EDCUtah Statement on AmazonHQ2
*Image to the left: front cover of Utah's proposal for the Amazon HQ2 project.
On January 18th, 2018, Amazon announced their shortlist of sites for the HQ2 expansion project. While we are disappointed that no Utah sites were on the list, we are very proud of the process that was followed in Utah and the final product we put together. As we evaluate the list of markets Amazon will continue to focus on, several things jump out:
- They are primarily looking at very large markets (average MSA population size of the 20 shortlisted locations is just over 6.5M people).
- They are primarily looking at markets that provide significant geographic diversity (average distance from Seattle of the 20 shortlisted locations is just under 2,500 miles).
- They are primarily looking at markets in the eastern and central time zones (18/20 sites are EST or CST and only one site is in the MST).
Given what Amazon’s primary decision drivers appear to be, it is obvious that Utah (largest MSA of 1.2M people; located in the MST time zone; 800 miles from Seattle) was definitely a stretch.
I’m certain in the coming weeks I’ll think of hundreds of things we could have done differently with our response that may have helped move Utah into the Top 20. That being said, I will tell you that I am extremely proud of the 178 pages we collectively built, the 64 public and private partners that gave freely of their time and expertise to help us compile the response and the #TeamUtah mentality that dominated the entire process.
We will get another opportunity to work on a transformational project and we will be better prepared for having gone through this effort. We wish Amazon nothing but the best as they continue in this process, and we congratulate the 20 markets fortunate enough to continue on.
Theresa Foxley, President & CEO