An Official Jeep Museum Could Soon be a Reality
The non-profit organization ProMedica, announced this holiday season that it was determined to make Jeepers very happy. The organization is working on an official Jeep museum dedicated to the automaker’s history in Toledo, Ohio. Currently referred to as The Jeep Experience — a working title, if you will — the Jeep museum is scheduled to open in 2022. It will feature a massive display of artifacts from Jeep’s history along with other pieces that make up Jeep folklore in a 56,000 square foot facility. Toledo has been the home of Jeep since the brand began manufacturing civilian vehicles in 1945.
The location of the museum is yet to be revealed, but the local paper, The Toledo Blade, stated that the project was approved as a means of revitalization for Toledo to attract more tourism and in turn boost local commerce. ProMedica and the 22nd Century Committee, the two entities behind the revamp initiative, aren’t working alone as both parties have been in touch with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) while they campaign to establish the Jeep museum in the Ohio city. Naturally, FCA was over the moon with the news and the company obliged.
“When you think about all the opportunities whether it’s the history, what’s happened in automotive, World War II, they use Jeeps in Jurassic Park, and then you look at engineering and design and production and art, you begin to think about it from a whole variety of opportunities,” said Randy Oostra, CEO and President of ProMedica.
Oostra stated that The Jeep Experience isn’t going to be a ProMedica sanctioned project per se, but that the non-profit organization is assisting with the exhibition’s planning and organization. As for FCA’s involvement in the ongoing project, Oostra mentioned “They’ve been incredibly involved with all the planning. They want to be involved with future decisions and the board. Part of our story to the FCA people has been what’s happened to Toledo, the renaissance of Toledo, part of that has been Jeep Fest. So being able to tell the Toledo story and all of the positive things.”
Another person heavily involved in the project is Jerry Huber, the current chairman of the largest Jeep gathering in the country, Jeep Fest. Huber was previously a Jeep manufacturing plant manager, so his Jeep knowledge is quite sharp. “My long-term vision is that when the museum is up and running, that Jeep Fest just becomes a special weekend activity and draws additional people to the area for that weekend, but will become a part of the Jeep Experience,” Huber said.
Huber believes the exhibition, in tandem with the annual Jeep Fest event, would fare more than well in Toledo. Jeep Fest attracted an additional 100,000 visitors during the course of a weekend this past summer (2019). City planners estimate that the creation of the museum will create new jobs, add 25 permanent jobs once the construction phase is over, and generate at least $6 million in local revenue. “It’ll be on that list of iconic institutions in our community that draw visitors into Toledo,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz told reporters. Even Toledo’s mayor is hoping the upcoming Jeep museum becomes as much of a landmark as the town’s museum of art or the zoo.
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