Southwest Florida Yachts


Friday the Thirteenth.
Our Lucky Day.

By Barb Hansen
April 1, 2003

Each year Vic and I celebrate two major anniversaries, our business and our marriage.

In fact, the business proposal and the marriage proposal came to me in the same breath some 20 years ago. Vic was here in N. Fort Myers and managing Southwest Florida Yachts. I lived and worked in Racine, Wisc. We talked on the phone a lot. One time he called me up and said something like, "Hey, Barb, Southwest Florida Yachts is for sale. Let's get married and buy it." That Vic. So romantic.

We celebrate the anniversary of Southwest Florida Yachts on the day we bought the company from the previous owner, July 13. The twentieth anniversary date is actually more than a year away, in 2004. Some might say we're jumping the gun but, really, we're not. We're going to make it a two-year-long celebration starting this year. It will be our twentieth "Berth" Day Party. We'll be announcing discounts and other customer specials to last the year and suit the occasion. Stay tuned.

Some people consider Friday the thirteenth an unlucky day. I call it "Our lucky day." However, I will admit that I searched Yahoo for "business anniversaries" a new screen appeared with an alarming notice, "This page cannot be found." Uh oh.

By any reckoning, though, being in business 20 years is a long time. Operating a successful boating business for 20 years is amazing. We've seen boating service firms come and go with barely a whimper and rarely a bang. It would take more fingers that I have on my hands to count the number of charter boat companies that have gone out of business just in the years since we've been in business.

Coming from the Midwest, where 50 and 75 year business anniversaries are not uncommon, I still get a chuckle here in Florida when I see a Yellow Pages ad bragging about being in business "since 1974." Now, if you're not from Florida you have to understand that 25 or more years in business in Florida is remarkable. After all, modern Florida history only started in 1956 when air conditioning came to the Sunshine State. We like to joke that Florida wasn't discovered by Ponce de Leon. It was discovered by an intrepid band of real estate agents in the 1960s.

Let me add, too, that having worked hard year after year to make this dream real, Vic and I can personally testify that twentieth anniversaries are special. In my internet browser I read that we're supposed to seize the occasion of an anniversary to articulate and communicate our story to our "stakeholders."

Okay, stakeholders: Our story is all about 20 fun years of doing what we love to do, teaching people about sail and power boating, "selling" the beauty of Southwest Florida, and setting up cruises for the most wonderful people in the world -- our customers, our friends.

Click here to visit out Sailing School website!

Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

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