Highlights During The Surf Expo

Surf Expo was held last January 26 to 28 in the Orange County Convention Centre located in Orlando Florida. Exhibitors during the event are euphoric while the buyers are all busy wandering and shopping.

The trade show was hosted by the surf industry which brought together a number of core surf as well as swim stores located all over the nations. There are brands coming from California such as Sun Diego, Surf Diva, Hansen’s and Jack’s Surfboards. There are retailers who attended that came all the way from East Coast including Cinnamon Rainbows, Brave New World, Ron Jon, Warm Winds and Curl. There are even Hawaiian retailers during the event which featured brands such as Déjà vu and Hi Tech.

Exhibitors said that the visitors who came by to the expo are a combination of international crowd. There are buyers who came from as far as South America and the Caribbean. There are also a number of people who visited from Japan and Europe.

According to the senior vice president of Surf Expo and director of the show, Roy Turner, they have also welcomed buyers who are willing to purchase from ready-to-wear retailers such as The Paradies Shops, Caesars Entertainment, Target, Harding brothers Retails Ltd, Zappos, Starboard Cruise Services as well as Marshall Retail Group.

Turner also added that looking at the turn out, the market for core surf appeared to be strong. It feels like a new era for welcoming new brands into the marketplace of surfing. Majority of these brands were created because of the spirit of collaboration and a love for adventure and travel. These new brands are welcomed warmly by the buyers during the event. Excitement is high because of the new technology that was presented in terms of accessories and hard goods.

The co-owner of Jack’s Surfboard, Bob Abdel, was also there as a buyer and he was busy purchasing items such as surfboards and swimwear. He admitted that they purchase surfing stuff the most during the Surf Expo.

You may have the ideal Gold Coast swimwear but it is always good to look for new brands to add to the collection and there is no better show than the Surf Expo.


Nordic Villa – Filling Up The Gap In The Hospitality Industry

Jonas Schwarz Lausten, a Danish entrepreneur is one of the founders of Nordic Villa, a private boutique hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. Lausten and his partners decided to build a boutique hotel with a Scandinavian theme because they saw a gap in the hospitality industry.

Hotels in Nigeria are rather expensive. Service is horrible, there is no internet and bed linens are not clean. Nordic Villa has 4 rooms, two offices and a meeting room. Walls were painted white and furnished with furniture from IKEA. The founders did not think twice about purchasing expensive internet connection because they wanted to be the first in Abuja to provide online booking.

The rooms that were named after Scandinavian capitals cost about $100 per night a third of what a visitor will pay on the more decent Nigerian hotels. After two months in business, Abuja Villa was rated number one by Trip Advisor in Abuja, ahead of Sheraton and Hilton Hotels. When Lausten knew that their boutique hotel made it to the top, they realized that there was really a big gap in the market they entered.

Since then, the Nordic Villa has expanded with the Nordic Hotel as the newest. For the 4th year in a row, the Nordic Villa has won the Traveller’s Choice for Best Service. However, there are still challenges that have to be overcome like constant power cuts. Everybody needs a backup generator to provide power during a power outage.

Air conditioners are also indispensable because of the warm weather in Nigeria which means using more energy. In order to minimize the carbon footprints of Nordic Villa, plastic bottles and metal cans are collected and recycled. Rooms do not include refrigerators because they consume too much energy. LED bulbs are used and indoor plants are everywhere to make air better and cleaner.

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How The EU Can Meet Its Commitment In The Paris Agreement

Based on the results of a new investigation, if the European Union wants to meet its climate change goals, all its coal power plants must be closed by 2030. Climate Analytics is the research institute responsible for the new findings.

If the European Union wants to achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement to control the rise in global temperature by less than 2 degrees Celsius, all the 315 coal-fired power facilities in Europe must be phased out. It is not an option to allow the power stations to simply run up to the end of their natural life because EU must undertake immediate steps to stay on track with the temperature control goals.

According to the executive summary of the report, one fourth of the power plants operating in Europe have to be switched off before 2020 to stay within the temperature limit provided in the Paris Agreement. The remaining 47% has to go offline by 2025. If the EU wants to meet its commitment in the Paris Agreement, investments in existing plants and new powers plants will not recovered.

Climate Analytics arrived at these warnings by projecting present fossil fuel trends and by estimating the carbon budget of EU including predicting what will happen by 2050. Based on the estimates of EU’s carbon budget at 6.5 G+CO2  by 2050 and by assuming that coal-fired power plants will still be operating by that time, the EU will be exceeding its CO2 emissions budget by at least 85%.

The figures are only projections but nevertheless, the report indicates that coal must be phased out aggressively if EU wants to achieve the target set during the Paris Agreement. One of the cheapest methods for the EU to cut down on its carbon emissions and meet its commitment in the Paris Agreement is to phase out coal in the electricity industry and replace it with renewable and energy efficient fuel.

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How A Zombie Home In Portland Was Remodelled For $150,000

A single-story house that was built in 1927 is referred to as the “zombie house.” The abandoned bungalow in Portland was infested with rats and filled with trash. According to records obtained from Oregon Live, the filthy property was purchased for $336,670 last June 2016.

The eyesore on the street was transformed into a beautiful home. Jason Rucker of 2nd Story Investment took the challenge of cleaning up the 2,278 square feet of living space. Rucker invested $150,000 on improvements particularly on the plumbing and electrical systems. A third bedroom was added with a new bathroom installed on the basement.

Before the improvements, it was literally impossible to move around the house because it was filled with trash. The yard was overgrown with weeds and blackberry bushes. The sink was unusable and trash spilled out from dingy rooms. The bathtub was filthy and filled with a grey substance. Five to six dumpsters were used by the cleaning team to remove all the junks and debris from the property. A monstrous amount of garbage that could fill up 84 pickup trucks was removed to allow a remodelling project.

After the completion of cleaning and remodelling that took 248 days to finish, the results were astounding. The house now adds value to the street with its polished yards. Real estate photographs of the interiors show the high ceilings, hardwood floors and bright white walls that make the house look airy and full of sunlight.

Diane Rucker and Ellen Bene were responsible for interior design. The bungalow is now listed for sale for $599,000. Neighbours are very appreciative of the changes made to the “zombie house” because it brought back some life back into their street. Trash and rodents are gone. With some carefully placed plants, the bungalow has achieved a polished look.

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Apple Moving To Ireland Due To Taxes

Apple, the technology firm giant, will be moving the current headquarters of its global iTunes business from Luxembourg. At the start of this month, they will be heading to their new headquarters located in Ireland.

The company made an announcement last year in September regarding the plan to move and it is now following through. During the time of announcement, Apple has already moved its iTunes assets worth around $9 billion to the island country. Its existing developer contracts have also been moved to one of the entities of the company located in Ireland, Apple Distribution International.

In a note that was sent to all the developers, starting 5th of February, the all of the operations of iTunes under Apple which are done outside the US soil will be done in its new European headquarters located in Cork, Ireland. Some of the businesses that are included in the move will be the iBooks Store, the iTunes Store, the App Store and Apple Music.

After the operation of iTunes has been established in Cork, Apple will start to mark it as the company’s expansion of core business in the country. There are currently 5,500 people employed by Apple in Cork and in an announcement last year, the company expressed its intention of expansion which will create another 1,000 jobs within 18 months.

Cork is the second largest city of Ireland and Apple is currently its largest employer in the private sector. According to an estimate made by economists, the operations conducted by Apple in Ireland will result to an annual amount of $24 billion which will cover investment, taxes and salaries.

There have been previous indications that the company will be moving but it is still viewed as a way of the company to show that European Union officials what they felt despite the rigorous regulations imposed on the technology firm during its operations in Ireland.

The issue started because of the generous tax structure of the country when it comes to corporate businesses. The country only requires 12.5 per cent of tax from corporations that are within its borders while the United States is requiring a 35 per cent tax for corporate firms.

Apple was given a better deal so long as the company decided to moves its European headquarters branch to Ireland. The agreement is that the country will give Apple permission to sell its products and the imposed tax will be less than one per cent.

Many companies are moving because of the issue with tax. For companies moving from and to UAE, it is best to contact a trusted moving company such as Wise Move in Dubai.