Jeep Beach 2022: Daytona Beach, which hosts NASCAR and motorbike events each year, is currently welcoming Jeep fans till next Sunday.
They’ll be on the beach at a variety of locations across the city. 20,000 Jeeps and at least 200,000 people are expected to attend Jeep Beach.
According to Charlene Greer, a member of the Jeep Beach crew, all 50 states, and 26 additional nations are represented at the event.
Jeep aficionados come from all over the country and the world for this week, according to Charlene Greer, who has been driving Jeep Beach for almost half a dozen years. It isn’t only a meeting of motor enthusiasts, though.
Since 2012, Jeep Beach‘s nonprofit charitable arm has provided $2.8 million to local charities.
“Not only do we have the opportunity to have a financial effect in our community, but the give-back power is literally everything,” Greer added.
Because Jeep Beach 2022 takes place in the off-season, the economic impact for eateries and hotels might be significant. Last year, when COVID-19 was still present, officials reported occupancy rates of 70%.
In 2022, they anticipate a 70 percent occupancy rate.
“Think about jobs, local businesses growing throughout this time, and Jeep folks will come — they’ll experience it and come back,” a Convention and Visitors Bureau representative said. Juan Montoya has returned to admire the various varieties of jeeps on display as well as the beach life.
“It’s simply beached life,” Montoya added, “just enjoying the different types of jeeps you see and all that.”
“The companionship is lovely. Everyone gets along, and we’re all here to spread goodwill, to put it that way “Greer remarked.
Hundreds of volunteers help Jeep Beach organize events throughout the city while they are here. In the Jeep world, Greer added, it’s a large family, or “family.”
Darren Falk, a Jeep owner, and longstanding brand loyalist won’t be at Jeep Beach until Friday, but he arrived early enough on Monday from St. Augustine to be first in line when event registration opened at noon at Daytona International Speedway.
Falk, 52, a retired employment recruiter who has been a Jeep devotee since he was a youngster, said, “I didn’t want to wait until Friday to do it since it’s going to get extremely busy here soon.”
On the formal opening day of the weeklong festival at Daytona Beach, which runs through Sunday, he had plenty of company by midday.
Hundreds of Jeep lovers waited behind him in a queue that snaked across a parking lot loaded with an array of colorfully customized automobiles that continued to come in at the Speedway’s Gate 70 entry on Midway Avenue in a continuous stream.
A short glance at the license plates revealed the event’s widespread appeal: New York, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ontario, Canada, to name a few states.
Why are they here?
“It’s the camaraderie,” said Falk, who just purchased and restored a 1985 Jeep CJ-7, the same model year as his high school Jeep. He now drives it with his two sons on on-road excursions.
“Just being able to go off-road is part of the appeal,” said Falk, who has put $20,000 into the vehicle’s improvements. “I like taking them to the Ocala National Forest,” says the guide. We bring a cooler and plan on making a day of it. It’s a toy for me.”
‘We love our Jeeps’
The bond among Jeep owners also is a key element of the event’s appeal for Jen Schmidt, who traveled to Jeep Beach for the fourth time with her husband, Jeff, from Cincinnati in the couple’s gleaming black 2020 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon.
“Jeep owners are all the same,” she said. “We love our Jeeps and it’s neat to see what people can do with them. Every one of them (customized vehicles) is different.”
That was obvious on Monday in a wide, if brand-loyal, an array of vehicles adorned with everything from large inflatable rubber ducks to giant American flags and skeleton passengers carrying beer steins.
Upgraded equipment in the performance area included everything from heavy-duty springs to unique light bars and wheels with tank treads instead of tires.
“It all adds up,” Fred Wendt, 54, of Waterford, Michigan, said of the accessories he and his girlfriend Teri Mizinski have installed in her Jeep Wrangler Sahara. He was wearing a T-shirt that said, “I work to support my GF’s Jeep,” to reinforce the point.
The clothing was the same eye-watering brilliant orange as the couple’s custom “Orange Crush” paint job on their Jeep, which was dubbed “Chester” after the cartoon Cheetos character.
“That hue was only available for two years,” Wendt explained.
Upgraded bumpers, a higher suspension, a winch, a fuzzy orange steering-wheel cover, and two “eyeball” headlights with eyelashes are among the other bespoke elements.
“The headlights shine straight through them,” Wendt’s girlfriend Teri Mizinski said. She bought Chester, her first Jeep, two years ago after being a lifelong fan of the brand. “I’ve always wanted one, and this is the first and only Jeep I’ve ever had.” “This is 100% me.”
For a Worthy Cause, Have Some Jeep Fun
Jeep Beach is driven by such passion, according to Charlene Greer, the event’s executive director, and chairwoman. The volunteer-powered Jeep Beach, now in its 19th year, has become a beloved yearly event for its beneficial influence on tourism as well as its focus on generating funds for local charities.
Jeep Beach, which was established as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2017, has donated over $2.8 million to local charities over the last decade as part of the event’s annual weeklong fund-raising efforts. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia & Flagler Counties, the NASCAR Foundation, the Childhood Cancer Foundation, and more than 30 other nonprofit organizations are among the recipients.
Speedweeks, the Daytona 500, and Bike Week are all over, but the World’s Most Famous Beach is gearing up for yet another vehicular-themed festival.
The annual Jeep Beach, now in its 19th year, will attract tens of thousands of devoted followers of the legendary automotive brand to Daytona Beach from April 25 to May 1.
While not every invasion of car enthusiasts has been enthusiastically welcomed in Volusia County (remember the Daytona Truck Meet? ), Jeep Beach has grown in popularity as a result of its dedication to supporting great local organizations.