Lane Beattie surprised with 2002 Olympic torch relay lantern

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

A little over a decade ago, Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie served as the state’s chief Olympic officer during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

As a surprise, Steve McCarthy, the managing director the Olympic torch relay, presented Lane with one of the original lanterns used to carry the flame from Athens to the U.S.–the second torch used to be exact. McCarthy also gave Lane was also given one of two podiums that were used at media events as the torch relay progressed across the country.

In the video above, you can watch Lane’s reaction and hear him tell stories about running the torch himself.


Olympic legacy endures in community a decade later

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Hosting an event as significant as the 2002 Winter Olympic games has a lasting impact on the community. A decade after the world turned its attention to Salt Lake, the people of our state still benefit from those 16 amazing days.

“The Olympics touched every Utahn,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, who served as chief Olympic officer during the Games. “The human drama and satisfaction of sport – personal best, joy of effort, and fair competition – continue to inspire Utahns.”

“The Olympics became the first global event since the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said Natalie Gochnour, executive vice president at the Salt Lake Chamber, who served as Gov. Mike Leavitt’s spokeswoman during the Games. “Our love of country and mankind took center stage, an experience buried deep in the hearts of Utahns. It was truly inspiring service we provided to the nation and to the world.”

The impact of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games extends beyond the playing field. The Cultural Olympiad remains part of the community as symbolized by the Chihuly “Torch” at Abravanel Hall.

More than 100 thousand trees were planted in Utah as a living Olympic legacy; 15 million trees were planted worldwide.

138,000 school children attended the Olympics at no charge. These Utahns now watch the Olympics in other countries with a first-hand knowledge of the excitement and drama of the Games. Every Utah high school received an Olympic torch to ensure the memory of the Games would remain for future generations of Utahns.

Utah overwhelmed the world with our spirit of generosity and volunteerism. Some 18,000 gave freely of their time and talents to ensure the success of the Games and to be a part of the Olympic experience. Volunteerism remains alive and well in Utah.

The Olympics established Utah’s global stature

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

When Salt Lake hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, it served as notice to the world that this was a state ready to compete—particularly in world markets.


“We have had remarkable success, particularly in the past five years,” said Lew Cramer, president and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah. “We have doubled our international exports over the past five years, we expect to set a new state-record for exports and export related jobs this year and a great deal of that can be traced back to the time we hosted the Olympics.”

To capitalize on Utah’s elevated status on the world stage, the state helped establish the World Trade Center Utah, an organization that has helped Utah double merchandise exports over the past five years. In 2010, Utah exports exceeded $13.5 billion.


Leaders from 77 countries and eight Presidential Cabinet members attended the Games. In addition, 220,000 people visited Utah during the Games.

Trade missions helped take advantage of the momentum created by the Games. The Utah Governor’s Office led post-Olympic trade missions to five countries: Canada, China, Mexico, Greece and Italy.


Utah/Salt Lake City’s image and awareness changed dramatically after the Games. Surveys in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Holland yielded these results:

- One in five respondents had knowledge of Salt Lake City as the host city pre Olympics; one in three knew after the Games.

- One in ten respondents had knowledge of Utah as the host state pre Olympics; one in six knew after the Games.

- Europeans’ images of Utah’s mountains and deserts increased dramatically as a result of the Olympics.

Utah to bid again for Olympic Winter Games

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Just a quick note on the big news of the day, Gov. Herbert and Mayor Becker announced this morning the state has formed an exploratory committee to bid on a future Olympic Winter Games. The next available opportunity is in 2022. This week marks the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games and the Olympic cauldron will be re-lighted Friday evening to commemorate the event.

The Chamber strongly supports the effort to bring the Olympic Winter Games back to our state. All week we have posted information on this blog about the positive impact the Games continues to have on our state.

Here’s a link to the our statement on this morning’s announcement.

Olympics made Utah winter sports capital

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

It’s one thing to tell everyone you have the Greatest Snow on Earth, it’s another to let the world’s greatest athletes prove it.

That’s exactly what happened a decade ago when Utah hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. That’s when Utah went from a self-proclaimed great place for skiing and officially became the world’s winter sports capital.

“Abosolutely,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, who served as chief Olympic officer during the Games. “We not only solidified our reputation for great skiing, we showed we are the premiere training location for all winter sports.”

Utah has hosted seven World Cups or U.S. Championships since the Games. Utah hosts a number of world-class competitions each season including World Cup aerial and freestyle skiing, the Dew Tour, Grand Prix Snowboarding, the World Freeskiing Tour and more Utah is the only place to host all three International Olympic Committee-sanctioned events (Olympics, Paralympics and Deaflympics).

Athletes are drawn to Utah to train. A total of 38 USA Olympic Team members are training in Utah, including 13 who are now Utah residents. Park City based U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association continues to train Olympic hopefuls at the state-of-the-art Center of Excellence facility, which opened in 2009.

During 2006 the Utah Olympic Oval serviced 20,000 public skating admissions, 622 hours of hockey and 307 hours of figure skating. The Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation has invested over $120 million in sport programs and the operation of two official U.S. Olympic Training Sites.

Attracting the world’s best and aspiring Olympians also attracts vacationers who want to ski and play where the Olympians train.

“Non-Olympic athletes want to come here to ski where the best of the best have skied,” said Beattie. “We have truly become the world’s winter sports capital.”

Olympics improved Utah’s infrastructure

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

A decade after the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, you can still find reminders of the gold medal performances all across the state.

“Once you have joined that elite group of Olympic host cities, that’s what you are known for,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, who served as chief Olympic officer during the Games. “We’re very proud of the work we did to host the world and we like to keep those reminders of that special time front and center.”

Student housing
The Olympics improved Utah’s infrastructure. University of Utah students benefit from housing that hosted the athletes from around the world at the Olympic Village.

Transportation improvements include Trappers Loop Road, I-80 Silver Creek and Kimball Junction, and Park City infrastructure. TRAX light rail and reconstruction of I-15 in Salt Lake County were also advanced by the Olympics—and all continue to be improved a decade later.

Park City has increased the number of pillows available by 33 percent in the last 10 years as new lodges, varying from economical to luxury, have developed throughout the area.

Sport venues
Residents and visitors benefit from skating, hockey, curling, track, ski jumping and other activities at the Utah Olympic Oval (Kearns), Utah Olympic Park (Summit County) and five ice sheets (Provo, Ogden, Logan, and two in Salt Lake City).

Utah’s brand reached new heights during 2002 Winter Olympic Games

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

The 2002 Olympic Winter Games improved the Utah brand. For over two weeks, the world was treated to shots of our state’s unsurpassed natural beauty and our world-class facilities for hosting winter activities.

In all, 2.1 billion viewers in 160 countries and territories amassed 13.1 billion viewer hours of Olympic coverage. The estimated value of print media exposure value during the Games tallied $22.9 million.

“There was literally no escaping Utah for those 16 days,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, who served as chief Olympic officer during the Games. “We still see the benefits to this day. People want to come and ski the Greatest Snow on Earth—especially after they have seen the greatest skiers performing at a world-class level on it.”

Coverage of the Games included national and syndicated stories, USA Today stories, Sports Illustrated features and thousands of stories in major media markets.

Even before the Games officially began, the torch relay brought 11,520 torch-bearers and traveled in 46 states.

In the skies, 2.2 million airline passengers viewed the 27-minute Bud Greenspan film called Discover Utah.

Follow-on Utah advertising has reached tens of millions of people in targeted markets, and Utah continued to receive positive media attention from the Torino and Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.

Utah economy still benefits from 2002 Winter Olympic Games

Monday, February 6th, 2012

The economic impact of the 2002 Games was remarkable. The official state estimate of economic impact is $4.8 billion in sales, 35,000 job years of employment and $1.5 billion in earnings for Utah workers.

“The true impact of the games transcends the ledger sheet,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. Beattie served as the state’s chief Olympic officer. “The figures are impressive, but they don’t tell the whole story. Showing the world just how special this place is has had an immeasurable impact.”

Here’s what we can measure. The Olympics yielded $100 million in profits, which were distributed throughout the community after the Games including a $72 million endowment to maintain facilities, $10.2 million for Olympic Legacy Plazas and $11.5 million in charitable donations.

Utah’s tourism industry also saw significant benefits. Utah’s ski and hotel and lodging industries have enjoyed record-setting years since the Games. Utah has seen a 42 percent increase in skier visits since 2002, and direct expenditures from skiers and snowboarders have increased 67 percent from $704 million in 2002-03 to $1.2 billion last year.

Business leaders welcomed 350 venture capitalists and 600 corporate guests to Utah during the Games. The exposure has paid off. Venture capital funding in

2011 reached a five-year high at $222.9 million and 43 deals.