OGDEN -- It's not very often a local car dealership gets a new showroom for Christmas.
"It's a nice gift," said General Sales Manager Cory Watson.
John Watson Chevrolet at 3535 Wall Ave. began operating out of its new showroom shortly after Thanksgiving. A ribbon-cutting was held Thursday.
Portions of the old 16,000-square-foot showroom were torn down in January.
Five vintage Chevrolets were on display Thursday in the 25,000 square feet of new showroom space. A Chevelle, two Camaros, a Corvette, and a '56 Chevy are part of John Watson's personal collection. He plans to eventually display others from his collection of 12 vintage vehicles.
Another 35,000 square feet of space was "slicked up" and renovated, John Watson said.
"It is a customer-friendly location, complete with parts, service, and showroom areas," he said. "It is just a friendly, comfortable environment."
Working in the new showroom is like coming back home, Cory Watson said.
While construction was under way, sales operations continued next door at the former Merrill Bean Mercedes Building, now John Watson Chevrolet's used-car sales center.
"It was worth the wait," said Cory Watson, who said completion took a little longer than anticipated.
The new building is on the site of the former Chevrolet showroom built in 1968, and some of the old building was incorporated into the new one.
"I love Ogden, and I love Chevrolet," said John Watson, who still maintains a presence at the dealership that is now run by his two sons. "So far, people have been thrilled with what they see here."
He calls Ogden home and has been involved in car-related businesses in the area since 1974.
"This is about the old and the new, and the next generations of Watsons," John Watson said.
John Watson's first car was a Chevrolet. A replica of that car was on display Thursday.
John Watson said the new location will be able to handle more customers than the old building.
"It is night-and-day difference," said Mike Peterson, a consultant in the parts department. "It gives us a lot more opportunity to show customers around the vehicles."
Cory Watson said the holidays is the perfect time to get a new showroom. He plans to use the new space to entertain the dealerships's 64 employees during the annual company party.