Industry Insiders: The Drive and Passion of Rick Salisbury

BY MICHELLE BRIDGES / PHOTOS BY MARK HEYWOOD

Rick Salisbury wants his guests to experience a comfortable atmosphere when they visit Legends Vintage Motorcycles and the Strap Tank Brewing Company. He believes LVM gives the community a legacy of motorcycles and history.

When Rick Salisbury first began building homes back in the ’70s, he thrived on competition and began chasing a dream to become one of the top builders in Utah. He’s learned a few things along the way…

Finding a Home

  • With his early years spent in California, Rick’s family arrived in Springville just in time for him to start high school. After “just barely” graduating, he spent a year at “Trade Tech” (now Utah Valley University) in the architectural design program, where he says, “the whole object was to find out where my life was going.” It wasn’t his thing.

    He says he walked into a couple of offices and saw “all these guys sitting at desks, drawing out plans and smelling the ammonia from the blueprint machine,” and he thought, “there’s no way I’m going to sit here all day — no way.” Rick walked out and, with his no-nonsense attitude, hardhitting drive and a natural ability to create, he got down to business and started laying brick.

    Eventually, Rick decided he wanted to be the guy in charge of the money, so he started buying land, developing lots and building houses. He sold his masonry business, took out a second mortgage on his home and bought nine building lots in Spanish Fork. He built those homes from the ground up, with the care and attention to detail learned from his years in construction. With a vision of building quality

  • houses, Salisbury Homes took form. “I’ve spent my whole career out in the field on the job, being in the office drove me crazy,” Rick says. “Besides it’s more fun getting your hands dirty.”

    Starting with tract homes — small ramblers, ramblers with garages, split-level homes — the construction company evolved into one of the state’s leading builders of custom homes. When building a home, Rick’s top considerations are ease of construction, maneuverability of spaces and cost. He’s always asking, “How can we build a quality house, keep it affordable so anybody can buy it, and what will the market accept?”

    Rick’s favorite part of the entire building process is the design phase. “Even today’s millennial buyers — many of whom grew up in those split-levels — want something unique, high quality, and reasonably priced. We’re always redesigning for how they live.”

    Clark Ivory, a long-time friend and competitor said, “I don’t know anyone with more passion for his business or for life than Rick.”

A steel-framework of catwalks, shelving, lighting and windows lends a industrial-style to the displays and alcoves at Legends Vintage Motorcycles that is part museum, art gallery and events space for bikers and non-bikers alike.

Creating a Legend

  • Rick’s interest in motorcycles began early and grew into a lifetime hobby. He recalls that, at around age 16, when he brought his first chopper home, his dad said to him, “ere’s no way in hell that’s staying here.” It wasn’t until after he was married, and owned his own business, that he purchased his first bike: a 1979 Harley Davidson Shovelhead.

    With the time and the means, Rick expanded his collection of bikes, artwork and “other motorcycle-related stuff.” At one point, he even had a couple bikes in his home: a show bike in his office and one he rode regularly in the so-called parlor. He acquired a shop on Springville’s Main Street where he could tinker on his bikes. His collection outgrew his home and the shop.

    Rick’s creativity took hold and, in2014, he built Legends VintageMotorcycles (LVM) as a place that captured his passion for vintage motorcycles, both in its atmosphere and emporium style. “I’ve built houses for 30 years but building Legends is what I like to do,” he says. “It’s a fun place to hang out and I wanted to share that with others.”

    LVM is part museum, art gallery, showroom,

  • maintenance shop, barbershop, café and events center — a place where bikers and non-bikers alike can drop in, grab a bite to eat, get a shave and a haircut, and view antique bikes … all while having their bike serviced.

    When Rick started collecting vintage bikes, he decided it would be around the “big three” — Excelsior, Indian and Harley-Davidson. Downstairs at Legends are several rare Indians from 1903, 1905 and 1907 that share floor space with other antique motorcycles in their rustic and worn “original condition.” But it’s upstairs where the “good bikes are,” Rick says referring to a set of highly prized Harley-Davidsons built in the early 1900s. “ese are my favorites. ey were the hardest to locate, the hardest to buy and the hardest to collect.”

    A 1910 Flying Merkel in its turn-of-the century, original bright orange paint is mounted on the wall. Rick feels a sense of satisfaction when he looks at these antique bikes. “These were made long before computers and technology. I look at them and see the craftsmanship and knowing it was all produced by hand – it’s unreal to me,” he says.

Much goes into “the hunt” for the rare bikes Rick Salisbury acquires. The story behind a 1936 Harley- Davidson Knucklehead from Amsterdam is quite unique. Rick says he’s looked for this particular bike for several years, finding replicas and restored bikes but he “wanted an original.” He put the word out that he was looking. And through a network of riding buddies, motorcycle enthusiasts, pickers and searchers, domestic and foreign collectors, came a lead. Two were found in Europe where the pair had survived World War II in a barn buried under a haystack. After their discovery, the blue one was purchased by a doctor in Denmark and a priest in Italy bought the red one. Rick now owns the blue one and he’s tracking the red one.

Building a Destination

  • Rick decided to add to Legends by building a restaurant across the street. When asked why he chose to build a brewpub in the middle of Utah Country, Rick said, “I wanted to do something different, that nobody else had done. I wanted to create a destination where people would come. And it’s worked.”

    Strap Tank Brewing Company is a Rick Salisbury creation from the ground up. You can experience it in the intricate patterned brickwork, the faux-painted, reclaimed décor, and the relaxing atmosphere. e brewpub owes its name to another vintage motorcycle — a 1907 Harley- Davidson with its distinct rolled strap that binds the gas tank and oil tank together.

  • Plans are in the works to expand the LVM brand with additional locations in Lehi, Logan and St. George. Each property will have a Strap Tank brewpub and a collection of small mom-and-pop shops, each location with a style and atmosphere all its own. The Lehi brewpub will open in March 2019. The small shop complex in Springville is currently being developed.

    Rick believes in the importance of family and knowing his direction in life. He and his wife Vickie still call Springville home and their children and grandchildren live nearby. “So for building a few houses and selling them, it’s given me the opportunity to do what I do now. To have the ability to build this, I’m pretty lucky.”

Legend’s upper level is a stylized art gallery for Rick Salisbury’s extensive collection of priceless motorcycles and limited-edition artwork.

Legends Vintage Motorcycles
is free and open to the public, 9am to 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
legendsmotorcycles.com

Strap Tank Brewing Company
opens at 11am with varying closing times seven days a week.
straptankbrewery.com

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Comments

  • Keith Hart

    October 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm
    Reply

    Was treated so good @ car show Saturday, this is a First Class establishment, thanks for the experience!!

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