What could an Amazon Web Services Data Center and a Swedish ski area possibly have in common? Rocks. 100,000 tons to be exact. The construction of Amazon’s new data center in Stockholm, Sweden led to an abundance of rocks donated to the Vilsta Ski Area. Amazon’s donation expedited the ski area’s improvement plans so much, the changes are expected to be seen by the 18/19 season. Next year they hope to increase Vilsta’s height by 10 meters and have a 30 meter longer slope.
According to Business Sweden, plans made by Tunafors Ski Club have been in the making for the last year.
“In the spring of 2017, Eskilstuna municipality greenlighted long-standing plans by Tunafors to raise the ski slope and improve the ski run. But the go ahead had a condition attached – they were only allowed to use non-polluted rock mass to raise the slope”
When samples from the Amazon construction site were approved by the environmental authorities, the project went full speed ahead. Amazon’s new Stockholm center couldn’t have had better timing. The ski club is excited to see the project get underway.
“It will be a completely new ski area, the size of a football arena, offering a new skiing experience. We have great plans ahead including a fun park and rails for kids as well as a new ski lift,” says Magnus Nilsson, President of Tunafors Ski Club.
While 30-50,000 tons of viable rock is still needed to fully complete their goals, the donation saved them 5-6 years of work and SEK 14 million (the equivalent to around 1.5 Million US Dollars). With an increased elevation and a longer ski run, the locals skiers will be happy to get some more turns in. Amazon is also happy to see their development make a positive impact on the community.
“Amazon Web Services is committed to taking an active role in the communities in which we operate both as a responsible employer and as a good neighbor. We look forward to enjoying the new slope with the Eskilstuna residents in the months to come” says Guido Bartels, Managing Director AWS Nordics and Baltic region.