Sitting behind his desk amidst a pile of paperwork and huge vision, the 66-year-old Larry Miller smiles with a boyish grin as he answers the question of how this journey started.
“Well, amazing it started when I was 9 years old right across the interstate,” said Miller as he pointed out the window towards I-40 at Exit 90 in Nebo. “That was my first job. I stood on crates and washed dishes at the truck stop restaurant (now Drew’s Diner).”
Miller, now a successful businessman, was born and raised in Nebo and lived just a couple of miles from the new Blackbeard Outdoor World, where the grand opening will take place this Saturday. Miller and his wife, Betty, along with their two children, Todd and Sissy, have worked hard locally in launching and sustaining several businesses since 1980. These businesses include GEM Constructors Inc., L&T Storage, Soapy Suds Car Wash and L. Miller Auto Sales, to name just a few.
Blackbeard actually has a rich history and was started by Harold Wilson in 1988. In fact, even with new ownership you can still find Wilson in his office providing service to a large customer base, not to mention enjoying a front row seat to the growth and exciting expansion of his dream.
“My plan is really quite simple: provide quality products and amazing service to the customer,” said Miller. “We can honor the hard work of Harold by doing what we have done in all of our other businesses.”
There are many exciting product lines dealing in everything outdoor, from boats and campers to golf carts and automobiles. What is currently on the lot is only half of what will be in the next three to four weeks.
Miller believes a key to a successful business is a great team with experience and a common goal. At Blackbeard, you can find that for sure. The years of experience are impressive from Russell Asher with 31 years in the boat and personal watercraft service department. Wesley Minnish in the camper service department, brings over 20 years of experience. Even the manager position has plenty of experience in Robert Turbyfill (23 years of retail sales).
As Larry walked past the latest models of pontoons, bass boats and rows of campers, he was very quick to point out what this journey means as it comes full circle to the same intersection it began over 50 years ago.
“It’s about God and family,” he said. “I want to finish my days having honored the Lord and loving my family. I figure I’m not alone, many people find great family bonds in the outdoor world. I hope they will come to Blackbeard and find a great deal and great service, and possibly even some new friends. Life’s too short to forget to schedule the good times.”
Blackbeard Outdoor World is located at 2678 Harmony Grove Road, off Exit 90 on I-40 in Nebo and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is a full service department for boats, campers and personal watercraft, as well as a great showroom of boats, campers, cars and golf carts. You can visit www.blackbeardoutdoorworld.com.