VENICE, Fla. – Freedom Boat Club was a unique concept when it launched in 1989. The Venice, Fla-based company was an innovator in the marine industry, creating a new business model that offered boating enthusiasts an attractive and new alternative to boat ownership.
Any doubts about the long-term viability of boating clubs have diminished. Twenty-five years after its inception, Freedom Boat Club (FBC) is no longer a curious novelty. Its rapidly-growing national network now spans 84 locations in 19 states, with 10,000 club members and more than 800 boats in service from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and numerous waterways in between. FBC has more than 100 employees and operates 15 corporate-owned club locations on the Southwest Florida coast, ranging from Bradenton to its newly-opened Marco Island location.
The company is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a major community event this Friday, October 24. All club members throughout the region and the public at large are invited to a full day of fun and festivities on Venice Beach, featuring a special ceremony and proclamation presented to President and CEO John Giglio by Venice Mayor John W. Hollic and other area dignitaries.
“Our goal was to reach out and thank everyone who has helped make Freedom Boat Club a success,” said Giglio. “We’re very pleased by the response to date and look forward to a memorable event and anniversary party.”
The beach bash will be held from noon–8 p.m. at a popular waterfront restaurant, Sharky’s on the Pier, located at 1600 Harbor Drive South, Venice, Fla. A steel drum band will perform, along with live performances by area kiteboarding professionals and stand-up paddleboard demos hosted by West Marine. A bounce-house will be available for kids, along with a bevy of fun games including beach volleyball. Light hors d’oeuvres will be served from 12:30–2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. with complimentary soft drinks; cash bar available. Raffles will also be drawn on the hour, including the grand finale featuring two $2500 vouchers which can be applied toward membership or credit for existing members. FBC will also be raising funds for one of its favorite causes, Renewal Coalition, which provides support for wounded warriors and their families.
Nearly 700 have RSVP’d for the event, with more expected.
“We’re looking forward to a great day as we celebrate the joy of boating and Freedom Boat Club’s success,” said Giglio. “Any members of the marine community in the area are welcome to join us for this major milestone.”