GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — Broadway Automotive is having a 99th birthday party throughout August and is showering its customers with gifts.
Broadway, which has Ford, Hyundai, Chevrolet and Volkswagen dealerships on two campuses, hosted a free visit on Tuesday to its local zoo for the first 1,000 guests. In the first hour, 1,300 had entered NEW Zoo.
"A typical Tuesday is 750 visitors for the entire day, so we did well," said David Cuene, one of Broadway's three owners.
When he discovered the enthusiastic response, Cuene told Edmunds that he couldn't turn anyone away and decided to pay admission for every guest the entire day.
"If someone showed up at 3 p.m., I didn't want them to miss it," he said.
By 3:30 p.m., 3,257 people visited the zoo.
While the zoo admission was to give back and thank the community for supporting Broadway for 99 years, it also was a test of its social-media reach.
"We had sent out e-mails and put it on Facebook as an experiment and that worked out really well because other members of the community, including a TV station, were sharing our post," Cuene said. "The word got around."
While it has other community gifts up its sleeve, the heart of the month-long celebration is the 99 Years Birthday Sale. It promises to have the biggest rebates of any sale it hosts throughout the year.
It runs through August 31.
"For our 100th birthday, we will have a lot of similar events like the zoo one, but we'll start in January because 100 is a big number," Cuene said.
Edmunds says: There is an animal attraction to saving money, whether it's buying a car or going to the zoo, a dealership proves.