October 20, 2019
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Wall Street Journal lists Scarborough among ‘implausible’ suitors for new Amazon headquarters

Scarborough Downs | BDN
Scarborough Downs | BDN
Kevin Switzer (front) drives Mizuno around the track during racing action in 2015 at Scarborough Downs.

With Amazon on the hunt for the perfect match for its new headquarters, small towns across the country have one question for Amazon: Why not us?

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday listed Scarborough’s bid for Amazon’s new North America headquarters — dubbed Amazon HQ2 — among the “implausible” and quirky proposals that have come in from small towns from wild Alaska, to Texas cattle country, to coastal Maine.

“Yes, there are some huge hurdles, and maybe some of them are insurmountable,” Town Manager Thomas Hall told the Journal. ”Something of this magnitude, you’ll build it and they’ll come.”

[Scarborough will compete to host Amazon headquarters]

The Seattle-based company listed among its preferences for a new location access to an international airport within 45 minutes, a metro area of more than 1 million people and universities graduating software developers, among other items, according to the Journal.

While Scarborough may not meet Amazon’s population preference, town officials believe that they offer plenty of space to meet the online retailer’s demand.

Scarborough is proposing Scarborough Downs racetrack as a future location for the online retail giant’s new headquarters. It touts its proximity to Portland, with its “Award Winning Chefs and Craft Beer,” in the longshot bid, according to the Journal.

Scarborough officials are hoping they can leverage the coastal community’s quality of life in its bid to woo Amazon.

“We might not score well in the population part, but we might do well in other parts,” Town Council Chairman Shawn Babine told the Bangor Daily News last month. “It’s the ‘way life should be.’ It’s the place where everyone wants to live, work and play.”

The competition will be stiff. Amazon says 238 cities, regions and territories applied by the Oct. 19 deadline, and Scarborough will be competing with the likes of Boston and Dallas to be the home of Amazon HQ2. The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority also submitted a proposal to lure Amazon to Brunswick, where’s there’s rail, an airport and space.

[Brunswick joins Scarborough in hunt for new $5B Amazon headquarters]

For that lucky city — or town — that woos Amazon, the online retailer promises a $5 billion investment that will create 50,000 jobs.

A recent Morning Consult poll found that nearly seven out of 10 Mainers would be happy to see Amazon build its new headquarters near their community — among the lowest level of support in the nation.

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