Dear Mr. Bezos

Spokane can compete on the national stage; here's what it would take

We are in receipt of your request for a proposal to secure a site to serve as Amazon's second headquarters; our responses are attached, and what follows is a summary of our offer. We have taken seriously your encouragement of proposals that "think big and are creative."

COLLABORATION Our proposal is a collaboration between the states of Washington and Idaho, a major airline, eight universities and colleges located within the geographic triangle of Spokane/Cheney, Sandpoint to the northeast, Coeur d'Alene to the east and Pullman/Moscow to the south, the municipalities framing this region, Avista, leading real estate developers, a money center bank and a manufacturer of cross-laminated timbers, among others.

SITE Developers will sell or lease, based on Amazon's preference, a site in Spokane's downtown University District, including a 500,000-square-foot building ready for occupancy in 2019. The site will be contiguous, pad-ready, with utility infrastructure in place.

In addition, additional sites will be made available in Sandpoint, Coeur d'Alene and Pullman/Moscow, enabling Amazon to offer its employees a broader range of lifestyle choices and providing closer proximity to the eight universities and colleges.

Cross-laminated timbers, made from environmentally sustainable sources and sourced locally, will be the primary building material used in construction.

SKILLED LABOR FORCE Our proposal includes detailed information regarding the tremendous academic institutions and highly skilled labor force within our region. To ensure we are producing the ever-evolving talent that Amazon and other leading tech companies will require, the eight universities and colleges included in our proposal will work in conjunction with Amazon to develop and deliver curricula to educate the workforce of a technology-driven future.

TRANSPORTATION A major airline has agreed to provide daily direct flights to New York, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C. Direct flights between Spokane and Seattle are already offered almost hourly.

The state of Washington has agreed to construct a high-speed train between Seattle and Spokane. With speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, commute times between Spokane and Seattle will be a little more than an hour. The states of Washington and Idaho have agreed to evaluate light-rail alternatives between Sandpoint, Coeur d'Alene, Spokane and Pullman/Moscow, dramatically enhancing transportation between these cities.

And to keep with your spirit of innovation, the cities included in our proposal agree to fast-track the approval of delivery of certain products to homes and businesses via drone.

INCENTIVES Spokane would reduce sales and property tax rates by 10 percent for residents and business owners. The states and municipalities involved will invest one dollar in mutually agreed-upon public infrastructure for every dollar Amazon invests directly in capital expenditures.

ENERGY The Spokane region already offers electrical rates that are among the nation's lowest. Avista is developing smart city applications in the University District, including distributed energy resources such as solar panels, behind-the-meter batteries, plug-in electric vehicles and energy-smart building control systems.

FINANCIAL COMMITMENT The financial obligations included in this proposal will be guaranteed by a money center bank upon Amazon's agreement to the specifications in its RFP.

QUALITY OF LIFE This is the centerpiece of our proposal. Amazon will undoubtedly have numerous opportunities to open a second headquarters in cities offering equally favorable real estate, workforce, transportation and energy rates. Yet the quality of life offered by our region is unparalleled and offers an unmatched competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining key talent. Our proposal shines a light on:

• Our region's incredible natural beauty, with its three large lakes, five ski resorts and endless outdoor recreational activities.

• The enviable quality of our K-12 educational system.

• Many distinct neighborhoods with tree-lined streets, featuring innovative restaurants, breweries and wineries.

• Spokane's newly renovated, 100-acre Riverfront Park in the urban center — one of 87 parks in the city.

• A vibrant culture including numerous music venues, the Spokane Symphony, the Civic Theatre, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture and the Mobius Children's Museum.

All this can be done here. Spokane and the other cities within our triangle have a proven history of nurturing highly successful technology companies and talent. Such companies include 2nd Watch, Ecova, etailz, Itron, Jigsaw, Kochava, Next IT, Packet Engines, Owler, RiskLens, Rohinni, Schweitzer Engineering, Signature Genomics, World Wide Packets and many more.

We invite you to tour our region and meet the people committed to making this proposal a reality. ♦