Arizona group sending giant cactus as welcome gift to Amazon

September 14, 2017 GMT

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Forget flowers. Southern Arizona economic leaders have sent Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a Saguaro cactus ahead of Tucson’s proposal to become the site for the company’s second headquarters.

The giant online retailer announced last week that it was looking for a home for its second corporate headquarters or HQ2. The planned project is expected to cost Amazon $5 billion. Once completed, it could house as many as 50,000 workers.

Sun Corridor Inc., an economic development group in southern Arizona, sent a flat-bed truck carrying a 21-foot Saguaro cactus to Seattle on Wednesday. The group will work with Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Commerce Authority to develop a strong case.


“We wanted to make sure Mr. Bezos and his team notice us and send a message of ‘we have room for you to grow here for the long term’ — nothing signifies that better than a Saguaro,” said Joe Snell, Sun Corridor’s president and CEO.

Local leaders became embolden to make the push after a successful campaign to become the site of Caterpillar’s new Surface and Mining and Technology Division headquarters, and Raytheon Missile Systems’ decision to add about 2,000 jobs to the area over the next five years.

Other cities that have said they will submit bids include Chicago, Philadelphia and Toronto. Cities have until Oct. 19 to send Amazon their proposals.

Amazon is expected to choose a location by 2018.