Apparently, $70K is 2 months of rent. Admittedly, it's a big space (over 8000sq.ft.) and a famous landmark building. But perhaps only Wal-Mart can sell enough made-in-China plastic stuff to cover that kind of overhead...!
From the article (the end part):
The whole situation has been rather mysterious, as the building's owner and management company didn't know the business was shutting down until they saw the closed doors.
At this point, the owners of the store, Will Veretonik and Marina Plasman, who took over the store in early 2005, have not declared the business bankrupt. They could not be reached for comment, and Bjur said it was understood they are in Africa on vacation.
Despite the absence of bankruptcy proceedings, creditors are lining up at Bjur's front door. Bjur said it's too early to know when or how any kind of liquidation of assets will be handled.
However, Pemberton Holmes has already had the highly sought-after corner property listed for a week, and is fielding calls from businesses interested in taking over the 8,832 square foot space.
Despite the hefty $35,000 a month rent, Clive Townley of Pemberton Holmes says it won't be hard to find a new tenant for the striking heritage building which was built in 1885 as the Bank of British Columbia.
"It's a premium location, an exceptional corner. It's arguably the best retail corner in the city."
Townley said the space is "ready to go" for occupancy.
The Spirit of Christmas was opened at 1022 Government St. in 1989 by Connie Kowalewich and her husband Bob, who started the original store in Banff in 1987.