Lane Beattie is retiring after nearly 15 years as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and the Downtown Alliance.

The 66-year-old businessman, formerly a legislator and the state Olympic officer for the 2002 Winter Games, said Thursday that the time had come to step aside and to spend more time with his grandchildren.

“When I took the job at the Chamber [in 2003],” Beattie said, “I planned to only stay on for two years. But two years turned into five, five turned into 10 and I just couldn’t pull myself away from all of the exciting progress we’re making.”

He cited the transformation of the 130-year-old Chamber into “a powerhouse of influence that stands for all Utah businesses … blending the traditional business chamber with powerful, top-notch business advocacy.”

In his dual role overseeing the Downtown Alliance, Beattie helped create the “Downtown Rising” theme that reflected, in part, the construction of City Creek Center, the tower at 222 S. Main St., the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Theater on Main Street and Salt Lake City’s new public safety building at 500 S. 300 East.

“Lane’s been our city center’s biggest cheerleader,” said Molly Mazzolini, chairwoman of the Downtown Alliance board and a partner/director of brand integration at the sports-design consultant firm Infinite Scale. “He understands the urban center’s role in building a strong regional economy and has been a tireless advocate for creating a dynamic and diverse downtown community.”

| Tribune file photo Lane Beattie, president of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Beattie spoke out frequently for immigration reform and was proud of his support for Interstate 15 reconstruction through Utah County and the completion of UTA’s FrontLines 2015 transit project. He also promoted air-pollution control efforts, energy conservation and development, and the need for water infrastructure and conservation.

Chamber Board President Wilford Clyde, president of the construction-centered Clyde Cos., praised Beattie for standing up for business “even when it meant making tough decisions. Lane Beattie dedicated his time, wisdom and passion to this great organization and has helped shape what it is today.”

The chamber has formed a search committee, made up of current executive board members plus past chamber chairs, to find Beattie’s replacement. He will remain in place until a successor is selected, said chamber spokeswoman Kimberly Flores.