Spent this morning doing some light reading on a few subjects related to my day to day job. One of the items was about the analytics that Amazon is likely to use to decide where to land their HQ#2. Lots of cities applied (including Scottsboro, Alabama which I give a big thumbs up to for making the effort and read below why I think that is a good idea). After reading several of the reports and also looking at the wish list from Amazon I think I'm ready to put down my bet for the potential winner. Based on a series of factors plus a few other items I think Louisville, KY will win out as the Amazon HQ#2. Why Louisville? Well, it all comes down to being able to breathe a little. Louisville has a large international airport that is focused mostly on cargo operations for UPS. The good thing is it has the ability to grow and knowing Amazon's love of acquisitions it might even fuel a bid to absorb UPS. Access to multiple interstates is another big plus, while you might be thinking I'm spending too much time on cargo you have to remember that no one city is going to just have 50,000 tech employees on standby. Those interstates connect Louisville easily to Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago and other regional tech hubs that would be drawn on to help build the Amazon tech force. Louisville also has areas to grow when it comes to housing as well and while it doesn't quite have the public transit infrastructure that somewhere like Seattle or New York has, it has room to grown. There are a lot more reasoning but I just wanted to lock in my bet on Louisville. Now a word about why this process is so important and why I'm proud of Huntsville, AL and Scottsboro, AL for submitting their proposals. Let's face it the wish list that Amazon described simply doesn't exist. The sheer amount of people and infrastructure just doesn't exist but by going through this process of accepting proposals they are doing something else that they do on each one of us that use their services... they are collecting data. I grew up in Arab, AL which is located in Marshall, Co. The small city touches a total of 4 counties if you really look at it from a 15,000 ft. view (Marshall, Cullman, Morgan and Blount). The key thing about this area that noticed was the point that it sat on two distinct power sources (TVA via Arab Electric Co-op and Joe Wheeler Co-Op and Alabama Power) and there were existing data backbones traveling through the city via Earthlink (formerly ITC Deltacom). I suggested to quite a few people that the area would be ripe for a large scale data center if the city and counties worked together to advertise their unique position, especially with tech savy Huntsville just 35-40 minutes away. I literally had people laugh at me. Yet look over to Jackson County and see that Google is investing in a large data center there because of the termination points to multiple grids. So with that in mind I think it is great to hear that Huntsville and Scottsboro in N. Alabama are submitting their bids to Amazon. While we may never have a chance with the Amazon HQ#2, it could serve as a data point for other projects such as data center, distribution warehouses or as home for any number of Amazon related tech companies (we already have Amazon owned Curse in Huntsville and Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin looking to ramp up rocket engine assembly in Huntsville with a favorable contract win from ULA). So it never hurts to provide a few more data points to keep the N. Alabama region included down the road. So now with the full disclosure stuff... TalkWeather is operated on Amazon Web Services platforms and we have received free credits for hosting due to participation in several programs. I also have friends that work at Blue Origin in Kent, WA and have been offered no inside information.