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By Danny Vinik

Tesla Needs Tucson

Dear Elon,

You are not an ordinary car maker. So don’t make the mistake of being ordinary. Place is important. The happier your workers are the better products they will produce. If they aren’t happy, they will make mistakes and spend too much time trying to make themselves happy.

Why Tucson for Tesla? Tucson is the perfect under the radar place for young people to live. The cost of living is lower, dollars go further. But on top of that, Tucson is undergoing its own downtown recharge – we have it all, for everyone. Original thinkers live in Tucson and they make many kinds of original businesses. We have party places for party people, food places for foodies, extreme sports places for extreme sportsters, coffee roasting places for the very caffeinated, and more hipster distilleries per capita than anywhere else (including beer, whiskey, vodka and other spirits). We even have world renowned golf, tennis, and weather.

But many places have that. What other places don’t have is the thing you need most for your manufacturing to succeed: attitude. Tucson has attitude. When you live here long enough, you develop a philosophy of living – an approach – that can not be duplicated anywhere else. You realize how lucky you are to be living in a perfectly balanced region.

The Internet has made it possible to work just about anywhere, but study the way the Internet has evolved and you will notice that Tucson has always been an integral part of the Internet backbone. We have better connectivity than Phoenix. Some of the pioneers of the Internet from Cisco to Login to my company BRINK are from here. Historically, we lose our pioneers to communities like Silicon Valley that can pay more, but right now that trend is reversing (thanks to the quality of living moving to the top of peoples where-to-live lists). You can be part of that trend.

We’re the blue town in the red state. That means we can befriend business and it also means we care about the right things. We have some of the greatest schools in the world. Basis and University High consistently make the lists of the top five schools in the country. We have a college that explores space. We keep our roads paved and we build things.

But we are at a critical juncture in our evolution. That’s why we need you and others like you to make Tucson their home. Bringing in 6500 jobs to a city like ours can have a tremendous impact. You know that I am sure. But the impact will be felt on both sides.

I invite you to come check out my Tucson. I’ll show you around Downtown and South of Downtown where the BRINK studios are, and I’ll take you to my favorite taco shop. I’ll show you a great 55 minute hike only 5 minutes from downtown. And if you bring a Roadster, I’ll show you some roads you can wind it out on. Be my guest, the next time you hit the Old Pueblo, and I’ll sell you on this place in new ways you never even dreamed of.

By Danny Vinik