Dakine move to Expo Center off

Hood River-based action sports gear and apparel manufacturer Dakine is still looking at a new home in town, just likely not the one it had hoped for.

Port of Hood River Executive Director Michael McElwee said that a planned move by Dakine to the Hood River Expo Center is off but that the port and Dakine are currently in negotiations for another space on port property.

Dakine President Francois Carette did not want to comment on any changes to the company’s plans, describing negotiations as “a chess game.”

In November 2011 the port commission voted to approve a non-binding letter of intent with Dakine’s move into the Expo Center building, with lease discussions to follow.

The move would have allowed Dakine to consolidate operations in the Expo Center building while allowing Full Sail Brewing, which is currently leasing space in the building, to move most of its operations into the space Dakine would vacate in Full Sail’s Columbia Street building. That plan now appears unlikely to come to fruition in its current form.

Australian surfwear manufacturer Billabong, which acquired Dakine in 2008, has struggled for several years.

The global financial downturn has been particularly hard on Billabong, and the company has seen its stock price plummet over the past five years.

At its peak in 2007 the company’s stock was worth around $15 Australian dollars. It has since plunged to just over $1 Australian in recent trading, and hit a record low of 93 cents per share last month.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the company has recently indicated it is again open to takeover offers following the company’s rejection of an $820 million offer by a private equity firm in February. The company’s current worth is less than a third of that number.

Dakine’s management has undergone a shakeup over the past year, with Carette, the former Billabong USA senior vice president of sales and retail, taking over as company president in April.

Dakine is currently still leasing space from Full Sail Brewing in the Columbia Building.

Full Sail CEO Irene Firmat said that both Dakine and the Port have been in communication with Full Sail about the situation.

“We’ve just been working with the other two parties that this works out in the best way for everyone,” Firmat said. “We’re very grateful to the port for having provided us with the Expo Center when we needed it.”

When Dakine appeared headed for the Expo Center, Full Sail planned to move the portion of its operation housed in that building into the newly available space in the Columbia Building.

Firmat said that consolidating its operations in the Columbia Building still remains the plan, but that the company is still evaluating how to make the best use of the space it does have.

Dakine’s lease in the Columbia Building runs through August 2013, and while Firmat said she would like to see the situation resolved by then, she is confident things will work out one way or another.

“We’ve been working with this long enough that this can be worked out in a good way,” she said. “It’s not something I’m losing sleep over.”

Carette said that Dakine’s plans with the port would likely firm up in the coming weeks and that the company is currently “looking at a couple of different options.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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