Denver failed to land Boeing. Now it is using its lifestyle to amazon.
Sixteen years ago, a seattle-based company said it planned to move its headquarters to the city, which would be the best deal.
The company was Boeing and eventually chose Chicago finalists Dallas and Denver.
Now, another Seattle company, Amazon, wants to open a second headquarters elsewhere in North America. This time, the Denver leaders are determined to avoid Boeing’s experience.
At stake: up to 50,000 high-paying jobs and billions of dollars of investment in fast-growing regions.
Amazon’s list includes highly skilled labor, major universities, international airports and public transportation – all of Denver’s ingredients. Just as important, amazon says it is looking for “quality life” for its employees.
Denver leads the list of potential amazon finalists, including a recent analysis by the New York times.
The Denver center is full of more fashion restaurants and breweries these days than in 2001. It also has plenty of marijuana dispensaries after it became the first country in the country to allow recreational activity.
The region has invested billions in public transport, while millennials have flocked to jobs in the high-tech and energy industries.
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Abigail Scott, 25, moved from Florida to Denver two years ago, attracted by outdoor activities and weather.
“Sunshine is one of my favorite parts,” said Abigail Scott, 25. She sunned herself during lunch in the morning. Scott moved to Colorado from Florida two years ago. “I like to see mountains almost all the time from the city, which reminds you of where you are going.”
The outdoor Colorado lifestyle is a central part of the city’s amazon.
“In the United States, there are very few places in the world that combine our good business environment with our high quality of life,” said JJ Ament, chief executive of the Denver economic development corporation.
One factor in Denver’s quest for Boeing is that the towns in the region have not come up with a regional bid, rather than competing against Boeing. It says the place has been working together from the start, and the country has more economic incentives.
Although many cities offer amazon bigger tax cuts and more cash than to Denver on the table, gov. John Hickenlooper said, the region can be provided to a place where people want to move to amazon.
“Young people who might be in other cities, looking for more than just getting a job, building a family, building a life… They will be more attracted to Colorado, “said democrat Hickenlooper. .
The national games
Given the economic risks, many big cities across the country are actively competing.
“When you’re trying to come up with a bid to bring such good economic growth to your region, you have to believe that you’re a competitor, or why are you investing your time?” Director TeresaCordova said. University of Illinois at Chicago. She expects strong bids from many cities.
Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and raleigh, north Carolina is one of the most likely contenders, some cities of golf course and Denver is no different.
Allegheny County, including the Pittsburgh (Allegheny County) County Rich Fitzgerald said: “the company found that Pittsburgh is a good place to conduct business, which is why Google here, Intel, here the Uber driverless cars right here.
Lately, Fitzgerald has been working 60 hours a week in the amazon for the city and honing his pitch. “In fact, young people are not only staying, but more young people are coming to Pittsburgh,” he said.
He added that Pittsburgh had another advantage: the city’s football, baseball and hockey teams were black and gold, just like amazon’s logo. (amazon is one of NPR’s financial backers.)
The price of growth
Back in Denver, some Colorado people are wary of amazon’s push for growth and the potential for higher transportation and real estate prices.
“There’s no real infrastructure to support 50,000 jobs,” said Andrea Shinn, 28, a chef who grew up in nearby Boulder. As startups and tech companies flocked to the once-bohemian college town, median prices reached $885, 000 last year.
XinEnShui: “seems more and more people come here every day, it is good for our economy, but I think we have some deviation, some people faster than we expected.”
But Shinn says she understands how climate and lifestyle attract people to Colorado. She hopes that if amazon chooses Denver, the city won’t lose anything special to her.