Make a bid: The perfect place for Amazon’s new headquarters

November, 2017 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

carl-sampsonI hear Amazon is looking for a place to build its new “second” headquarters. Seattle is a pain in the you-know-what to drive around, so chief Amazonian Jeff Bezos figures he’ll dangle the possibility of a new headquarters out and see what cities around the nation offer him.

Atlanta, Boston and a half-dozen other cities are said to be in the running. Even Detroit – new motto: “We’re not broke, just thrifty” – is making a pitch.

That’s all well and good. Some of those cities are OK, and some are, well, just variations of Seattle.

So what would the perfect city for Amazon look like?

First, let’s take a look at what’s wrong with Seattle. At the top of the list is traffic. Seattle is the poster child for gridlock. I-5 going through the heart of Seattle is more like a parking lot than a 21st century expressway. Note to Seattle city planners: Build some roads. And that crazy tunnel won’t help.

Another problem with Seattle is its location. It’s right on the edge of Puget Sound, which makes for great views, but no room for expansion. Boeing moved its headquarters from Seattle to Chicago in part for that very reason.

It’s not that Seattle is a terrible place; it’s just that it has its limits.

That’s why I think Amazon should build its new headquarters in Stayton. Before you spit your coffee across the breakfast table, hear me out.

Stayton is a great place, for a bunch of reasons.

First, traffic is not a problem. You can drive around town all day and not get stuck in anything approaching a traffic jam – unless a cow accidentally wanders onto the road. Oh, yeah, and I remember the time a deer ran a few laps around downtown. It was in rut and looking for love in all the wrong places, if you get
my drift.

Second, Stayton has plenty of room for a business to expand. In fact, a business could expand anywhere in Stayton. Downtown and on any side are potential expansion sites. Room is one thing Stayton has.

Stayton also has lots of water – a whole river flows through it. And it has lots to do. Once people have lived in Stayton for a while, the most popular pastime is making fun of Portland, which can’t seem to do anything right. The latest innovation: closing half of Naito Parkway to create massive bike lanes that no one uses. Good job!

There’s one more thing Stayton has that a lot of places don’t have. It has potential. I’ve always seen Stayton as a diamond in the rough. It still is.

If Amazon wants to think outside the box, it should forget about moving to just another big city. Yawn. Jeff Bezos didn’t get where he is by playing it safe. He did it by doing things no one else thought
of doing.

And building a multi-billion-dollar corporate headquarters in Stayton, Ore., is something no one else has ever thought of, I guarantee you that.

If the Amazonians want to move here, terrific. I’m sure the mayor will be happy to show them around. Set aside about 20-25 minutes for the grand tour.

If Amazon makes a mistake and chooses another area for its headquarters, I guess that’s OK. It’s their loss.

Just let me know, because it’s time for Stayton to start planning its bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

Yes, I can see it now. Opening ceremonies at the Stayton High School football “stadium” and heck, we already have a perfectly good swimming pool.

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