If Amazon doesn’t pick Denver, “there will be a sense of relief,” Colorado governor says
Governor clarifies that he thinks the bid’s pros outweigh the cons but sees the growth that accompanies 50,000 jobs as a challenge
Days after Denver made the list of 20 finalists for Amazon’s new headquarters, Gov. John Hickenlooper tempered expectations about the bid, saying that if the tech giant picked another location, “I’m not going to cry.”
“There will be a sense of relief if they choose somewhere else, because there are a lot of challenges and lot of hard work we will be avoiding,” Hickenlooper told the City Club of Denver on Tuesday in response to a question about Amazon.
The Democrat is one of the state’s chief recruiters in the effort to bring the Seattle-based company’s $5 billion second home to the Denver area, and he acknowledged the sentiment is a controversial one, particularly as other locations gush about the potential investment. “Nobody tweet that,” he quipped after his remarks.
Hickenlooper said the state is “legitimately and sincerely” pursuing the company, and he later clarified in an interview that he believes the positives outweigh the negatives. “I wouldn’t pursue it if I didn’t think it’s the right thing,” he said.
The challenge, the governor argued, is the potential for growth in the already-crowded Denver area with the addition of up to 50,000 employees — who would make an average of $100,000 a year — that Amazon is promising. The governor said he believes Amazon “would be willing to be our partner” in dealing with that issue, but his remarks hinted at the impending ordeal the winning locale would face to accommodate the company’s demands.
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