Corporate cat out of the bag
Question: How can one retail giant be less "Whistler" than another?
Instead of allowing such a horrible store as the dreaded London Drugs to infiltrate our pure, uncorporate town, why dont we see if some of our local businesses will take over the Guess and Eddie Bauer stores? Maybe McDonalds or Subway could make a go of the space. Or wait, we could always use another Starbucks or perhaps a 7-Eleven. If we really wanted to maintain the unique feel to Whistler we should see if KFC wants the space, or Dominos, or the Gap, or A&W, or Pharmasave for that matter.
The corporate cat was let out of the bag long ago in Whistler so why all of a sudden is London Drugs the boogeyman? It seems strange that we voted yes to bring the Olympics and all the corporate advertising that entails to Whistler but we are having second thoughts about allowing a Canadian-run store to grace our town. How is getting reasonably priced supplies un-Whistler?
When council allowed McDonalds to come to Whistler we gave up any right to complain about future corporatization in our town. Looks like corporate giants are the only ones who can afford to pay rent here anyway.
Keep visitors in mind
There are certainly many arguments to be made on both sides of the London Drugs controversy. The one thing, which cannot be debated however, is that there will be a significant increase of retail space in the core of the village.
As reported, London Drugs is proposing a 17,000 sq. ft. store of which only 4,000 sq. ft. will occupy existing commercial space. To put things in perspective, the additional 13,000 sq. ft. equates to adding 20 or so brand new average sized stores to the village.
There are only so many visitor dollars to go around and during these difficult times, one must question the wisdom of further expansion of commercial space. This would inevitably lead to more empty storefronts and undoubtedly have a negative effect on the visitor experience.
We are all blessed to live in this wonderful community and let us not forget who makes that possible.
I often joke about "the great things" of living in Whistler. I find bargain prices at Urban Fare and Granville Island. I think restaurant prices in Disneyland are reasonable. I don't flinch at the Hilton lounge prices when I travel; they use the same price list as my neighbourhood pub.