Today, thirty-two years after a Utah dealership opened its doors for business, one of the state's largest companies celebrates an anniversary that not only commemorates the achievement and expansion of this group of companies, but offers a moment to reflect on the legacy and effect one man and a simple philosophy can have. Larry H. Miller was born in 1944 and grew up in the Capitol Hill area of Salt Lake City, Utah. Following his graduation from West High, Larry married his high school sweetheart, Gail Saxton, and began working construction until 1964 when he went to work for American Auto Parts.
In 1966, he became the parts manager at a Utah auto dealer, and then later moved to Denver to work as the parts manager for two Denver Toyota dealerships. He was soon promoted to operations manager over five Toyota stores, where he became the number one Toyota parts dealer in the United States and the first to hit a million in sales, and then two million.
In 1979, Miller purchased a Toyota dealership in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, Utah. It opened as Larry H. Miller Toyota. In the years that followed, more dealerships were opened. Today, the Larry H. Miller Management Company operates 23 different automotive brands under 39 dealership locations.
In 1985, Miller became a co-owner of the struggling NBA franchise, the Utah Jazz, and then a year later purchased the remaining portion from Sam Battistone to become the sole owner. As the team began to have success, they quickly outgrew the Salt Palace Arena where they played. It was at this point that Larry decided to build the Delta Center, now EnergySolutions Arena, in downtown Salt Lake City. The arena, commonly known as home to the Utah Jazz, has been the stage for thousands of special events ranging from rock concerts and rodeos to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
But the company growth didn't stop with the Jazz and the automotive dealerships. Because of his strong commitment to sports and family entertainment, Miller successfully added a collection of businesses to the organization. Some of these entities include the Salt Lake Bees, the AAA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Miller Motorsports Park; the Megaplex Movie Theatres; television and radio media outlets; financial institutions, sports memorabilia retail outlets and many others. However, the most important aspect of growth is the fact that, over the last 30 years of business, the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies has become a family of over 6,500 employees in six states.
With so much evolving, changing and expanding since that first dealership opened its doors in 1979, one thing has remained constant, the continuing mission to exceed the expectations of customers, employees and the community as a whole. Larry's goal to be the benchmark for excellence in every aspect of business is what has moved the company forward over the past thirty years. And it is this mission and philosophy that will undoubtedly move it forward for the next thirty years.
Larry, standing, w/Roger Racer, our Parts Manager
Sales: 866-685-5598 I Service: 866-856-8059 I Parts: 866-858-2513