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Data Center Enjoys Safety of Las Vegas | News

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Data Center Enjoys Safety of Las Vegas
Cobalt CEO Mike Ballard gives Rep. Steven Horsford a tour of the company's northwest Las Vegas facility.

LAS VEGAS -- Las Vegas has started diversifying its economy into a high-tech hub.

Data centers are investing millions of dollars in the economy, and unlike many other areas of the United States, Las Vegas has a distinct advantage as a so-called safety zone.

Cobalt Data Centers has opened a state-of-the-art, $25 million facility in the northwest part of the Las Vegas valley.

Outside Cobalt's Las Vegas office, it appears as any business park, but inside is housed a secure environment that allows the magic of the Internet and cell phone apps to happen.

"(Companies) want to be connected to the Internet, and they never want to go down, so they come to Cobalt," Cobalt CEO Mike Ballard said.

On Monday, he gave U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford a tour of the company's new W. Cheyenne Avenue data center.

Companies come to cobalt for their high-tech needs, he said.

"We like to describe, this is where the cloud lives," Ballard said. "This is where people come to connect to the Internet."

Horsford said he likes the success he's seen.

"This is so exciting because it's all about creating jobs," said Horsford, who represents Nevada's 4th Congressional District. "Good paying jobs in a new sector that we desperately need here in Nevada."

To understand why Las Vegas is a safe bet for data storage, there are known risk factors in other parts of the country, from earthquakes in California to nuclear plants and bad weather along the East Coast and in the South. Las Vegas' location is in the middle of a safety zone and makes the metropolitan area ideal.

"We also have a new power grid," Ballard said of the advantages of storing data in southern Nevada. "We have a great tax environment and significant, significant fiber connectivity."

Major businesses are putting their money on Las Vegas, he said.

"Our customers include health care companies, gaming companies, numerous companies (from) California that are seeking to get off the fault line," he said.

Ballard said Cobalt expects to hire up to 25 highly-qualified workers. Other big players in data storage in Las Vegas include Switch and ViaWest.

Inside the Cobalt Data Center.

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