As Amazon HQ Deadline Closes In, Cities Pull Out the Stops
Mayors from Toledo to Tulsa are so eager to woo Amazon's much-vaunted second headquarters that they're brandishing bourbon, selling the sun, whispering sweet nothings to the company and even pushing its buttons.
The Associated Press talked to the leaders of more than 50 cities or metropolitan regions about the different ways they're showcasing themselves to the Seattle e-commerce company. The bids are due Thursday.
300 DAYS IN THE SUN (OR MORE)
It's easy for many metropolitan areas to emphasize their similarities to Seattle. It's a little gutsier for cities to cast themselves as an escape from the rainy Pacific Northwest.
"We have 300 days of sunshine," says J.J. Ament, chief executive officer of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. "Our skies are bluer and prettier." Ament's organization is compiling a formal bid that also highlights Colorado's 45,000 miles of hiking, biking and all-purpose trails.
Austin, coincidentally enough, also touts 300 sunny days and outdoor activities — plus live music, festivals, sports and a "big foodie-friendly community," says Mike Berman, a spokesman for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
But wait: Albuquerque, New Mexico, has upped the ante with a claimed 310 cloudless days. (The city also makes a naked plea to sentiment, noting that it's the birthplace of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.)