Forward Sheridan accompanied Mayor Dave Kinskey on a business recruiting/development trip to Orlando, Fla., for the Data Center World. This was our first effort at a collected fact finding and marketing of our community to a collection of data center industry personnel.
This industry show has been attended by the Wyoming Business Council staff for many years. There are several business recruitment items of note from this trip:
1. This is an active tense, largely organized by Mayor Kinskey, to discover the characteristic of the growing data center industry.
2. To be adequately prepared, the Economic Development Task Force and Sheridan Travel and Tourism constructed electronic media, a banner and a host of printed materials specifically focused on the Sheridan area.
3. The time and effort to have our “site” information collected and presentable demonstrated forward thinking. In the world of corporate relocation, this information is expected.
4. From an organization standpoint, Mayor Kinskey, Councilman Alex Lee and myself had specific technical sessions and target people to connect with resulting in establishing relationships around the data center industry. This was done.
5. To close the loop, information such as business cards, focus of business and geography were collected in a general database for follow up. And the follow up has been executed.
We did ascertain that the data center industry is increasing — largely due to massive volume of new data generated by more and more devices. Anyone use their smartphone today? Netflix? Health care?
Data centers have large capital expenditure budgets but create a clean, focused impact on local economy.
Power reliability and cost are the more important factors in locating and building data centers. Broadband connectivity is second. Wyoming, as a state, is just now getting on the radar screen as a potential site. We are fortunate in Sheridan to have award-winning Ptolemy Data Systems and Big Horn Mountain Data in our community. This is a start.
More importantly, this venture demonstrated the intentions of our community to make an active step toward exploring new economic opportunities. Additional trade shows will be forthcoming.
Jay Stender is the executive director of Forward Sheridan.