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Southern Nevada Bids To Be Included On Amazon Shopping List

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Online retail giant Amazon is looking for a city to establish a second headquarters and Las Vegas wants to be on the list.

Amazon has gone shopping.

The online retail and media giant is looking for a second headquarters, and municipalities across North America have sent in bids to land the promised 50,000 jobs and $5 billion investment

Among them: Las Vegas.

A collaborative effort of Southern Nevada’s public and private sectors went into the bid, which included  a flashy video promoting Las Vegas’ youthful, optimistic spirit.

"I think we all know what Las Vegas has to offer," Steve Hill, the head of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, told KNPR's State of Nevada.

He said we're more than the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, but we also have the Strip. He also touted our workforce, infrastructure, and global connectedness.

He said the bid to Amazon outlines that and a lot more.

"We want to make sure that Amazon is fully aware of what Southern Nevada has to offer," Hill said.

Most qualifying metro areas in the United States and Canada responded to Amazon’s request for proposals.

Jonas Peterson with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance thinks people will be surprised by Las Vegas’ chances of bringing Amazon here.

“This was our opportunity to speak as one community, one voice and really paint a picture for Amazon about what their future could look like in Southern Nevada.”

Peterson said local governments, individual businesses, and agencies from across the state helped form the Amazon HQ2 Working Group to help craft the message for Amazon.

The one city that didn’t submit a plan was San Antonio, which pulled out of consideration over concerns the competition pitted municipalities against each other to provide the biggest tax breaks or other financial incentives.

New Jersey apparently submitted a proposal that offered the online retail giant billions in incentives.

Steve Hill would not give specifics about how much Nevada was willing to give the company in incentives, but Nevada isn’t going give that much. To add to that, he doesn’t believe companies pick places to set up shop based entirely on money.

“We’re just not going to be able to attract Amazon by offering the most money,” he said. “Companies that are looking at Nevada and other places decide where they want to be and then they try and make where they want to go competitive enough that it makes the decision clear and easy for them.”

Peterson also said that incentives Nevada have handed out to companies like Telsa were performance based.

“If we are fortunate enough that a company like Amazon selects Southern Nevada and they invest billions into the local economy and create thousands of jobs, then when they hit certain thresholds they get a chance to win along the way too,” he said.

Image similar to what the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance will be using in its presentation to Amazona/Courtesy: LVGEA

Steve Hill and Joans Peterson speaking with host Joe Schoenmann


Steve Hill, Governor’s Office of Economic Development; Jonas Peterson, Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance

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With deep experience in journalism, politics, and the nonprofit sector, news producer Doug Puppel has built strong connections statewide that benefit the Nevada Public Radio audience.