Miller Motorsports Park closing

Spectre

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http://www.kutv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Miller-Motorsports-Park-closing-128615.shtml#.VU0oJqZVg2t

The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies will not renew its lease with Tooele County and Miller Motorsports Park will close.

The summer schedule will continue as planned then the park will close at the end of the season on October 31, 2015.

?On behalf of my family, I would like to thank all of those who have supported the track over the years, both locally and worldwide, for their enthusiasm and use of the facility,? said Gail Miller, owner of the Larry H. Miller Group.

The 511-acre facility opened in April 2006. It hosted seasonal automobile, motorcycle, kart, off-road, bicycle races and is the longest track in North America.

Major events hosted at the park include: NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Utah Grand Prix (2007-14), FIM Superbike World Championship (2008-12), American Le Mans Series (2006-10), Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series (2006-10), Pirelli World Challenge (2006-08, 2010-12, 2014-15), and the AMA Superbike Championship (2006-08, 2011-13).
I'd almost bet money the county tried to extort way more money out of them for a lease renewal ("because racetracks make lots of money and you can afford it!") and Miller just said "no." Government killing the golden goose yet again if so.
 

CraigB

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Governments should stay out of the racetrack game. Evidence of this in the latest round of crap surrounding Heartland Park Topeka.
 

Kiki

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...and it sold (almost-ish). :)

http://www.sltrib.com/news/2852778-155/chinese-company-buys-tooeles-miller-motorsports

From the Utah Sportbike Association FB Page:

Good evening everyone - thanks for your patience as we are getting home from the Tooele County Commission Meeting.
As was anticipated an announcement was made regarding the future of the Motorsports Park. Also, as reported yesterday, the selected buyer is a Chinese vehicle manufacturer. The company name is Mitime, which is a subsidiary of the Geely Motor Company.

Geely is best known in the U.S. for their ownership of Volvo. Miller is one of two major U.S. investments that Geely is making, the other being a Volvo manufacturing plant in South Carolina.
We're all familiar with the phrase "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" and it is this philosophy that Geely is attempting to employ in China. The genesis of this transaction exists with Geely beginning construction of 5 new motorsports facilities in China. In the process of their education about motorsports they visited several U.S. facilities, including Barber, Laguna, Daytona and Miller. In the process of their tours earlier this year they learned that Miller was for sale and began the process of making a proposal to purchase it.

There were a number of business plan objectives discussed in the meeting tonight, and I'm not going to cover all of them here. You can catch Twitter feed of the meeting on their Twitter page Ignite Media Productions @ignitemediatv
Important take aways:

1) Mitime is going to continue the operation of the track as we've known it for the foreseeable future. Grass roots motorsports racing is a critical component in their business plan.

2) Alan Wilson, who designed the Miller Track, will be the track General Manger under Mitime's ownership

3) One of the strategies that Mitime is employing is using MMP as a "training facility" for their future track operators in China. Using the existing experience in operations as an "internship" like program for their overseas employees. This will operate a bit like an "exchange program" as Miller managers will travel to China to assist those facilities in getting up to speed as they open.

4) The rumor of manufacturing on the site is founded, but what they are talking about is low volume, specialized manufacturing of racing cars for export to the Chinese market. Things like Legends cars and Hillclimb trucks built with metric fasteners to be serviceable in the Chinese market.

5) The purchase price for the facility is $20M with a commitment of $6M-$8M more in the first year of ownership in capital improvements. One of these improvements will be an onsite hotel / center for housing the exchange workers. Other funds will be allocated to bring the track up to the current FIA / FIM standards for international racing. This is an all cash transaction - no bond, no financing, no delayed payments. Mitime plans to complete the transaction between October 31 and Jan 1 with payment due at the time of closing.

Overall I left the meeting more optimistic than I went in. The plans that were articulated are ambitious to be sure, but even if 50% of those come to fruition it will be a terrific win for the facility and our community.

The USBA would like to thank everyone from our community that arrived to assure that our voice was heard in the process of the sale. The motorsports community comprised a large portion of the audience.

Furthermore the Tooele County Commission deserves recognition for their handling of the sale. There are for sure people with questions about the bidding process, the sale price and the ability of the winning bidder to live up to their end of the deal. That being said I'm convinced that the Commissioners did their due diligence to select a solid partner for the motorsports facility well into the future.
 
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Kiki

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... and the new name for the track will be Utah Motorsports Campus.

Sneak peek at the logo:

 
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