Over the last week I had the great pleasure of reading Driven: An Autobiography. The book tells the story of Larry Miller, a man whose name is known at every household in Utah as the owner of multiple car dealerships, movie theaters and the Utah Jazz.
It was a treat to read of his triumphs. Reading the book, and recounting so many historic events that have taken place in Utah was a real enjoyment. As he narrated so many stories of his life, I felt like was part of the family. Playing baseball and softball with him as a kid on Capitol Hill. Moving with the young family to Colorado to pursue a professional softball career. Or, signing documents to buy the Utah Jazz, a fledging professional basketball team on the verge of bankruptcy.
I been a fan of the man for a long time, but one experience really left an impression on me. After a visit to Larry Miller Speedway in Tooelle Utah. We were commissioned to do some video work. (I won’t go into to many of the details, but you read about one major incident here.) What impressed me was we drove up to the park, it was like we had descended into Motor World. The place was huge, and as we came to find out was just a playground for Larry. He built the place so that he would have somewhere close to race his cars, and as a result, it was one of the best racetracks built in the last 30 years. I was impressed, and have been back a few time since. In the book, he admits that the track is losing about two million a year, but the rest of his business is able to balance that out so the track can stay operational.
Another fun story was that of the Work and the Glory films. He invested a lot of money into the production of the three films. At an accounting meeting it was brought up that the production of the films (which he had financed) lost over 18 million dollars. A letter was opened in the same meeting from a member of the LDS church who said that they had not been active, but after seeing the films was brought back into activity. So, Larry quipped, now we know what the worth of a soul is. About 18 million dollars!
So, to make a long post short. Check out the book. It makes for a great read. I am happy to lend out my copy, or you can check one out on Amazon. Also, check out this profile of Larry written by the co-author Doug Robinson.
Big props to Scott for a great Christmas present.