Hickenlooper says it's a 'longshot' that Colorado would get Amazon headquarters

If Amazon chooses to hook up with Colorado, it'll be because of our personality, not because Amazon is lusting over our body of tax incentives.

DENVER - Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper isn’t holding his breath as he waits to hear which city Amazon picks for a second headquarters.

In an interview inside of 9NEWS’ Let’s be Clear truck, Hickenlooper told Jeremy Jojola that he’d give Colorado a one in 10 shot at winning over Amazon.

"Supposedly, (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) has got over 100 submittals, so we’ll see,” he said. “It’s a pretty long shot that Colorado’s going to be able to be the host of Amazon.”

Amazon said Monday it actuallly received 238 proposals from around North America. The Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., a private organization that works with the nine counties around Denver, said last week that it pitched quality of life, a talented workforce and Colorado’s intent to invest in the future in the official proposal – rather that incentives.

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Hickenlooper, who said in MDEC’s statement that “Colorado’s proposal will be as competitive as any,” reiterated those ideas but said, financially, the state’s pitch doesn’t match its competitors’ bids.

“Our offer is a fraction of what other states (offered). Probably less than 1/20th of what some states are offering,” he said. “What we’re trying to pitch is we are a collaborative community that works to solve our own problems and that we are a place where the whole community would reach out and try to help out Amazon be more successful. They’re not just getting a site. They’re getting a community.”

He added that mayors around Denver work closely together to reach success, and the state already attracts tech employees. Hickenlooper believes, however, that infrastructure could be a barrier for Colorado.

“We haven’t built the transportation infrastructure we need, even now. So, I recognize, that incumbent upon this, if Amazon comes, we got to finish I-70. We got to get I-25 up to snuff, but we got to do that anyway,” the governor said.

Not everyone is excited about the prospect of Amazon in Colorado, but the governor thinks that if Amazon did choose Denver, it would be an offer the state can’t refuse.

“Something like Amazon comes along – it’s not just those jobs, but they enhance all the other tech companies that are here, allow us to really keep growing -- and our growth is going to slow down if we’re not careful. You can’t get it back. Once you lose that momentum it’s very hard to restart.”

See the governor's entire conversation with Jeremy here.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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