Amazon announced on Thursday that it hopes to open a new headquarters somewhere in the United States.
More importantly, it’s asking cities to propose why they should host the new location.
Amazon’s plan for a second headquarters — called HQ2 – will look to be the equivalent of its current home in Seattle, The Verge reported. The company plans to invest $5 billion into its new building's construction, adding 50,000 jobs in the process.
Amazon has asked cities to offer proposals for the new headquarters, adding that it “has preferences for a city that has more than 1 million people, a stable and business-friendly environment, and locations that can attract and retain technical talent,” according to The Verge.
The cities should also highlight its tax credits, workforce grants, permitting, fee reductions and overall ingoing and outgoing costs.
Jed Kolko, a chief economist at Indeed, wrote on Twitter that Amazon will look for a major U.S. tech hub.
Is that tech hub in Utah?
Kolko’s tweeted image shows a map from Indeed of “Silicon Valley’s closest cousins and other tech hubs.” And, as you might imagine, the Provo-Orem area — commonly known as Silicon Slopes — appeared on that map.
A closer look at Indeed’s data shows that Provo-Orem is the ninth area most like Silicon Valley (rated 66 on an index of 0-100). The Bay Area tops the list, with an 83 rating, followed by the Boston metro area (76), the Austin, Texas, area (75 rating) and Boulder, Colo., (74 rating).
Seattle placed ahead of Boulder on that list, but Amazon is looking for a location outside of the Washington city.
A look at cities and areas closest to being like Silicon Valley. | HiringLab.org/Indeed
“For tech workers looking for alternatives to the Bay Area — places where the pace is a bit slower and the homes a bit cheaper — Seattle, Boulder, San Diego and Provo are where their specialized skills are increasingly in demand,” according to HiringLab.
VentureBeat also listed Salt Lake City as one of the cities Amazon should consider for the new headquarters, citing the city's high capital funding.
The area also has a lot of experienced workers, making it easy to find talent, VentureBeat reported
"Just a two-hour flight from Seattle, Salt Lake City would make it easy to travel between the first and second headquarters," according to VentureBeat.
It’s been noted before that Utah is a great place to start a business. CNBC ranked it as the best state for business thanks to growing unicorns like Qualtrics and InsideSales.com (and a host of others). And, for the third straight year, Utah topped Forbes’ list of the best states for business, too.
Multiple pieces have been written too about how Silicon Valley business have opted for Utah because of the state's tax-friendliness, family-friendly lifestyle and adventurous landscape.
And Silicon Valley tech leaders and investors often travel out to Utah for retreats and summits, hoping to find some peace amid their bustling and busy lives.
Silicon Valley, the Washington, D.C., area and the greater Baltimore area top Indeed's list of the country’s biggest tech hubs.
The eight biggest tech hubs | HiringLab.org/Indeed
Major cities like Seattle, Raleigh, North Carolina, San Francisco and Boston are also some of the bigger tech hubs based on highest share of job postings in tech, according to Hiring Lab.
Salt Lake City is already getting a new Amazon building. Gov. Gary Herbert announced back in June that Amazon would bring a $200 million facility to Utah, with the facility playing “a major role in the company's distribution system,” the Deseret News reported. The location will add 1,500 full-time jobs.
"We consider this a perfect pairing, as Amazon and Salt Lake City are both known for our customer service and ease of doing business. We are very excited for the 1,500 new full-time jobs Amazon will create in our community, and look forward to a long future of working together," said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, according to CNBC.
Could Amazon work with Utah again with a Provo office? It’s unclear at this point. But if Amazon wants its location in another tech hub, the Silicon Slopes and Utah will surely come up as options.