To the editor:
The February 4th edition of the Collegian had an interesting piece on the renovation of the historic Northern Hotel in Old Town to provide low-income housing for senior citizens. That part of the story is welcomed by this reader, but did you catch the blurb about Starbucks moving in?
As someone who has lived in Fort Collins since kindergarten, I’ve come to appreciate the uniqueness of Old Town. Old Town is the only part of Fort Collins that doesn’t look like any other city in the United McStates of America, since nearly every shop there is locally owned and operated and, thus, has an honest “mom and pop” feeling that is nonexistent in, say, the mall or Burger King.
Needless to say, I was shocked and disappointed to learn that a Starbucks will occupy the ground level of the Northern. Why is this such a big deal? For starters, there are at least six (all non-chain) coffee shops already within a two block radius of the new Starbucks site. These local shops, like Paris, Java Plaza and Jon’s Blue Note, are at risk of being “starbucked” out of business, not because they sell an inferior product (contrarily, many of the local shops carry organic products, unlike the genetically mutilated “Franken-coffee” sold by Starbucks), but because they don’t rely on deceptive advertising and a trendy logo. Not to mention the inhumanity with which Starbucks is known to treat its coffee bean farmers overseas, as well as union-busting in the U.S.
If none of this bothers you, than consider the following. Public money paid for the Northern Hotel renovation. This means that you, the Fort Collins taxpayer, already chipped in to pay for Starbucks’ habitation downtown. Keep that in mind before you fork over five bucks for a latte you could buy for three-fifty at a locally owned coffee shop half a block away.
Matthew Glesmann, Junior