Tim Horton vs. the world

A large double, double, and a snack pack of Tim Bits will be available on the University of Calgary campus by the end of the month, leaving caffeine addicts thrilled and private vendors worried about their businesses.


“Of course we’re worried,” said Pita on the Run owner Doris, who requested her last name be withheld. “I don’t think we’ll be fine. Our sales will go down.”


Doris said her business is playing a waiting game right now, and will try to accommodate any changes after Tim Hortons opens its MacEwan Student Centre location Mon., Aug. 29.


Three Tim Hortons locations are set to open on campus within the next month. The first is in the former Soup Link in Murray Fraser Hall opening Mon., Aug. 8, followed by the MSC location and one in Science B on Wed., Sep. 6. The three Tim Hortons’ will meet an overwhelming student demand, according to Morel.


“When we did our surveys before we presented our proposal, the number one concept was Tim Hortons, and that’s why it’s there,” explained Chartwells Senior Director Food Services Jan Morel. “Generally speaking, everything will be open within a week of what we’ve estimated and the aim is to have everything open for September 6.”


Students’ Union Vice-president Operations and Finance Joel Lockwood acknowledged the concerns of vendors but said the increased number of people in MSC as a result of Tim Hortons will actually benefit private businesses.


“I think there is some concern, but I don’t think Tim Hortons has ever put a competitor out of business in the same building,” said Lockwood.


Lockwood said the Tim Hortons will help MSC vendors by increasing the amount of traffic through the building.


Some students, unlike vendors, anxiously anticipate the arrival of Tim Hortons’ coffee and baked goods.


“I love coffee, I’m addicted to it,” said fourth year nursing student Carey Adair. “Working shifts, I have to have a coffee or I can’t cope. I usually go to Tim Hortons, it’s cheaper than anything here. If someone on campus made better coffee and at a cheaper price I’d go there.”


The SU is concerned the increase in foot traffic will entail increased janitorial and maintenance costs.


“Chartwells thinks there will be no increase, but I think there will be a significant increase,” predicted Lockwood.


Chartwells has agreed with the SU to conduct an independent audit after six months to examine increased traffic in MSC. Should the audit determine an increase in traffic, they will then take action, which may include payment for increased janitorial services, noted Lockwood.


Neither of the major independent coffee companies on campus, the Coffee Company and the Good Earth Coffee House and Bakery, would comment on the new Tim Hortons locations.

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