Monday, April 23, 2012

Colorado Springs Attracting Major Data Centers – Shall we dub it ‘TECHNOLOGY VALLEY’?


Colorado Springs is a hot bed for technology companies.  In the most recent years leading companies such as FedEx, Progressive Insurance, Verizon Wireless, HP, Agilent and Wal-Mart have decided to make Colorado Springs, CO the home for their data centers.   Is Colorado Springs quickly becoming the Silicon Valley or shall we dub it ‘Technology Valley’ due to its ongoing and aggressive interest to attract major companies to the region?

We recently sat down with Dave White, Executive Vice President of Marketing for the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to gain a better insight as to the who, why and why of Colorado Springs.
The mission of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC is to attract new jobs and investments into the region with a focus on companies interested in a long-term location for their HQ or Technology operations.  According to Dave, companies such as Wal-Mart, who is currently constructing a brand new data center in Colorado Springs, companies due a lot of due diligence before settling on a specific geographic location for their ‘technology’ centers.

About six years ago, Progressive Insurance moved its data center to Colorado Springs due to the area’s low electricity costs and risk adverse geography (Colorado Springs sits outside of the zone of any major natural disaster threats).   The combination of costs of power, typically offered at $0.045 per KW/hour, with a low risk location particularly made Colorado Springs an attractive location to build their data center.

Another key attribute that Colorado Springs offers is ‘free air cooling.’  Free air-cooling, an emerging trend in the industry (though companies like Iron Mountain, who store vital records and offers underground space for data centers within its Boyers, PA limestone cavern has been employing hydraulic and free air cooling for more than 20 years.)  Free air-cooling in Colorado Springs is made possible due to the area’s cool nights.  Even though the temperatures could easily climb to 90F in the summer, nights quickly cool down to 50F.  This temperature fluctuation allows for less taxing on electricity and offers access to free air for natural cooling capabilities.

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC has put a tremendous amount of effort into identifying the key benefits of the area while providing additional incentives to lure major corporations to the region.  Additional incentives include business and personal tax rebates.  These cover state, city and school taxes.  Furthermore, the Chamber has been providing custom incentive offerings for major companies, like Wal-Mart to build in their region.

With Incentives – personal and business tax rebates, costs savings in power and cooling, and a geographically safe zone, Colorado Springs is a burgeoning area for major enterprises.  Finally, you won’t be without network connectivity since the area is also home to key telecom industry giants including Level 3, CenturyLink and Zayo.  The area is set to continue to grow; this will attract a wealth of knowledge while also tapping into the already highly educated individuals in the area.  The creation of jobs, the improvements in the school, the quality of life and the safety and well being of your company’s data – that should be worth all of the savings in the world – but we all know, it’s not.

For more information about the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and Economic Development Corporation or to find out how you can benefit from existing or customized incentives to join the marquee companies already building in the region, contact  719-471-8183 or visit www.coloradospringschamber.org
 

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