As far as we know, Amazon hasn’t made up its mind regarding where it will put its sought-after HQ2, but we know Colorado gussied itself up quite a bit in order to attract the eye of the online retail giant. While most of the deal has remained a state secret, we at least know the efforts included launching the Colorado Loves Amazon campaign, which invited local personalities, companies and the public to upload videos explaining their love for the Centennial State.
But now, thanks to copious open-records requests, Colorado’s pitch is going to become a matter of public record this week. Just how far was Colorado willing to go in order to get Amazon to grace us with its corporate presence? Here are our ten best guesses.
10. Introducing…the Colorado Primes!
Look, the Rockies had a good run, and by “a good run,” we mean 2007. But it’s time to move forward, and if that means offering up naming rights, so be it. Change the team colors to orange and black, put that little arrow on everything, and exchange Dinger the Dinosaur for a giant shipping box with arms and legs. Let us take you out to the ballgame, Amazon-style!
9. Dedicated Light-Rail Service
While it would be great if HQ2 could be near one of the existing stops — say on the A-line, which is totally working fine all the time and don’t believe anyone who tells you differently — we here in Denver are completely willing to build you a spur of our existing (and again, totally operational) track system so that your employees can be picked up and deposited right at the front doors. It’s the best we can do until those suction tubes like they had on the Jetsons arrive, though we do have that system under development, along with the mandatory — let’s call them “upgrades” — to the totally operational and non-glitchy existing light-rail system.
8. Free Quiznos Fridays!
Our own homegrown sub-shop chain can supply the food for casual Fridays — platters of toasted deli-style goodness to keep your employees happy and not hungry. Bonus: We can provide every break room with its own pepper bar.
7. Pot Discounts
Speaking of homegrown…we don’t know if you’ve heard, Amazon, but Colorado, like, totally legalized private consumption a few years back, and we’re working on legalizing that pesky public-consumption law, too. What’s more, we know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who runs the state legislature who’ll guarantee a 10 percent discount on OTC strains, and a 15 percent discount on edibles for anyone with a legitimate Amazon employee ID.
6. Amazon-Only Parking Lot at Red Rocks
Not just any parking. We'll give you that upper lot with the roundabout where you don’t have to walk up a skyscraper’s worth of stone steps. Exercise, shmexercise: No one wants to get all shvitzy when their favorite act is about to take the stage. And if all of the folks at Amazon want to put together a wish list of musicians they’d like to see at Red Rocks, I have a feeling something might be arranged faster than you can say "two-day shipping."
5. Complimentary North Face for All Employees
We here in Denver want all the newcomers to feel at home — and what better way to do it than to make them visually indistinguishable from most of the city population? Studies that we haven’t done clearly show that over 90 percent of Denverites both wear North Face and shop regularly on Amazon, and even if those numbers are completely invented for the purposes of transparent solicitation, we think you’ll agree that they’re compelling.
4. We’ll Deal With American Furniture Warehouse
Sure, AFW competes with some of Amazon’s market in the furniture area, and no one wants that pesky complication. We'll retire Jake Jabs and let all AFW locations sell nothing but stuffed great cats. Or maybe you’d rather use the AFW sites as distribution centers? Just let us know; we’re easy.
3. Thinking Outside the Housing Box
We have this great new program in town where tiny houses are supplied by crowdfunding. They’re to support the homeless population in transitioning to safe and comfortable living, but how cool would it be for the state to provide Amazon one for each new relocated employee? We could stick hundreds of them on streets somewhere along the light-rail line, and you could make your own little Amazon village, where every employee gets their own tiny house and tiny yard and tiny American Dream. You can use everything but the democratic self-governance, because let's face it: You'll want to rule this like a retail-based fiefdom.
2. I-70 Congestion? Not for Amazon
It’s true that skiing is a big part of the Colorado draw, and it’s also true that the highway up to those ski resorts can get a little…horrible. Who wants to spend six hours on the roads in exchange for a couple of hours on the slopes? Not Amazon people, that’s for sure. That’s why we’re instituting Amazon Ride Share, which means that Denverites will agree to be conscripted to serve as de facto Uber drivers for Amazon employees during the winter months, to and from any of the ski resorts. Just show up on any doorstep (we’d suggest the Stapleton area — they pretty much all have Subarus) and show your Amazon ID.
1. Broncos Head Coach Jeff Bezos
Let’s face it: Not only will there soon be a vacancy, but desperate times call for completely selling out.
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