9 Reasons Jeff Bezos Should “Think Currituck” for Amazon’s New HQ
by Larry Lombardi, on 9/8/17 5:08 PM
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced his search for a location for his company’s second headquarters. Since the potential investment is worth billions and could bring as many as 50,000 new jobs, it made sense to get Currituck County into the running.
Dear Jeff Bezos,
I know that you’re a busy man, so I’ll get right to the point.
Every city, county and town in the lower 48 states is going to make a case to you why their spot should be home to Amazon’s new headquarters. That makes perfect sense, because this is a REALLY big deal. For economic developers like me, landing the new Amazon HQ would be like simultaneously winning the Powerball jackpot, the Super Bowl and the Summer Olympics.
Even though we’re probably considered a “long shot,” I think Amazon belongs in northeastern North Carolina.
So here are 9 good reasons that you, Jeff Bezos should take a closer look at Currituck County:
1. We have lots of room.
Big cities are crowded. Why deal with the headaches that come with millions of people and all of those annoying skyscrapers? Come to Currituck County and you’ll get access to acres and acres of prime North Carolina land. Build wide. Build tall. Or heck, go ahead and build a 13th-century castle with a moat… there’s plenty of space (though, to be honest, I’m not really sure that we’re zoned for medieval fortresses).
2. We have world-famous beaches.
Have you seen them? Absolutely stunning. There’s a reason why the Outer Banks are so popular. Okay, so maybe there isn’t much of a solid economic argument why beaches are important to one of the planet’s biggest companies. But I dare you to come watch the sunrise over the Atlantic or “chillax” at sunset with your toes in the sand and tell me that there’s anything better.
3. We have low corporate taxes.
How low? Well, not to brag, but among the states that have a corporate income tax, we’re the LOWEST. Relocate to Currituck County and your corporate income tax rate will be only 3%! That’s important, especially for a company with income in 2016 of more than $2 billion. If you go to Iowa, not only will you pay 12%, but you’ll be stuck in a place without ocean beaches or fresh seafood.
4. We are pro-business and accessible.
Besides loud noises and expensive parking, do you know what major metropolitan areas are best known for? Bureaucracy and red tape. Here in Currituck County, we make it easy to work directly with planners, local government officials and other county professionals. If you need something, you can just call and we’ll answer the phone. You’re probably used to that as one of the richest men on Earth, but we actually do that for everyone.
5. We are centrally located.
I know one of the most important things to consider when you move is the neighborhood. Nothing is worse than finding your dream location and then learning that your new neighbors are a bunch of loud weirdos. We have great neighbors.
Head west and you’ll hit the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill). Right over the state line to our north is Hampton Roads. You can find even more great beaches and coastal towns to the south. Oh, and you’ll probably want access to major ports, highways and railways. Good news: we’ve got you covered on all three fronts.
6. We have a drone-friendly regional airport.
I know your delivery drones are important. You can station your fleet at the Currituck County Regional Airport. There’s plenty of wide open space. Plus, the College of The Albemarle’s (COA) Regional Aviation and Technical Training Center (RATTC) is right next door if they need any maintenance. And right down the road from Corolla? Kitty Hawk! You know, the place where the Wright Brothers pioneered modern aviation. How’s that for serendipity?
7. We have wild Spanish Mustangs.
Those other cities will try and lure you with multi-million dollar incentives, but I promise not one of them can deliver a herd of Colonial Spanish Mustangs. They run wild here on the beach in Corolla. And because I did my research, I know that the Bezos family is originally from a little town in Spain. You won’t find a living, breathing reminder of your heritage like that if you go someplace like Chicago or Boston.
8. We have super cool workplace perks.
If you’re going to build a massive campus for 50,000 employees, you’ll need to keep them entertained with more than just free coffee, scooters and ping-pong tables. Come to Currituck County and Amazon employees could be spending their lunch hour at the H2OBX Waterpark or “brainstorming” new business ideas while hopping whitecaps on a jetski. Need a spot for the interoffice softball league? Check out the new fields at Maple Park. Did I mention that we’re also home to Gravedigger, the most famous monster truck on Earth? Because we are. Top that, Albuquerque.
9. We are a great place to live, work and play.
Currituck County is special. There are folks who have lived here their entire lives. There are folks who came here a long time ago and decided never to leave. Some people just showed up last week. But most of all, it’s a place populated by those who appreciate Currituck County for what it has been and excited by what it can become.
It would be great to be picked for Amazon’s new East Coast home base, and create 50,000 jobs in a place with 25,000 residents. But even if you reject our sweet offer of unspoiled beaches, low taxes and monster trucks, we’ll be okay.
Why? Because big things are on the horizon for Currituck County. Very big things. It’s entirely possible that, 20 years from now, when you’re sitting at your desk (at the new Amazon HQ in... Tysons Corner, VA), you’ll look back at this moment and remember Currituck County as “the one that got away.”
Thanks for reading.