In the spirit of gifts and giving this holiday season, the non-profit organization ProMedica announced it had something in store that would surely lift the spirits of Jeep enthusiasts. ProMedica announced that there’s an all-new Jeep museum dedicated to the brand’s history in Toledo, Ohio, in the works. Referred to as The Jeep experience, the museum is slated to open in 2022 and will feature a massive display of historic artifacts and other pieces that make up Jeep history in a 56,000 square-foot facility located in Toledo’s downtown area.
The specific location of the museum hasn’t been revealed yet, but The Toledo Blade — the local paper — did learn that the project was approved as a revitalization effort to bring tourism to the area and boost local commerce. ProMedica and the 22nd Century Committee, the two parties behind the revamp initiative, aren’t working alone as both entities have been in touch with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) as they campaigned to establish the Jeep museum in the Ohio city. Naturally, FCA was stoked by the news and the automaker obliged, especially considering that Toledo has been the home of the Jeep brand since the company began manufacturing and selling civilian vehicles in 1945.
“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 made it clear that The Jeep Experience isn’t going to specifically be a ProMedica sanctioned project per se, but that the non-profit is assisting with the exhibition’s organization. As for FCA’s involvement with 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, currently the chairman of the largest Jeep gathering in the country, Jeep Fest. Huber was previously a Jeep manufacturing plant manager, so it’s safe to say 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 is confident that 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 over the course of a weekend this past summer (2019). City planners estimate that the creation of the museum will add new jobs, create 25 permanent jobs once construction is over, and generate at least $6 million in 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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