Executing on its strategy to expand across the Upper-Midwest, Freedom Boat Club, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) and the world’s largest boat club operator, today announced the official opening of its first location in Fox Lake in Illinois and plans to open another downtown Chicago location in Diversey Harbor later this summer. Already this year, Freedom Boat Club has completed the acquisition of the Chicago franchise, expanded into Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened a club in McHenry, IL and Northern Iowa, and is exploring plans to expand for the first time into Minnesota. All of these locations represent strategic markets of growth in the Midwest.
“We see the Midwest as a very attractive expansion opportunity for Freedom Boat Club as home to some of the most desirable boating locations,” said Cecil Cohn, Freedom Boat Club Network President. “We are actively investigating additional locations across the region, including the Twin Cities and across Minnesota where we expect to establish and grow our presence in the coming months.”
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, boating in Minnesota has a $3.1 billion annual economic impact and there are nearly 814,000 registered boats in the state, which provides an incredible opportunity for Freedom to introduce its boat sharing concept to a community that has a passion for the on-water lifestyle.
“Minnesota, and the Twin Cities in particular, represent an attractive open market for Freedom Boat Club and we are excited to grow our footprint across the Upper-Midwest,” said Scott Ward, Freedom Boat Club Corporate Territories vice president. “With 285 locations and reciprocal access to all clubs in the network, we are excited to provide a leading boat club experience to this strong boating community.”