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Fri June 24, 2011
Verizon mega data center a no-go
By Molly Messick
Laramie, Wyo. – A $4 billion Verizon data center that state and local officials hoped to lure to Laramie will not be built. That's according to a Verizon spokeswoman, who says the company has instead acquired a Florida-based data storage company.
Drawing mega data centers to the state has been a major emphasis of Governor Matt Mead. This year, the governor budgeted $14 million to assist data centers with infrastructure costs. The Wyoming Legislature passed a bill that established tax breaks for the centers.
State Senator Chris Rothfuss, from Laramie, says the news is a big disappointment - but the legislature has laid the groundwork for attracting other projects. "We certainly crafted the legislation with this project in mind, but we wrote the legislation broadly enough that we could still be attractive to other potential projects," he said. "So hopefully, while we lost this for the near future or the next few years, I'm hopeful that there are other opportunities out there that we can bring in and take advantage of this legislative infrastructure that we put in place."
The Wyoming Business Council estimated that the Verizon data center would have brought as many as 200 long-term jobs to the Laramie area, with a payroll of between $94 and $500 million over a five- to ten-year period.