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News >  ID Government

Idaho’s pitch to Amazon: ‘Save us for later in your cart!’

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 26, 2017

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter speaks to reporters about the upcoming 2017 legislative session at the State Capitol building Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 in Boise, Idaho. (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter speaks to reporters about the upcoming 2017 legislative session at the State Capitol building Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 in Boise, Idaho. (Otto Kitsinger / Associated Press)

Idaho sent two pitches to Amazon in response to its call for bids for HQ2, the company’s second North America headquarters, even though the state lacks the minimum requirements for the project.

Idaho’s pitch: Save us for later.

The submissions came from Gov. Butch Otter and from the Boise Valley Economic Partnership. Otter asked Amazon to consider Idaho for other projects, “after the dust settles” on HQ2.

“So in other words, save us for later in your cart!” the governor wrote.

You can read Otter’s full letter here. Clark Krause, executive director of the partnership, refused a request from the Idaho Statesman to release the group’s Amazon letter, but told KTVB-TV, “Anytime you can talk to a great company like Amazon, I think you’ve got to take that opportunity.”

Otter’s letter is brief, conceding that Amazon likely will pick another location for its HQ2, but touting Idaho’s advantages anyway.

“We also understand that Idaho’s many sterling qualities do not quite fit this particular site need,” he wrote. “Having said that, Idaho is recognized for its favorable business climate, stable tax rates, reasonable regulations, low-cost renewable energy and affordable land. We have a skilled, motivated workforce and state policies that recognize the importance of economic activity to our Idaho way of life. We balance our budget without raising taxes, and we know that the best way to help business is to simply get out of the way.”

Amazon announced that it received 238 proposals from cities and regions in 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America. The Seattle-based online retailer said it plans to invest more than $5 billion in construction for its second headquarters and that it says will eventually add 50,000 high-paying jobs.

The seven states that didn’t submit were Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming; all, like Idaho, lacked the minimum requirement of a city of 1 million population. Alaska and Delaware submitted bids even though their total state populations are below 1 million.

Krause told KTVB, “If you look at what Amazon is doing across the country, I think it’s just a matter of time that we’ll be considered for some of the Amazon distribution centers, hopefully some regional offices.”

He said he knows that Amazon has at least looked at BVEP’s proposal because Amazon contacted the group on Tuesday and asked it to resubmit the proposal in a different format.

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