I was lucky enough to be in Duluth yesterday for the Grand Opening of Involta, Duluth’s new data center. Back in May I met with Lisa Bodine from Involta to talk about the project. The quick recap – the folks at Duluth (APEX leading the pack) made a concerted effort to attract data centers to the area. Back in May, Lisa spoke about the attraction of Duluth – specifically clients, community and climate.
That sentiment was echoed yesterday as Jeff Thorsteinson spoke about “people at the heart” of the Involta-Duluth project being core to its success. That and access to power and geography. Duluth has the cold, but lacks a lot of wind and earthquakes. Apparently that makes a good recipe for data center success.
It looked like there were a couple hundred people at the event. It was a gorgeous day, which never hurts but clearly the community came out to celebrate a project that they are all excited about. It’s an opportunity to bring jobs and improve broadband in the area.
Presenters included several folks from Involta, Senator Roger Reinert, DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips, David Olson from the MN Chamber of Commerce, David Ross from the Duluth Chamber, Brian Hanson from APEX and Mayor Don Ness. In fact I caught Mayor Ness’s comments on camera – you’ll see I wasn’t in the front row, but I think the audio is OK: