Hershey, PA | The AACA Museum, Inc. kicked off the New Year with an unprecedented milestone. On January 5, 2022, Museum leaders — past and present — gathered for a ceremonial mortgage burning. The event celebrated the Museum’s successful effort to satisfy its mortgage and its paid-off status with its lender PNC Bank.
This tremendous accomplishment fulfills the vision of William H. “Bill” Smith and the team of Museum founders, many of whom were present. Past Museum President, Jonathan Griggs, who served as acting executive director when the Museum opened, said, “We had the vision to create a world-class transportation museum. The vision became a reality through the dedication and support of those who shared our vision, hard work, and tenacity. I’m thrilled to see this incredible accomplishment.”
The Museum has experienced a record-breaking year in all categories: overall revenue, number of guests, museum store sales, and objects of all types gifted. Despite the Pandemic, Executive Director Jeffrey Bliemeister said, “By making tough decisions along the way, utilizing fiscal best practices, and growing our outreach footprint, we have achieved this monumental goal. Without the support of our members, guests, and contributors from across the nation, this would not have been possible.“ In 2021, Museum memberships grew to an all-time high. Moreover, in just five years, membership has increased by 1000%. Bliemeister continued, “We have worked hard to reach out to motoring enthusiasts—cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles—to share the vision of the Museum, America’s Transportation Experience, and they responded mightily.
The Museum mortgage burning is a powerful reminder of what can be accomplished as we work together. The Museum is poised to face the future on firm financial footing. The forward-looking vision of the Museum continues true to its mission to preserve and present motor vehicle heritage and history. The Museum is open daily, 9 am-5 pm EST, and is located in Hershey, PA.