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Finalists for the company’s second home base break out bicycles to win over the internet giant

Don’t get too fancy. Head to edgier, trendier neighborhoods. And definitely stay on time.

These are a few of the tricks cities are deploying in their all-out effort to woo Amazon.com Inc.’s new headquarters, a move the online retailer says could bring nearly 50,000 jobs and more than $5 billion in investment over nearly two decades. Amazon executives have quietly visited more than half of the cities on its list of 20 finalists, which are vying to host what it calls HQ2, according to people familiar with the matter. The visits,...