Heartland Toyota Scion opens in memory of Chuck Haselwood

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

No, it’s a man parachuting in for the grand opening of Heartland Toyota Scion in Bremerton.

Heartland Toyota Scion’s grand opening celebration drew a large crowd to the West Hills Auto Plex July 11. People toured the dealership, enjoyed music and sipped champagne to celebrate the facility’s grand opening.

With his mother, Joanne Haselwood, by his side, Haselwood Auto Group General Manager Rick Wiler dedicated the new dealership to his father and founder of Haselwood Auto Group Chuck Haselwood. Chuck died in 2006 at the age of 83.

Heartland Toyota Scion opened for business at the end of May. Heartland Toyota Scion General Manager Tom Diefendorf worked many 15-hour days in preparation for the grand opening celebration.

“We spent the last 13 months walking through this facility and we’re very, very pleased with how it turned out,” Diefendorf said.

The dealership features all the amenities imaginable including a hi-tech Scion area, gourmet cafe, children’s play area and a Wi-Fi lounge.

“It’s 56,000 square feet of new car smell,” said Mark Angelacos, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Portland Region general manager.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off in the air. A parachutist from the Red Bull Air Force dropped from 5,000 feet to hand over giant golden scissors. Before Wiler and his mother cut the red ribbon, Angelacos presented them with a Japanese katana sword for good luck.

“I just want to thank all of our employees who do things for us on a daily basis,” Wiler said before cutting the ribbon.

Angelacos said Toyota sells more than two million vehicles a year and Heartland Toyota Scion of Bremerton will need to sell many vehicles to pay for the state-of-the-art facility it now calls home.

“About every 28 minutes, they need to sell a car,” Angelacos said with a smile.

Heartland Toyota Scion is selling raffle tickets to benefit the West Sound Boys and Girls Club. Prizes include a free one-year lease for a 2009 Toyota Camry, a trip for two to Las Vegas, Seattle Seahawks season tickets and Seattle Mariners game tickets. Raffle tickets are $5 each and may be purchased at the dealership. The drawing is Aug. 1.