By: Scott Way
It's no secret the marine industry has experienced an unexpected, albeit welcome, boom in 2020. That's a good thing all around, and a byproduct of the industry surge has been the number of new boaters getting involved in the boating community.
Freedom Boat Club, a Florida-based members-only club with locations across the U.S, Canada, and Europe, has announced the opening of its record 250th location. The new location will be in Delran, NJ and will create access to the previously underrepresented Philadelphia market. The club is the largest and oldest club in the United States and operates by giving members access to boats and excursions without the burdens of full-time ownership. The company announced a record 61% increase in membership in 2020 since being acquired by Brunswick Corporation in early 2019.
For a little background, the Freedom Boat Club was acquired by the Brunswick Corporation in May 2019, somewhat fortuitously before the surge in economic shifts towards localized recreation brought on by Covid-19, and from May of 2019 to December of 2020 has expanded from 170 to 250 locations. The club now includes over 36,000 members who undertook more than 400,000 trips this year alone. There are 6 locations in Canada -- Halifax, Tantallon, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, and Port Moody, as well as locations in 31 US states, including 87 locations in their home state of Florida. There are also 3 locations in France which offer an avenue to the European market for North American travelers.
Also in 2020, Freedom was named to Entrepreneur magazine’s first Top Growth Franchises list, which recognizes the 150 companies with the greatest positive franchise unit growth in North America over a three-year period.
The large uptick in marine sales is projected to carry into 2021 as manufacturers and dealers service a more localized marketplace created by the decrease in foreign travel. With that in mind, those considering getting into boating but are unsure about ownership may want to consider joining a club. You can get membership details on the Freedom Boat Club website.
You can read the full press release below:
VENICE, Fla. -- Freedom Boat Club, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) and the nation’s largest boat club, today announced its 250th location. The newest franchise, opening in spring 2021 in Delran, New Jersey, represents Freedom’s first location in the Philadelphia market. Tom, Bev and Josh Rosella, owners of the new location, also run and manage eight other Freedom Boat Club locations in Delaware, Southern New Jersey and the Hudson River Valley.
Since May 2019, the franchise network has grown from 170 to 250 locations and increased memberships 61 percent with now more than 36,500 memberships across 31 states, Canada and Europe. Throughout 2020, Freedom Boat Club has experienced record growth, completing more than 400,000 trips during the year, exposing a broader range of consumers to the boating lifestyle offering members ease, convenience and a low barrier to entry to enjoy time on the water.
“We are thrilled to be part of such an important milestone for Freedom Boat Club,” said Bev Rosella, Freedom Boat Club franchisee. “When we opened our first location, we hoped that we could create an experience for our members that would allow them to have lifelong memories on the water. To have nine locations now is just incredible and we look forward to meeting new boaters in the Philadelphia area.”
“It has been a record year for Freedom Boat Club, and we are energized by the success that we and our franchise partners have created in the marketplace,” said Cecil Cohn, President, Freedom Boat Club Network. “Freedom continues to exceed our growth expectations and reach new heights. I remain encouraged and excited about our continued momentum as we head into 2021.”
Also, in 2020, Freedom was named to Entrepreneur magazine’s first Top Growth Franchises list, which recognizes the 150 companies with the greatest positive franchise unit growth in North America over a three-year period.
At Freedom Boat Club, the motto is “Boating Made Simple.” The club model enables members to enjoy all the perks of being on the water while the company takes care of the purchasing, maintaining, insuring, storing and other aspects of boating. Members can take advantage of a diverse fleet of boats, on-water training and social events that the club has to offer – and with the reciprocity opportunities, club members can enjoy Freedom Boat Club anywhere there is a location. It’s as simple as reserving the boat, showing up, getting the keys and enjoying the day.
The Delran location will be located at Dredge Harbor Boat Center, 67 St Mihiel Dr, Delran, NJ 08075 and you can learn more at https://www.freedomboatclub.com/franchises/fbc-of-delaware/delran.html