TOOELE COUNTY, UTAH – August 19, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – Tooele County officials have announced their agreement to sell Miller Motorsports Park to a Chinese company.
Following the LHM Group of Companies’ decision in May to not renew their ground lease for Miller Motorsports Park at the end of the 2015 season, Tooele County quickly advertised that they would be seeking new owners of the facility, to ensure it would remain a viable business for years to come.
Tooele County leaders say that after accepting proposals in July, they quickly narrowed the top proposals to two primary choices. Commissioners then set about an extensive review and negotiation process that involved industry experts, as well as professional consultants. After weeks of negotiations, Commissioners accepted Mitime Investment & Development Group’s proposal citing that it offered the greatest benefit and met or exceeded all of their stated goals.
Mitime initially expressed interest in purchasing Miller Motorsports Park as a training facility for the development of proposed raceways in China. The company has hired world-renowned track designer and general manager Alan Wilson to design and build five raceways in China, all scheduled to begin operations in the next decade. When Mitime officials learned of Tooele County’s intent to sell Miller Motorsports Park, they quickly recognized the exceptional value and an opportunity to learn from the industry’s best staff and venue.
During negotiations with Tooele County Commissioners, Mitime representatives shared their vision for the campus and the future of motorsports. Their plans include greater capital investment to bring the facility up to FIA and FIM international racing standards; construction of a sanctioned 3/8th mile oval track, drag strip, and a Rally-X course; the development of a comprehensive motorsports education and technology program; an emphasis on international tourism; and manufacturing of oval track race cars and hill-climb trucks for export.
In all, Mitime’s proposal includes economic factors well in excess of the upfront $20,000,000 purchase price. Given the additional elements that have been noted, County Commissioners believe the company’s proposal is a boon to the local economy and will be for years to come. One estimate suggests that the economic activity generated by Mitime’s proposal could generate one billion dollars for the region over the next 25 years.
Facts About the Purchase
· Mitime is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Geely Group of Companies (Geely). Geely is the largest independent automobile company in China. Geely also purchased the Swedish car company Volvo in 2010.
· Mitime has expressed that they will not only continue current operations of MMP for the 2016 season and beyond, but will also increase the scope and activity on the campus during the coming years.
· Increased scope and activities will include a focus towards comprehensive motorsports education; international training and development programs; manufacturing of related race cars and trucks; the development and construction of additional facilities on premise for the motorsports industry; and a program for international tourism, promoting Tooele County and the Intermountain Region.
· Mitime will develop and operate a comprehensive driver training program for road-racing, American-styled oval track racing, and off-road racing.
· Mitime will design and produce oval-track race cars and hill-climb trucks on site, for export to China’s growing motorsports market.
· Mitime will perform significant site upgrades to the facility. Initially, these will include improvements to qualify the campus for FIA and FIM racing events. The estimated costs of these initial investments are $6 million-$8 million.
· Mitime’s commitment extends further to possibly include the development and construction of an on site hotel, additional garages, and manufacturing facilities.