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Las Vegas one of 238 places vying for Amazon’s 2nd headquarters

Updated October 23, 2017 - 7:33 pm

Amazon said Monday that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in the United States, Canada and Mexico hoping to be the home of the company’s second headquarters.

On Thursday, a handful of state and local government agencies for Southern Nevada submitted its bid to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the Las Vegas area. Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance CEO Jonas Peterson said the proposal shows data on the Las Vegas Valley’s population growth, low taxes and low regulations. The alliance declined to disclose how much the state offered in tax incentives, saying that Amazon had requested that information not be made public.

On Friday, the LVGEA embarked on a social media campaign to support the cause.

A tweet Friday on Nevada State College’s Twitter account said, “Be Included. Our #NevadaState campus family is as diverse as America will be in 2050. We are the future!#Amazon2Vegas #BeboldBegreatBeState.”

A tweet Friday on Downtown Summerlin’s Twitter account said, “The proposal has been submitted, and we’re ready to bring #Amazon2Vegas #HQ2Vegas @amazon.”

More than 100 people and/or brands participated on Twitter with a 6.96 million social media reach, alliance spokeswoman Nicole Santero said.

Santero added that the campaign’s Facebook reach was up to 251,000.

Amazon.com Inc. did not list which cities or metro areas applied, but said the proposals came from 43 U.S. states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, three Mexican states and six Canadian provinces. In a tweet, the company said it was “excited to review each of them.”

Besides looking for financial incentives, Amazon had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

Generous tax breaks and other incentives can erode a city’s tax base. For the winner, it could be worth it, since an Amazon headquarters could draw other tech businesses and their well-educated, highly paid employees.

In New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie has endorsed Newark’s bid, saying the state and the city are planning nearly $7 billion in tax breaks. Detroit bid organizers have said its proposal offers Amazon the unique chance to set up shop in both the U.S. and Canada. Missouri officials proposed an innovation corridor between Kansas City and St. Louis rather than a single location.

The seven U.S. states that Amazon said did not apply were: Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

Ahead of the deadline, some cities turned to stunts to try and stand out: Representatives from Tucson, Arizona, sent a 21-foot tall cactus to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters; New York lit the Empire State Building orange to match Amazon’s smile logo.

The company plans to remain in its sprawling Seattle headquarters, and the second one will be “a full equal” to it, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in September. Amazon has said that it will announce a decision sometime next year.

The Review-Journal contributed to this report.

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