This week in Second Life

Wow, what a mess. My favorite place to be other than with family, and its been inaccessible to me about 11 times now due to that wonderful error that states ‘access to Second Life is not authorized from this computer’ or something like that. Its been quite a thrill communicating with friends in-world through a HIPPO IM tool, even though I pay over US$1000 in tier fees for the four sims I own in-world and should be in-world doing that. Regardless, its no one’s fault, things happen, just seems that this past week has been one hell of a week for snags in Second Life. I can only hope that the platform gets stable again quickly as it makes for a very bad investment right now. I love the environment and do not wish to shoot it down in any way as it is very much the future as far as I am concerned, but I am low on enthusiasm right now.

Hope to see you all in-world soon.

Dumi

Bishara Resorts Financial Report

Some of you have asked me what it has cost me to date to develop the resort as it is today, and though I do not have the exact costs on hand I will explain briefly in a summary:
1. Bishara Resorts is made up of four islands or sims (simulators) that each cost me USD1675.00 per island and then cost USD295.00 per month in tier fee per island.
2. Bishara Island has a mall on it, built by myself and stocked mostly through a wholeselling deal with designers, again at my cost. The stock in the mall for example would be well over L$100,000.00 in stock purchases that have remained UNSOLD or still inside the vendors. The bowling alley was purchased from Iron Games and cost approx L$15,000, and the fish in the aquirium were also bought in-world, although I do not have the cost for that. On the top floor or roof area we housed a Tringo game before gaming was banned that cost approx L$20,000.
3. Bishara has many other activities like the golf course, the diving and reef areas, the fishing areas, the spa, and the waves and animals all around. The cost of the development of these open areas again is well over L$150,000 since the start of the first island, and may well be over L$200,000 by now.
4. Majini’s EPIC waves cost L$82,000 and are also free for use to residents and visitors.

So even in the roughest estimates the capital costs of the project to date, not including lost inventory (an old SL problem), amounts to USD 8,250.00, with a further USD 1180 per month just in tier fees, and not including maintenance or object replacement or the time we put into the project.

One last thing for those in the USA and the Americas who make such calous comments to EU citizens on the VAT blogs like ‘get over it’ or ‘stop crying about it’ and so on, just work out what 17.5% unannounced fees do to such a budget as mine and how it may lead to projects like mine or others to close down, and how that will impact your enjoyment and life in SL. Help us instead to make a proper and mature opposition possible to an ill-planned and very ill-executed discriminative fee by SL. Furthermore, for those non-EU residents who think EU citizens should complain to the VAT authorities because its THEIR fault we are paying, please do better research next time on how VAT is calculated and who is firstly responsible for defining the product that the VAT is applied to. You may be surprised by your own findings and hopefully it will lead you to help the EU residents instead of simply trying to mudsling again.

To all Bishara’s supporters, thank you for continuing your support of our project, even with the smallest donations, and rest assured that we are not planning any kneejerk reactions as Linden did regarding the costs and the VAT charges.

Bishara Resorts,VAT and our growth!

The last few months have seen a huge expansion for Bishara, with the estates growing from Bishara Island (1 sim or island) to four islands in size, with Bahati Island and Mandhari Island as our residents and new commercial regions, and the exciting Epic wave region we call Majini Island.
The main estate remains Bishara Resorts, and the development of the estates will be as follows:
1. Bishara Island will be the heart of the Bishara Resorts estate, as the name implies both ‘commerce’ and ‘gift’ or ‘blessing’ in its meaning. Bishara has all the exciting free activity features on it, and also has the first and original reef we started way back in February 2007.
2 Then the other sims will be split into three types, hopefully reaching 9 in total including Bishara Island. These will be volcanic, beach or open ocean. However only Mandhari and Majini Islands will be normal sims (normal sims have 117 prims or objects per 512 sq meters with 15,000 in total for the whole 65,500 sq meter region), as the rest of the volanic and ocean or water sims will be Open Spaces or low prim sims (low prim density means that we have 15,000 prims over FOUR sims, not one.). These sims or islands will create an open space around most of Bishara, Bahati and Mandhari, and allow free space for water channels and horse trials around the entire estate.

Most of you may know this, but it is important to realize that the Bishara Resorts region and estates are all covered by Dumisani Ah only, not sponsored by a corporate company or a charity or Linden Labs. Parts of the estates that are not wholly financed by Dumisani Ah are the land parcels sold to some residents – currently 7 parcels all together. Everything else on the estate has been financed privately by Dumisani Ah, including stock in all the Bishara stores except for BodyFashion and Tatuii.
I state that here as I wish for you all to understand why we are so stressed by the application of VAT on ourselves, as it has increased our financing costs to run Bishara by 17.5% without any recourse, i.o.w. we cannot charge this through to anyone as the project, the Resort, has been financed to be at the free disposal of our residents and visitors.
In fact we cannot charge this through to anyone in SL regardless of the above point as only EU residents are VAT charged by Linden Labs and therefore as stated in our previous posts, we would be completely uncompetitive against other US resident owned properties if we did.
Sadly in the SL blogs I have noted just how much this VAT issue has caused the usual US vs EU vs UK arguments to flair up again, a very sad and childish way to deal with the issue. We hope that our own residents and in-world friends would instead unite to fight this alongside us so that we can get some reasonable compromise setup between Linden Labs and the EU residents like myself, regardless of where they are based in RL.

For the interim there will be no change to Bishara or its islands until VAT has been sorted out and comprehensively understood, and the current island developments completed and the Open Space islands dropped. Until then the project will not expand beyond its current island size.

We will keep you all informed of all new changes and additions in-world!

Asante,

Dumi