JACKSON, Wyo. — Years of planning and millions of dollars investment will culminate, finally, with the opening of one of the nation’s largest military museums just outside of Dubois, Wyoming.
The National Museum of Military Vehicles was set to make its debut back on Memorial Day but the global pandemic put a wrinkle in the plans. The delay gave museum owners Dan and Cynthia Starks more time to finetune their dream. The $100 million venture will bow August 7 with less fanfare than originally planned but no less bang for the buck.
“We hope to provide an educational experience for future generations and to honor the service and sacrifice of our veterans by sharing their stories through vehicles and artillery. Our team is looking forward to welcoming guests beginning August 7,” said Alynne Starks, the museum’s executive director.
The 140,000 square-foot facility is designed to hold 200 military vehicles ranging from tanks and othered armored vehicles to trucks, jeeps, motorcycles, amphibious craft, and various armaments and firearms.
The dream began small for Dan Starks, and it certainly did not include a museum.
As far back as 2011 he would show off parts of his collection to the public, roll a few down Main Street in Dubois for the Fourth of July parade—stuff like that. And the feedback was always so positive, Starks was encouraged to do more.
“The process has been very interesting. The vision has expanded, starting with a small kernel as a result of feedback from so many different people,” Starks said. “I could see that it was a significant experience for these visitors. Parents wanted their kids to have that experience. It was the same with veterans, seeing the level of enthusiasm.
It wasn’t long before Starks started dreaming bigger. A museum on a national level where he could show his collection off in a more organized manner.
“I came to think there actually is a lot of interest in this kind of an experience, and to the extent that I can better organize the stories, the education element, and historic preservation—well, this could be something good,” Starks said. “The primary motive in moving forward with the museum was just to build something good that could prove to have appeal to more people than we had expected.”
National Museum of Military Vehicles grand opening. Friday, August 7 at 10 a.m.
Highway 26 just 8 miles east of Dubois
Admission free until Aug. 10 when it is $15 for adults, $10 for those under 18, free for veterans and under 8 years old.
375 E. SPRUCE DRIVE Jackson
167 W CENTER STREET Victor
180 CENTER STREET Jackson
455 SILVER FOX LN Victor
4445 BERRY DRIVE 3522 Wilson
Get Today's News Today
Sign up for our Buckrail Daily Newsletter to get today's top local news stories delivered to your inbox.