PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With its 50,000 job carrot firmly in hand, Amazon has crisscrossed the country visiting the 20 finalist cities for its second headquarters. Aka, HQ2.
They’ve completed the visits, which means they were in Pittsburgh, but as for exactly when that happened, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will only say, “It was either February, March, or April.”
Not only would Fitzgerald not narrow it down any better, he wouldn’t even say what the weather was like while the Amazon execs were in town.
“We’re not going to reveal much because they want to keep things close to the vest,” he said.
So, what did the Amazon folks see and do while they were here?
Fitzgerald says, “While there was the official Chamber of Commerce tour that you take them on, there were also some informal things they do on their own with people they know in the region.”
And they know plenty. About 2,000 people work for Amazon in the region and are a constant source of information for the selection committee.
Fitzgerald says this was a get-to-know Pittsburgh kind of visit.
“They wanted to get a flavor. If we’re going to have 50,000 of our employees here, what is it going to be like. What it going to be like to live here? I thought they got a good impression of the city and region, and what they are looking at, and we had a lot of partners who were able to sit down and have good conversations with them.”
KDKA’s John Shumway: “How high ranking was the visit? Was Jeff Bezos here?”
Fitzgerald: “I’m not going to reveal who was here. We’ll leave that alone.”
Shumway: “Did the visit do anything to dampen your enthusiasm?”
Fitzgerald: “No, I’m very optimistic about what Pittsburgh is. There was no signal to say you guys are this. They were fact-based. They were looking for facts and looking for a flavor as to what was here.”
The County Executive says during the visit there was no further indication of a timetable for the decision. Fitzgerald’s overall reaction to the visit, “I’m very encouraged.”