While proposals were confidential, the cities competing for the new headquarters were not. It’s no secret that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has homes in DC and NY as well. In retrospect, the Amazon decision was exactly the right one, and entirely predictable if one could see through the fart storm of economic development propaganda. Each of these new headquarters were approximately six miles from Bezos’ houses. Perhaps that’s why Governor Hickenlooper cast doubt on Denver as a selection months ago, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that trajectory.
And why wouldn’t a company like Amazon put its new headquarters at the center of the nation’s finance and government power structure? With Amazon active in mergers and acquisitions, as well as being a significant capital markets participant, access to decision makers in New York was key.
With ever-growing regulatory clouds forming against the giant retailer, having a foothold in the nation’s capitol would enhance the relationships that it needs to navigate the muddy waters of the D.C. swamp. And of course you had Bezos’ political arm, the Washington Post, just a few short miles way – another strong case for Northern Virginia.
Combine these factors with the fact that operationally, the business would have been in a far better strategic position having major operations there time zones away, instead of just one, spelled doom for our bid as well.
Nonetheless, could we have passed on the opportunity? Nah, that would have been foolish. Take note, Olympics haters. That said, even though we didn’t win it would still be nice to see exactly what economic incentives were included with Denver’s bid. What’s the new saying of Bezos’ favorite toy – Democracy Dies in Darkness?