Little Rock Dumps Amazon Before Relationship Even Begins

Mayor: 'Break up with them before they break up with us'

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Little Rock dumped Amazon before a relationship even began.

The city penned a rejection letter and posted it as an ad in the Washington Post. The city also said it flew a banner above Amazon's campus Thursday that read: "It's not you, it's us."

Mayor Mark Stodola at a press conference Thursday joked about the decision to withdraw interest in landing the retail giant's second headquarters.

"Maybe we should break up with them before they break up with us," Stodola says describing what was suggested to him.

The city used Thursday's break-up buzz to launch a new campaign: Love, Little Rock. The new campaign describes what the city has to offer for any other prospective companies.

"While we didn't neccessarily fit [Amazon's] requirements, think about all the other companies that we do fit the requirements for," Jay Chessire, of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce says.

Thursday's change of heart comes a month after Stodola promised to "Think big" and "be creative" in Little Rock's pursuit of Amazon. 

"We did some pretty smart thinking about this, ultimately, in terms of our desire to compete," Stodola said at the press conference.

"And, this is what it's all about is competing and letting the rest of the world know what a great place Little Rock is." (14)

Thursday's timely rejection indeed made a splash on social media. One Twitter user called the reverse psychology "bold" and "brialliant."

Another user called it "weird."

"It sounds like a break-up, but it said at the end they would take the opportunity if it comes again," one Little Rock resident said after reading the letter that Little Rock wrote for Amazon.

The move left some wondering if there ever was a firm proposal for Amazon in the first place.

"When you announced last month, you were serious about putting something together?" a reporter asked the mayor at the press conference.

Stodola: "And we have, we have put something serious together. Go check out the website."

"We hope that we're going to be able to attract future development. If they decide to give us another look, we'll be happy to talk to them," Stodola says.


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