Marshall Chevrolet in Winchester is thanking the public on Thursday during the celebration of the dealerships grand reopening.
On January 3rd, Marshall Chevrolet co-owner Jay Rueter got a phone call that the dealership, which stood for 85 years, had burned to the ground.
The shop area in the rear portion of the dealership was totally engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived. Fire crews were only able able to salvage the vehicles parked in the showroom and the oil changing room.
Rueter was stunned when he heard about the blaze, but nine months later, he feels blessed for the turnaround at Marshall Chevrolet.
“It was all very undecided at that time, but we knew with 29 families we had to do something. We didn’t want it to end that way. We just jumped in, relocated and within four days we were back to taking care of customers again. We dealt with cleaning up the mess, hiring a contractor, getting a floor plan and hiring someone to build it,” says Rueter.
Rueter feels the public was instrumental in getting Marshall Chevrolet up and running again.
“Oh boy the City of Winchester, our customers and the surrounding area were a huge part of this being a success. They had contests at school where they raised money and the bowling alley had tons of stuff donated, an auction and a bowling night to raise money. We opened an account at a bank and people give to that account to help the mechanics get their tools back. About $60,000 was raised,” says Rueter.
Rueter says the building “is all brand new, a little bigger than the old building, very efficient, comfortable and welcoming for customers.”
The grand reopening celebration runs all day, featuring tours of the building, drawing for free oil changes, free refreshments and a porkchop dinner from 5-7 p.m.