Amazon Bid

Halifax launches new website for Amazon bid, but not for Amazon

Bid offers $10 billion in savings, direct flights to Seattle and San Francisco

A screenshot of the executive summary from the website outlining the city’s main incentives for Amazon to set up shop in Halifax.   amazonhfx.com

Halifax Partnership has launched a website with details from their Amazon bid touting $10 billion in savings on operation costs and direct flights from Halifax to Seattle and San Francisco—if Amazon comes to town.

In October, Halifax Partnership submitted a larger, more detailed bid to Amazon, along with an electronic proposal. Ron Hanlon, CEO of Halifax Partnership, said content seen on the new website is similar to that electronic proposal, but less detailed.

“The purpose of the website is really not for Amazon,” he said. “(That’s) because they already have that, but it’s to share with other people and our own public here what the content of the bid is.”

Alongside videos, facts about the region and a button to call the mayor, the website for the bid also contains letters of support from the prime minister, premier, the mayor, Nova Scotia Power, Air Canada and Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

For cities bidding on Amazon’s HQ2, Amazon said that airports with daily and direct flights to Seattle, New York, San Francisco/Bay Area and Washington, D.C., are “an important consideration.”

“We certainly don’t anticipate any issues getting those flights,” said Carole Rankin, communications and marketing co-ordinator for the Halifax International Airport Authority.

“It’s going to be one of those things that if we do get it that’s when the work is going to come into play,” said Rankin. “That’s when people are going to be interested, but for now it’s like, we’ll wait and see what happens.”

Rankin also said if Halifax wins the bid, the airport would not need to expand to accommodate an increased number of daily flights.

Halifax’s is one of 238 bids from cities and regions across North America competing to host the retail giant’s second headquarters.

Big on flair, small on details

While the new website contains some key details of the bid, Hanlon says that much was intentionally left out.

“So, on one hand we’ve been reluctant to release our entire bid because quite frankly, from a value proposition and a sales proposition, we don’t want to fully, sort of, show all of our cards,” said Hanlon.

“On the other hand, we feel that the public and businesses are also curious about this.”

The bid touts $10 billion in savings over 10 years in operating costs for Amazon compared to its main headquarters in Seattle.

The number is based off a 2016 report, funded and produced by KPMG on competitive alternatives that ranked Halifax the 6th lowest costing place to do business in among 111 others worldwide. Halifax Partnership used KPMG’s methodology to come up with the $10 billion figure.  

The details of how they reached that number, however, haven’t been disclosed.

“To be blunt, I don’t want our competitors to know exactly the methodology that we calculated that because it’s quite real,” said Hanlon. “It’s actually very real because I don’t want them selling against it.”

Hanlon and his team at Halifax Partnership hope to hear back from Amazon about their bid by the end of the year.

As for when the entirety of the bid will be made public, he’s not sure.

“Ultimately, we will release all the details of the bid once we determine whether we’re still in the game or out of the game,” said Hanlon.

 

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