Update: James’ 3 p.m. announcement detailed how he has been reviewing Amazon products.
With a few words and a picture at his desk surrounded by Amazon shipping boxes, Kansas City Mayor Sly James created talk about his upcoming news conference, scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday.
“I’ve been busy online shopping. Find out why at 3 pm,” James wrote.
Last month, The Star reported on Kansas City’s prospects of landing a deal to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to the city. The company has said its HQ2 colossus would bring with it a $38 billion economic jolt, as well as employ up to 50,000 people.
Though there has been much speculation on where in the U.S. the headquarters will land, and some have chosen KC as a top contender, an analysis by The New York Times didn’t have KC in the top half on a list of 50 cities.
James’ office did not provide additional details Wednesday morning in reference to his tweet.
Proposals to Amazon are not due until Oct. 19. Wednesday’s announcement may be shaping up as an attempt to get publicity for Kansas City’s bid on Amazon HQ2.
An Amazon Prime account under James’ name has been leaving five-star reviews for various products on the website, making plugs for Kansas City along the way.
One example: A gleaming review for Fiber One Cereal.
“It tastes great in milk, or your favorite milk alternative, or enjoy it with no milk at all,” reads a review under the name Mayor Sly James. “We have a saying in my hometown that “you can never have too much Fiber.” That’s how we keep things moving here in Kansas City, home to some of the fastest internet connections on the planet thanks to more fiber per capita than anywhere else in the US.”
Another: a fishing net.
“We have 2,000 miles of shoreline within a 3-hour drive to Kansas City,” says the review. “So if you’d rather be fishing you’d rather be living in KC with a trustee [sic] MadBite Fishing Net in hand.”
Other cities have made overtures toward Amazon in attempts to get publicity.
An economic development organization in Tuscon, Ariz., planned to send Amazon a 21-foot cactus; Amazon declined, saying it couldn’t accept gifts. Gary, Ind., took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times asking Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos to consider that city, acknowledging that its chances were “far-fetched.”
James’ office earlier said in a statement:
“This is going to be an effort we work hard to compete for. Kansas City and our regional partners will be able to present a community that’s dynamic, innovative, built for the future and growing. The mayor looks forward to this process and the chance to display what makes the city the best place in the country to live, work, and raise a family.”
At least one person on Twitter wondered whether there were hordes of new bow ties — a penchant of the mayor’s wardrobe — contained in the Amazon boxes.