A tale of two people who moved to Las Vegas from Florida
24 October 2011
VEGAS INC Coverage
One day a couple of weeks ago, I was sorting through messages in our general e-mailbox, where one in particular stood out.
“Hello,” it began, “We are a manufacturing company in the health and wellness industry that relocated to Las Vegas from Florida. As I understand it, businesses have left Las Vegas at a high rate the last couple of years, but I would like to share the reason(s) why we moved here.”
It was signed by a fellow named Tom Link. Although a bit suspicious at first that I might be getting lured into promoting a newcomer’s wild adventure, I decided we should connect. It sounded like the sort of endorsement we all like to read about these days, and so I scheduled a meeting.
Link had his business partner Micheal Londo in tow. The two had recently moved from Orlando.
My first question virtually asked itself: Why?
“The West Coast is a better market than Florida,” Londo said. “California is not friendly to new business.”
He said Nevada basically was a better fit for what he does.
“People get it,” he said.
What Nevadans seem to get, according to Londo, is natural wellness, and specifically their Body Balance System, an at-home detoxification program for people with health issues.
The pair moved here to prepare the launch of their next product, a line of bottled water flavored with natural fruits. It will be called Svada, which by the way is a place in Iceland.
“It uses a patented process to create a water that is two times as hydrating as normal water,” Londo said. Turns out there is still big demand for bottled waters. Who knew?
“We’ve had the idea for a number of years,” he said. The product will have to be bottled in California at the onset.
“We eventually want to bring it here, but we need to start with an existing bottler.”
Still, the water is just the starting point. The next projects get a little more complex. Londo also plans to build an electric vehicle that has a 300-400 mile range, but would require only 12 minutes’ charging time. He said the infrastructure of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway was another reason to move here.
And there are other ideas, like an electric motorcycle, also with substantial range. And maybe some more work on wheelchairs; Londo has already found ways to make them friendlier to users.
So many ideas, but no lack of focus.
“Really, right now, the water project is what we’re trying to do,” Londo said. The first bottle is scheduled to be produced in just a couple of months.
I circled back and asked Londo again why they chose Nevada.
“There’s no state income tax here. The cost of housing is a lot lower here. People are really nice, compared to Orlando. The traffic is not bad here. The energy, the spirit. People are willing to help. Nevada was the right place.”
And there is a rather gallant motive behind the things they are doing.
Through what the two are calling “Operation Hydrate,” they plan to use Svada revenue to send bottles of water where it’s needed, places like Somalia. Potable water is an issue there, as it is for more than a billion other humans globally. They feel they’ll get it delivered to any destination.
“If you have a container ship, is it a big deal to throw another container on it?” Londo asked. I said that sounded reasonable.
Somewhat skeptically, and perhaps still wondering if I was being worked for publicity, I asked if there was a reason behind such humanitarian ideals.
Like others in this world, Londo and Link have seen people close to them suffer, and they want to do something about it.
Family and friends close to Londo have had their share of health challenges, inspiring him to do things with wheelchairs and detoxification programs. His daughter spent the first six months of life in a hospital and at the age of 21, is dependent on a ventilator.
“That whole experience with her changed a lot of things in my life,” he said. It also contributed to a skepticism about Western medicine.
Londo finds the water project exciting.
“We have science behind us. It’s on a big level this time. We can really help a lot of people.”
I thanked the two for meeting with me, and we agreed to connect again. Driving back to the office, I felt glad to have met two entrepreneurs from Florida.
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