Inside the new MEC Vancouver flagship store in Olympic Village

Mar 13 2020, 5:55 pm

If you’ve walked past Quebec and 2nd in the past few months, you wouldn’t be alone in getting excited (and also curious) about a giant building with MEC’s logo on it.

But… is it a new store or perhaps a new headquarters? Neither. The brand new, two-level building is actually a bigger (and better) reinvention of the iconic Broadway store.

That’s right. On March 7, MEC’s much-loved Broadway store officially moved to Olympic Village. And we’re here to tell you all about what’s in store.

Firstly, out of its 22 stores around Canada, the new location is Mountain Equipment Co-op’s biggest store yet — spanning two levels and 39,698 sq. ft. Which makes sense. After all, Vancouver is MEC’s home, being founded here in 1971 (from humble beginnings out of a VW van, no less).

MEC VW display/Shannon Elmitt

Nearly fifty years later, as an ode to MEC’s roots, visitors to the new store will see a vintage VW as soon as they walk in. And speaking of cars, the new store will have three levels of paid parking, including 16 spots for electric vehicles and a mural by a local artist.

MEC interior/Shannon Elmitt

In the retail space, you’ll find your trusted outdoor goods that MEC is known for — with everything from climbing gear, to snowshoes, tents, and bikes.

MEC climbing wall/Shannon Elmitt

Like to climb? You’re going to be super excited about this next feature. The new MEC has a place to test out your climbing shoes, chalk bags, and your climbing skills. That’s right — the store comes complete with a bouldering wall. Inspired by the iconic Stawamus Chief in Squamish, the wall was designed by Impact Climbing.

MEC ski and bike shop/Shannon Elmitt

Is commuting via bike, mountain biking, or hitting the slopes more your thing? You’ll be happy to hear that the new store has expanded its bike and ski shop spaces from the Broadway location, with the same awesome services (including one year of free adjustments and 10% off bike accessories when you purchase a bike at MEC).

MEC Basecamp/Shannon Elmitt

All about that community life? MEC sure is, which is why the new flagship store will also have Basecamp, a dedicated Community Space. Get together with other locals at hosted workshops, speaker sessions, clinics, and more. Keep an eye out for events happening to learn new skills at clinics, meet locals at workshops, and get inspired at speaker sessions.

MEC interior/Shannon Elmitt

Just because MEC has an exciting new Vancouver home doesn’t mean that everything has changed, though. The store still has its incredible member benefits — part of the reason why it’s known as such an institution in Vancouver.

Becoming a member of MEC’s co-op means joining Canada’s largest outdoor community (with more than 5 million members) and receiving expert advice, free workshops, curated gear, and a Rocksolid Guarantee on your shopping.

Another thing MEC isn’t changing is its commitment to the outdoor community. They’ve been building trails, helping preserve parks, supporting kid’s community programs, and funding epic expeditions for decades.

MEC staff at store opening/Shannon Elmitt

And let’s not forget MEC’s awesome price matching guarantee; that its MEC Label products are trailblazing in the world of sustainability; and the fact that a portion of purchases help conserve the places we play and support Canadians getting active outdoors.

Now that you’ve heard about all of the exciting new features of MEC’s new Olympic Village flagship, it makes sense that you can’t wait to get your foot in the door of the exciting new space. See you there… and then on the trails!

MEC Olympic Village

Address: 111 East 2nd Avenue

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