Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI) sells the kind of gear that lets you survive just about anything: climbing icy mountains, rafting wild rivers, camping out below zero.
You could probably survive “Cocaine Bear” with stuff you buy at REI.
But Portland’s poisonous Pearl District proved too much for the retailer.
20 years after the Northwest grown outdoor outfitter built its signature building there, the Seattle-based company announced it’s leaving.
Repeated break-ins, burglaries and even thieves who drove a car right through the front of the store finally wore them down.
And remember, this is one of the BEST neighborhoods in Portlandia. Average housing tops 500-bucks a square foot and some of those condos literally sell for millions.
But with a defunded and demoralized police force, legalized hard drugs, and taxpayer funded tents and tarps, the Pearl has become too toxic.
I have to put some of the blame on REI itself…the company is politically correct, and even supported #BLM that staged some of the city’s most damaging riots.
REI went with the “woke”…and like most of the businesses in the city, didn’t stand up and demand City Hall fight back against the crime wave.
But, at least the company can pick up and move.
Too many average citizens can’t pull up stakes, quit their jobs and sell their homes at a loss to move to safer places.