New Freedom Boat Club sole owner, CEO talks growth

Replacing recently retired Bob Daley as CEO, John Giglio plans to take an active approach in growing his company’s network of franchised locations.

Once representing only half of Freedom Boat Club’s ownership, John Giglio has now taken sole control of the company as former co-owner and CEO Bob Daley retired earlier this month, Giglio told Boating Industry magazine.

Giglio, who first started with the company in 2004 as operations manager for its Florida locations, said he bought out Daley’s stake in the business more than a year after both purchased the boat club last March. Giglio will also become the company’s CEO.

“He loves the business and is still passionate about it, but he wanted to enjoy his golden years,” Giglio said about Daley, who joined Freedom nine years ago as an executive.

Moving forward, Giglio said Freedom will have a renewed focus on building its list of franchised locations throughout the United States.

“We are currently the country’s largest boat club, and we want to grow that gap from our nearest competitor,” he said.

Giglio said the many boaters who no longer have the option to own following the recession are choosing boat clubs as a less expensive option to get on the water. The trend, according to Giglio, has contributed to a minimum of 15-percent annual growth in revenue for his company.

And even as powerboat sales gradually rise, Giglio said his company also stands to gain from the industry’s overall improving health.

“It is great seeing people out there spending the money they weren’t spending,” he said. “And that is only going to help our business because we are still going to get a certain percentage of that business.”

Freedom recently hired a director of franchise development to further its growth goals. Giglio said Freedom is currently exploring Virginia, Maryland, as well as Great Lakes locations, particularly Michigan and the Chicago area, to open new franchises as well as acquire boat clubs.

In the next five years, the goal is to have 200 franchised locations that stretch as far west as California.

“This year we are on target for 20-percent growth in revenue,” Giglio said. “It is really a growing segment of the industry that has not slowed down.”

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  1. I paid for a lifetime membership in west palm beach Florida in 2003. I am now receiving bills from palm beach boat this franchise still freedom boat club.if not how does this affect my contract with freedom boat club.i received no prior notification of any change of ownership.could you please tell me what is going on ?

    1. John we are opening several new franchise locations in your area. Please call me and I will discuss your options. Our main office number is (941) 451-8756. It is correct that the location you are referring to is no longer affiliated with FBC.

  2. John Ryan,

    What did you come to learn from John Gilgio CEO of Freedom Boat Club?

    As a member I am very concerned when a club closes or has their franchise license taken away by the national franchisor.

    Especially when members who have a legal right under contract to be informed are not informed.

    That all that you get is a post on a random comment section like this stating to get information to call.

    When national franchise ownership will not provide a comprehensive and transparent explanation as to why one of their oldest, largest, and arguably nicest club at their West Palm Beach location is no longer part of the franchise network.

    Such action sets off huge alarm bells, not to mention the fact that this isn’t the first report of Freedom Boat Club franchises closing and new ones opening and old members contracts not being honored by the new franchise and effectively being screwed with no recourse.

    Someone really needs to question the business model and its true motivations.

    Countless members with lifetime unlimited contracts and franchises with years of established business have time and time again been shut down and their members left out in cold.

    I and many other members would love to learn what you learned.

    From other posters on another websites, it seems like you may be screwed in seeing your lifetime membership and terms therein honored.

    I would likely imagine you have been told your franchise is out of business or had it franchise license revoked and as such you will have to rejoin a newly established franchise and pay monthly fees, effectively meaning that your lifetime contract will not be honored.

    Yours Truly

    Very Concerned Member

    The West Palm Beach Freedom Boat Club Franchise was one of the largest and oldest franchises. I can only imagine there are numerous pissed off members, who never having been notified, have lost out on access to the franchise network. And are not told in writing what happened or what can be done.

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