Jeep Experience Museum Coming to Toledo

brewtus98

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Heard on the news this morning that a $40 million dollar "Jeep Experience" museum is coming to Toledo. Sounds like Pro-Medica is kicking-in to help make this happen. They want it to be "immersive" and did mention something about a track too. Should be good combined with Jeep Fest.

More details via The Blade (Toledo newspaper):

https://www.toledoblade.com/busines...xpected-in-toledo-in-2022/stories/20191217066

'The Jeep Experience' expected in Toledo in 2022

December 17, 2019

After years of discussions, a Jeep museum is finally coming to Toledo.

Members of a non-profit working group announced Tuesday intentions to open the facility, which will be called The Jeep Experience, in 2022. A location for the museum, a 56,000 square-foot building that will have “interactive exhibits,” has been chosen but has not yet been announced to the public while the group works to finalize a contract. The building will be in metropolitan Toledo.

ProMedica President and CEO Randy Oostra, one of the group members, said the team has worked to model The Jeep Experience around the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. The group anticipates about 250,000 visitors per year and believes it will attract international tourism. The project is expected to cost $40 million.

Mr. Oostra said the group aims to make the new attraction truly experience-based, giving visitors a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see, explore, and interact with Jeep.

He added: “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.”

The group has formed a 501(c)(3), in order to establish a non-profit entity. Mr. Oostra said the museum is not a ProMedica project, but that the local health-care giant was involved in a lot of the project’s original planning. The 501(c)(3) will create a board of directors, of which Mr. Oostra will be a part. The full board will be announced at a later date and transition to taking full reins of the project.

Mr. Oostra said the idea first gained traction when members of the 22nd Century Committee, a downtown Toledo revitalization group, wrote a letter to Fiat Chrysler Automotive, the parent company of Jeep, asking for its support in bringing a Jeep museum to Toledo. Group members then began working closely with FCA leadership to move forward with the attraction. Mr. Oostra said a financial commitment by FCA has been discussed, but nothing final has been announced.

“They’ve been incredibly involved with all the planning,” Mr. Oostra said of FCA. “They want to be involved with future decisions and the board.”

Mr. Oostra added: “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.”

Jerry Huber, a retired Jeep plant manager and chairman of Jeep Fest, has brought his extensive knowledge of the iconic utility vehicle to the working group. He said the museum will go hand-in-hand with Jeep Fest and will bring additional attraction to the special weekend that brought 100,000 people to downtown Toledo for the weekend event this past summer.

“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.”

Mr. Huber says the network of Jeep enthusiasts he’s communicated with leaves him confident that the museum will be a success. He said he’s often asked when Toledo will get a Jeep museum and feels there’s no better time to unveil one.

“I think from a timing standpoint, this is an excellent time to do this because we will have to pull together some type of display collection,” Mr. Huber said. “And, there are a lot of vehicles that are out there from the fellas that came back from World War II, who were automatically enthusiasts. But the problem is, that’s an aging population. A lot of the younger folks just are not interested in those kinds of things.”

Robin Whitney, ProMedica’s chief strategic planning, business development and real estate officer, said the museum will create 25 jobs. She said the group crunched numbers of “basic economic multipliers,” and they believe the attraction will pull in roughly $6 million of annual revenue.

“The history of Jeep is so embedded in our community,” she said, “so you think about World War II and the importance of the Jeep, you think about all of the manufacturing expertise, you think about the labor force and how it’s really shaped our communities and how all that can really be reflected in the experiences.”

Ms. Whitney said the museum, which will have live attractions such as an off-road trail where Jeeps can be driven, will have some sort of food service, whether it’s basic food services or a Jeep-themed restaurant. The group is also discussing a hotel adjacent to the museum.

“We think nationally there will be quite a pull for people to come to the area for this,” she said.

Ms. Whitney said there will likely be 18 months of fund-raising associated with the project before the design phase kicks off.

Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz believes the museum has the potential to become an iconic landmark of the city and will “be right up there” with The Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Zoo, Fifth Third Field, and the Huntington Center.

“It’ll be on that list of iconic institutions in our community that draw visitors into Toledo,” he said.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken, a former Jeep employee, said FCA’s commitment to the project affirms to him that “Jeep isn’t going anywhere.”

“This means everything,” he said. “This has been a quest for anybody that’s been around that plant since the ‘70s and maybe even before, that we want a museum and we want it here.”

Mr. Oostra said some fund-raising for the museum has already begun and, based on what the group has heard about interest, they believe 2022 is a reasonable year to launch.

“You can expect that the design and the exterior look will be striking,” Mr. Oostra said. “And representative of the best brand in the world.”



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https://www.13abc.com/content/news/...ive-museum-is-coming-to-Toledo-566278261.html





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Goin2drt

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Sweet so all the engineers can drive the wondering Jeeps right there on the lot and see for themselves :)

Seriously though that would be really cool if done well. Would love to see all the history of early Jeep and some of those vehicles.
 

BrntWS6

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Maybe they should invest that 40mil into addressing steering issues and get the LSD clutch pack situation addressed first.
 

Miloe

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I think it would be cool if Jeep offered some type of offroad driving school along the lines of the AMG performance driving school.
Spend the day thrashing around in someone elses new vehicle.
 

Ehmsea

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Sweet!
Jeep fest has been so much fun...
Toledo is Jeep...
 

texascrane

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Corvette has had a museum at their factory in KY for years and it's great. You can get a tour of the museum and then go see the production facilities, drive a vette off the production line, and even do your pickup/delivery at the museum. They added a race track a few miles down the road a few years ago. It's really an awesome experience. If Jeep does something similar it will be an awesome experience and worth the trip.
 

JlEngineline

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I'm looking forward to it, Jeep has lots of history, stuff I didn't know until I started working here, like, Ford actually designed the first Jeep and when they changed the grill to have 7 open slots to represent the Jeep was the first vehicle to drive on all 7 continents
 

tonygiotta

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I didn't realize there wasn't already a Jeep museum of some sort. Long overdue!

As for saying Ford designed the first Jeep, that's not completely accurate. Bantam was actually the only one to submit their design to the Army on time, Ford and Willys were both late to the game. After a head-to-head-to-head between the Bantam “BRC-40”, the Ford “GP”, and the Willys-Overland “MA", Willys was ultimately given the contract, incorporating some design features of both the Bantam and Ford models into their production model. Willys however couldn't meet the Army's growing demand on their own and thus Ford ended up making nearly half the fleet. I think where the confusion comes in is that Ford's model had a 9 slot grill whereas the Willys originally had a welded, flat iron "slat" grill. Willys incorporated the Ford grill into their military models, but had to change it to a 7 slot grill (Ford had the 9 slot trademark) when they began post war production of the "CJ" model. So I'd say it's fair to claim Ford designed the first Jeep grill, but the first mass produced Jeep vehicle itself was a Willys-Overland.
 

ButWhatDoIKnow

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Maybe they should invest that 40mil into addressing steering issues and get the LSD clutch pack situation addressed first.
I think using the money from a 501(c)(3) to do this would violate the law.
 

cosine

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i'm looking forward to making a road trip out there. the jeep plant used to have a factory tour. i'm wondering if they will bring that back.
 

fat_head

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It can't be a _real_ Jeep Experience museum without a tow truck, a dealer service advisor who says "we can't find anything wrong", and a lot full of loaner cars you can't use because you didn't buy the extended warranty for an additional $3000.00
 

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