If he gets a few more votes, Robert Madsen may land himself a seat in a spaceship. Donning an astronaut’s uniform at the ISS World Expo in Las Vegas, the “Storage Madman” brought awareness to his lifelong dream of going into space.
“I always joke we’re in the space industry, so it’s a natural fit, right?” Madsen quipped.
The two Canadians with the most votes will win tickets to the LYNX Space Academy in Orlando, FL, where they’ll undergo intense training for a chance to travel on a spaceship with space tourism company Space Exploration Corp. Competition is fierce.
“You have to pass a medical test, and then there’s another selection process where you’re up against international candidates,” Madsen said. “So even if you win the first round, you’re not a slam dunk into space.”
The finalists will fly on an Aero L39 Albatros jet, which travels at the speed of sound. They’ll also ride on a G4 centrifuge, which simulates up to 4 g’s of centrifugal force, and perform various tasks during periods of weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight.
At the time of this writing, Madsen was in 331st place, which is impressive considering that more than 25,000 Canadian contestants have signed up. You can vote for Madsen here: http://bit.ly/120Vl4B.
How Was the Inside Self Storage Expo in Vegas?
“Fantastic. It was a great show this year–jam-packed with information,” he said. “We implemented some ideas as soon as we got back. I’ve been to 30 shows, yet I still go. I always learn new things.”
Madsen said he enjoyed attending Jeffrey Greenberger’s legal workshop and visiting the Janus Systems and PTI Security Systems booths.
“I picked up a few new things on SEO, how to improve social marketing, and (StorageAlly owner) Mark Beck’s presentation was also particularly good,” he said. “I just got back from another two-day conference in Vancouver, and I shared a ton of helpful business tips from the expo.”
Self-Storage Tax Reform in Canada
Madsen, a director of the Canadian Self Storage Association and president of the U-Lock Mini Storage Group, is drafting a list of industry best practices and hopes to see tax reform soon.
Thirty years ago, before self-storage was huge, the Canadian Revenue Agency declared storage businesses to be “passive” in nature, thus putting storage businesses at a 43 percent tax rate. Madsen thinks that’s extremely high; self-storage businesses are “active,” he said, and should be taxed accordingly. The current tax rate for most active businesses in Canada is 18 percent.
“We looked at going to the government. Jeffrey Greenberger, Carlos Kaslow and Scott Zucker advised us against it,” he said. “It gets all bureaucratic. They said ‘create a list of best practices’ instead.”
In Madsen’s list of best practices, he addresses lease renewals, lien sales and abandonment cases. Regarding his tax reform initiative, Madsen hopes to win an out-of-court settlement and then approach lobbyists for help with legal changes. To raise money for his effort, the Madman sold six-packs of beer for $1,000.
A Thousand Bucks for a Six-Pack of Beer?
“Yep, it’s like Vegas. It makes no sense to get bottle service. But it adds some extravagance,” he said.
Madsen’s six-packs are selling, so his strategy seems to be working.
From all the folks at the Storage Facilitator, we wish him the best in his tax reform effort, and we hope to see him in space.