Miller Motorsports Park To Close In October 2015
It’s a sad day for fans of American motorsports as Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, considered as one of the country’s greatest race tracks, will officially cease operations in October 2015.
Track officials made the sudden announcement, saying that track owner Larry H. Miller Group of Companies has decided to forego the renewal of its lease with Tooele County. As a result, the track will close down on October 31, 2015, or at least until another company signs up to take over operations from its previous owner.
Miller Motorsports Park doesn’t have the esteemed history of the Brickyard in Indianapolis or the mainstream appeal of Laguna Seca in California. But in the nine years it was open, the track has established itself as one of the premier race tracks in the US, hosting several top-class racing series, including NASCAR, the American Le Mans Series, the World Superbike Championships, the AMA Superbike, and MotoAmerica. The track was also home to the Yamaha Champions Racing School before the motorcycle company decided to move its home base to New Jersey’s Motorsports Park.
The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies did not specify the reasons for abandoning the race track, but history suggests that the decision not to renew its lease on the track was entirely made for financial and economic reasons. It’s been known to a lot of people that despite all the events and races it has hosted, the track wasn’t really making boatloads of money, eventually becoming a financial anchor for the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.
So the company decided to cut ties with the track, ending a nine-year run that saw the Miller Motorsports Park elevate its status as one of the country’s premier race tracks. It’s disappointing to see the track close down, but it’s not like it’s going away for good. Community leaders at Tooele are confident that the track will reopen in the future under new ownership, although when that’s going to be is the big question.
Continue reading to read more about the closure of Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park.
Why it matters
This is a bummer. I’ve been to the Miller Motorsports Park a handful of times and I can attest to how top-class the place is.
I’m particularly fond of the track layout, which doesn’t really took that difficult until you’re actually driving around it. It’s one of those tracks that challenges you in ways you don’t expect. Oh, and if you’ve been at the track, you can’t really spend a few minutes without stealing glances at the beautiful scenery and background provided by the Rocky Mountains.
But such is the nature of the business. If you’re a track that doesn’t have a regular marquee racing series to host every year, you’re going to struggle to bring fans into the track to watch.
Geography is also a point of concern because the track is a ways away from Salt Lake City and even if then, the city itself isn’t large enough and doesn’t have nearly the same amount of racing fans that can help sustain the track economically.
It’s a sad state of the affairs, but the track, despite its status as one of the best in the US, doesn’t have enough resources to tap into to help sustain its operations. With the current state of the industry and the economy, you can’t blame the Larry H. Miller Group from cutting its losses and moving on to other business ventures.
Hopefully, a new investment firm comes around and puts the right business strategy to make the track financially successful in its next incarnation, whenever that may be.
Source: Deseret News