Entering the Amazon: When Big Business Comes to Growing Cities

Those of us familiar with the Denver metro area know it is no stranger to successful, well-known businesses. In fact, the area is known to be one of the better hubs in the United States for startups. Companies like Crocs, Otterbox, Celestial Seasonings, and Coors all found their roots in Colorado, after all.  But what happens when a big, already successful business opens its doors in a growing city? This is a question that’s being asked over and over again, as Governor John Hickenlooper has commented about in local news. 

He reports to The Denver Post that “There will be a sense of relief if they choose somewhere else.” Why wouldn’t you want a corporate giant like Amazon expanding to your city?

Hickenlooper states concerns over Denver already being pushed to the brink with high numbers of transplants. Amazon alone is said to require hiring an additional 50,000 employees, all of whom are expected to make over $100k per year. There are currently eight potential sites that have been proposed to Amazon, and real estate experts expressed further caution that these areas are expected to increase by an additional 6% each year should they be chosen. When prices are already jumping faster than many can afford, this is, perhaps, worth a pause. Some of the areas likely being considered include Rino, Upper Fox, and the parking lots near Elitch Gardens and Pepsi Center. For anyone familiar with these areas, they know they are already quite congested, being within what feels like tightening city limits.  Imagining an additional 50,000 commuters on the roads and trains certainly does sound daunting.

That said, Hickenlooper and other city planners say they are still pursuing the project, and think the economic boost could certainly benefit the city and state. “I wouldn’t pursue it if I didn’t think it was the right thing,” he remarks. But per The Post, they remain cautious and realistic about the gravity of Amazon’s likely impact.

No other entity as large and successful has ever opened such a large location in the Denver Metro area before, and certainly not when in such a sharply upward direction of growth. If Denver is chosen, we can only hope it’s not the perfect storm that pushes the city too far beyond its capacity and decreases the profit, livability, and success of all the other businesses we know, are, and love.

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