By The Denver Egotist / /
Dear Mr. Bezos,
Let’s talk about Denver for a few minutes. We know you probably earn about $1 million in that time, but hey, you’re earning it whether you read this or stare at a blank wall. Some may say the latter is preferable, but you don’t become a billionaire by staring at walls.
You and your top-level executives are looking at places to build your second headquarters. Well, second, for now. We all know this new campus will become your main building, and that’s why it’s important to choose the right city.
For a while, Denver was at the top of that list. Now, this beautiful city is sliding down the rankings, and we have been asking ourselves why that would be.
It seems that a small but loud group of people from the city are saying it’s not going to happen for numerous reasons. A local right-wing (actually, extreme right-wing) talk show host called Dan Craplis says you would never consider coming here in a million years because of legal marijuana. So, let’s talk about it. After all, Colorado is now famous for it.
We should first point out, this is the same guy that says anyone who wants a gun will get one, so putting any kind of gun law in place would be pointless. Yet, in his mind, repealing the marijuana laws here would suddenly stop the vast majority of people using it.
Or to put it another way, making weed legal meant more people who never would have bought it suddenly did. It seems that sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander.
Yeah…and this guy’s a lawyer.
Let’s just say, people who want weed will get it. No matter which state you move to, you’ll have to contend with the fact that some people use it, and some don’t. There is weed in Seattle right now. And as you have drug testing as part of your employment process, it’s a no brainer. If people want to work at Amazon, they won’t use dope. It’s as simple as that.
There’s also a lot of chatter about how an Amazon HQ would drive up prices everywhere. Homes would become more expensive. The cost of living would skyrocket.
Well, guess what? That’s happening whether you build your new HQ here or you don’t. According to Homes.com, Denver is the number one city Americans want to live in, and it’s not even close. 40% of people surveyed chose it, followed by Miami at 22% and L.A. at 15%.
The quality of life is one of the major reasons people want to come here. We have the mountains. We have clean air. We have space to build homes. We have a burgeoning tech industry, replete with talent. Oh, and a little company called Google has just paid over $130 million for properties on its Pearl Place Campus. If Colorado is good enough for Google, why wouldn’t it be good enough for Amazon?
Want more? A company called RedBarre is building an enormous digital media and technology campus in Parker, Colorado. This $1 billion project will create over 4,000 jobs. And then, just down the road, a $300 million development in Castle Rock will give local skiers a 65-acre facility to use year-round.
Make no mistake. Colorado is growing. Denver is growing. The talent is going to be here, and what’s more, the talent has been here for some time.
Move to Denver and you will have your pick of the best and brightest people from every industry you can think of. Advertising and marketing, public relations, web development, sales, you name it, you will have smart people lining up to work for your company.
And, of course, let’s not forget the old real estate adage — location, location, location. This is the best of the west. Not too hot and humid, not too cold, with seasons you can define, and a short hop on a private plane to the East or West coasts. You’re in the center of it all. DIA is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world for a reason.
Sure, people have thrown out places like Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Boston. But look at every factor and you’ll see that while they have strengths and weaknesses, Denver is by far the most promising pick to check off every box on your wish list.
You want a metro area with at least 1 million residents? Check. Close proximity to a major international airport? Check. Mass transit? Got it, and it’s getting better every year. Quality higher education? Look at University of Colorado, MSU, CSU and many more. An educated workforce? Damn straight. Business-friendly environment? Definitely.
The question you must ask yourself is not “Why Denver?” but “Why Not Denver?”
Think about it. You’ll have trouble coming up with a list.