By – Magee Walker
You know what we love in Canada? Tim freaking Hortons! We love that stuff! Mediocre coffee, happy little Timbits and doughy sandwiches… yeah!
If you aren’t familiar with Tim Hortons, think of it as the Dunkin Donuts of Canada but so much more. A lot of us, especially the imports from Ontario, were raised on that stuff. Pretty much all of my Brownie leaders worked part-time at Tim Hortons. Day old donuts were my jam (or should I say powdered sugar strawberry jam, hey-oh!).
Here’s the thing: THERE IS NO TIM HORTONS IN WHISTLER! It’s insane and it doesn’t make any sense. They would make an absolute killing out here. We have three Starbucks, a handful of little coffee places (love you, Moguls cookies!), a Blenz and some other stuff, but the nearest Tim Hortons is 56.6 kilometers–35 miles for Dunkin Donuts fans—away, in Squamish. People have been known to make the pilgrimage to Squamish just to order their dozen honey crueler.
So why is there no Tim Hortons in Whistler? Nobody knows for sure. Here are some of the rumored reasons I have heard:
1) The rent is too expensive.
-That’s a joke! It’s Tim Hortons! They have loads of money, and don’t you tell me they wouldn’t make their rent back one million times through the sale of one million double doubles. Besides, there are loads of smaller and independent places in the village that are able to make rent. This reason is bogus.
2) Whistler won’t allow it, it would take away business from the little guys.
- I don’t buy this for a million reasons. The three Starbucks easily dispel this myth. Next.
3) The guy who owns the Squamish Tim Hortons has the rights in the Sea to Sky, and he figures there is no point in setting up shop in Whistler when he has the Squamish one going strong.
-Okay, this one sort of makes sense. I could believe that some guy owns all the rights in the Sea to Sky, but I can’t fathom why he wouldn’t want to make MORE MONEY. I don’t think a Whistler Tim Hortons would cannibalize the Squamish one. I DO think it would make this Sea to Sky Tim Hortons guy a serious wad of cash though. Why is he holding out on us!
Feeling unconvinced by these weak arguments, I decided to go straight to the source. I sent an e-mail to my friend Timmy H. and asked why on earth they hadn’t opened up in Whistler yet. Here is what they told me:
“For competitive reasons, we are unable to divulge as to whether or not we have an interest in the Whistler market. The TDL Group Corp. has a personal stake in each location by way of owning or leasing the property and owning the building. It is in our best interest to exhaust our feasibility study to determine the viability of a town/region, before securing a location or commenting on an interest. Please be advised that our practice has been to secure locations where we feel it best suits our development needs and I can assure you that our Real Estate and Development department is fully aware of this area.”
Gosh, that doesn’t help at all. Why so secretive, Tim Hortons? How long can it take to do a feasibility study?
I’m stumped. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to get my watered down hot chocolate (mm! reminds me of figure skating lessons from my youth!) on my drives to and from the city. And I’ll never stop dreaming.