Nothing Is Too Strange for Cities Wooing Amazon to Build There

That sometimes means going to extreme lengths to draw Mr. Bezos’ eye. Is Mr. Bezos impressed?

“We’re energized by the response,” said Adam Sedo, an Amazon spokesman. “We invited cities to think big, and we are starting to see their creativity.”


Mayor Jim Watson of Ottawa on a visit to Seattle. “Our immigration policy is much more liberal,” Mr. Watson said of one edge a Canadian city might have in bidding to host Amazon’s second headquarters.

Kyle Johnson for The New York Times

For Jeff Cheney, the mayor of Frisco, Tex., a city of 160,000 about a half-hour drive from Dallas, the courtship includes offering to build his city around Amazon.

“Our city’s only about 60 percent built out, so we’ve got a lot of available land where we can build to suit,” Mr. Cheney said. “We play to win. We’re innovators. We’re forward thinkers, and we’re serious.”

City applications are not due until Oct. 19, but Mr. Cheney has already sent a video letter to Amazon. The video opens on him holding an Amazon box and saying, “Amazon, you’re growing your business, and we want to grow with you.” Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, is seen talking about catching the “Frisco Flu,” which the mayor’s office said was a phrase Mr. Jones came up with. Mr. Cheney also gets a Jamba Juice (Jamba Juice is based in Frisco).

Mayoral letters to Amazon are actually becoming a YouTube subgenre.

Mark D. Boughton, the mayor of Danbury, Conn., posted a video on Sept. 14 calling himself a “proud Amazon customer” and asking Alexa, the Amazon virtual assistant, where Amazon should build its second…

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