Miller Motorsports Park to remain open as sold to Chinese consortium
Miller Motorsports Park will not close its doors after all, with Tooele County having announced an agreement to sell the property to a Chinese consortium that plans further automotive and motorsports development.
The 511-acre facility, located 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, has been sold to Mitime Investment & Development Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Geely Group of Companies, China’s biggest independent automaker.
Geely’s portfolio includes Volvo, which it had purchased from Ford in 2010.
The $20 million sale of the property to the Hangzhou, China-based firm is expected to result in further development, including the continuation of track operations for the 2016 season and beyond.
Mitime is set to inject in excess of $40 million in further development to the facility, with plans to construct a 3/8th mile oval track, Rally-X course and potential drag strip, in addition to $6-8 million in upgrades to the existing road course.
Additionally, manufacturing of oval-track race cars and hill-climb trucks are planned for export to China, while studies are underway for a potential on-site hotel, as well as additional garages and manufacturing facilities.
There are also expected to be educational programs tied in through Geely’s range of colleges it owns and operates in China, which includes an automotive university.
“The commission recognized early on that we cannot afford to have the facility close,” said Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne.
“From the beginning, we have viewed the possibility of a new owner with passion for racing and a long term vision of continued investment as the best possible outcome for the facility and our community.
“That has remained our driving force during consideration of all the proposals.”
MMP designer and the facility’s original general manager, Alan Wilson, is also involved in the project, having been hired by Mitime to design and build five new tracks in China, which are all scheduled to open within the next decade.
The facility is expected to also be used as a multi-faceted training ground for the company as motorsports in China continues to gain traction.
“This opportunity couldn’t come at a better time for the world of racing and the growth of motorsports in one the world’s fastest growing economies,” Wilson said.
“This is deal allows the facility to remain fully operational and to export the American racing model to China.”
Opened in 2006, Miller Motorsports Park had been owned by the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, which announced in May that it would be ceasing operations due to ongoing financial issues with the property.