When Amazon announced in September that the Seattle-based company was inviting cities to bid for its second headquarters, there was immediate pressure for metros to apply — and to figure out how to set themselves apart from everyone else keen to attract an estimated 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment.
Economic developers around the country have raced to put together proposals ahead of the Oct. 19 deadline, and they’ve touted different traits in the process, whether their locale has no state income tax or is home to thriving research universities. Meanwhile, other local leaders have taken wackier tacks with the hopes of piquing Amazon’s attention and pushing their proposal toward the top of the pile.
Here are six examples.
Tucson, Ariz. tries to plant an idea
Sun Corridor Inc., the economic development organization spearheading the Southwestern city’s bid, sent Amazon a 21-ft. Saguaro cactus, which the company politely declined, saying via Twitter that “we can’t accept gifts (even really cool ones).” The plant, Sun Corridor said, was meant to symbolize that Amazon had room to grow in the area.
Among Amazon’s long wish list of qualities that the winning city will have is a metro area with more than 1 million people. Tucson is one of the smallest of the roughly 50 places that pass that threshold in the U.S. While Sun Corridor Inc. expressed excitement that Amazon acknowledged the cactus — even if the firm did regift it — they’re staying mum about their more serious bid. “We won’t be releasing any details due to the competitive nature of the project,” chief marketing officer Laura Shaw tells TIME.
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) September 19, 2017
Stonecrest, Ga. asks what’s in a name
With hopes of highlighting the Atlanta area, the suburb of Stonecrest proposed de-annexing up to 345 acres of land and naming the new town Amazon, Ga. “There are several major U.S. cities that want Amazon, but none have the branding opportunity we are now offering this visionary company,” Mayor Jason Lary said, according to local reports. Topeka, Kansas once (unsuccessfully) used a similar gambit in an attempt to lure a high-speed internet project …read more
Source:: Time – Technology