June 5, 2006 There are few (we actually can’t think of any) companies on the planet which engender greater customer loyalty than Harley-Davidson. How many other company logos do you see tattooed on the customer's arms, chests and girlfriend’s bottoms? So there's likely to be a new "Mecca" for Harley enthusiasts in the near future as Harley officially launched construction of the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee this week with a groundbreaking ceremony that kicked up more than just a little dirt. Held on the future Museum grounds, the groundbreaking was accomplished in a truly unique Harley-Davidson style: by setting aside the traditional golden shovel and instead, literally "breaking the ground" with a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. At the designated moment, legendary Harley-Davidson dirt track racer Scott Parker dropped the clutch of an XL 883R Sportster performing a burnout and sending the dirt flying off the spinning rear tire.
Transport museums have featured several times recently with Porsche, Mercedes and Ferrari all creating masterpieces in which to house their finest. Harley, with more than 100 years of such rich and colourful history, the museum will no doubt draw visitors locally and from throughout the world to experience the people, products, culture and history of Harley-Davidson.
The Museum will also be a place where visitors from near and far can meet, share stories and enjoy the green spaces adjacent to the edge of the Menomonee River.
"The Harley-Davidson Museum will showcase the unforgettable collection of motorcycles and historical items from our Company's vast archives," said Stacey Watson, Harley-Davidson Museum director. "But even more importantly, it will celebrate the history of the Company, the passion of the riders, and the stories of the employees, dealers, and suppliers. These varied and fascinating stories are woven into the fabric of Harley-Davidson, shaping the legend and setting the stage for a bright future."
Anticipated to open in 2008, the 130,000 square foot Museum development will feature exhibit space as well as a restaurant, cafe, retail shop, meeting space, special events facilities and the Company's Archives.
The plan for the Harley-Davidson Museum and its site incorporates striking urban design elements and engages the surrounding water and green spaces. It unites the city center with the Menomonee Valley, reflecting the industrial heritage of the area and of Harley-Davidson.
"The Harley-Davidson Museum will offer an experience that will appeal to all visitors including both motorcycle enthusiasts and non-riders alike," said Watson.
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