Wow, what a day! Lot’s of, “I wish I could tell you what’s going to happen/who’s moving to town but…I’d have to kill you…” type stuff has shrouded this event from the beginning. Well, it was finally unveiled today that Facebook will build and own their first data center, (rather than lease) in Prineville, Oregon. Evidently, the high desert’s dry climate is perfect for this type of operation and for all of us in Central Oregon we couldn’t be happier. From what it sounds like, all it takes is someone like Facebook to make the first leap and from there, other big guns in the tech industry, etc will be sure to follow.
It was great to be part of something like this. The event was basically on the site where the facility will be built, with the tents set up at the end of a road and security super tight. Most of the people attending, (including myself) didn’t know what business was coming until today. I’m really amazed this secret was able to last this long…especially with how powerful Facebook is! Excavation only began on the 130+ acre site about two weeks ago but when the GM overseeing construction drove me around to get some images, it was evident that by the beginning of 2011 they would be up and running-think, TIGHT schedule.
At around noon, Prineville Mayor Mike Wendel announced to everyone the big news and after several speeches, the official ground breaking ceremony occurred, lunch was served and within 1.5 hours everyone had moved on to their next appointment. I love challenges, and today I got to hammer out one of my quickest photo edits to date, since one of the stipulations for my shooting the event was that the PR firm in charge of the events media distribution needed the images literally after I was done shooting. Pressures a good thing….especially when things go right! So here’s to Facebook for putting Central Oregon in front of the world’s eyes. Oh, did I say again how much I love my job?!!
Big shout out to all my friends who did an outstanding day today. This includes Heidi Berkman with H. Berkman & Associates Inc., the Marketing & Special Events Consultant-541.480.8700 who made everything go silky smooth, Pinnacle Media’s Matt and JoAnn Hand for handling the video content, and Joolz Restaurant from downtown Bend for providing the amazing food.
Getting ready for the fun…
Mayor of Prineville, Mike Wendel showing some of the excitement we all are feeling!
Facebook’s Director of Site Operations, Tom Furlong (brown jacket) celebrating with others that got the job done!
Three of the finance wizards from Facebook–you can thank them for making it happen.