Freedom Boat Club said it was featured for the fourth time and ranked No. 398 on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2017.
Key factors Entrepreneur considers include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order.
“Our entire organization is very pleased by Freedom Boat Club’s return and inclusion in this year’s ranking,” Freedom Boat Club president and CEO John Giglio said in a statement. “We have enjoyed significant franchise growth this past year, as well as robust new-member acquisition. And 2017 is already shaping up to be a blockbuster.”
Beyond the launch of its first international franchise in 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Freedom Boat Club said it recently added multiple new franchise clubs in the United States.
The most recent franchise appointments include Seattle; Stockton and Pittsburg, Calif.; Clemson, S.C.; Baltimore and Middle River, Md.; and Washington, D.C.; as well as Fort Pierce, Palm Coast and Boynton Beach, Fla. Freedom Boat Club said it has more than 15,000 members operating from more than 120 club locations in 21 states and Canada, with a North American fleet of 1,500 boats.
“Our boat club model is steadily gaining in popularity, and the reciprocal boating access to multiple club locations throughout North America is a very compelling membership draw,” Giglio said. “The franchise model is a proven revenue-generator for franchise owners, while providing both an affordable alternative for boating access along with an enjoyable, maintenance-free boating lifestyle that greatly appeals to experienced boaters and newcomers alike.”
The West Coast continues to be a major area for targeted Freedom Boat Club franchise development, along with the Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions. International growth is also a hotbed for franchise development, with global inquiries on the rise, the company said.
“We are very bullish about both the short- and long-term business proposition of the Freedom Boat Club model,” Giglio said. “Domestic growth has been exceptionally strong the past three years, while the international market stands poised for major expansion. We expect to double our franchise club footprint over the next three to five years.”