Terrace View serves as family-oriented enclave on Watts Bar

April 25, 2022

By Greg McCain

Nestled in the mid-section of Watts Bar Lake, Terrace View Marina serves as an enclave of rest and relaxation for water-weary guests.

Owned and managed by the nine-strong Cauley family, Terrace View is actually more than just a marina. It’s a mini-community featuring a hotel, restaurant, boat rehab, and much more. Most of all, it’s a family-oriented business that caters to customers in a variety of ways.

“We started out looking for a house boat but decided to try the marina instead,” said family patriarch Mark Cauley, “We’ve been here for seven seasons now.”

In the late 90s, Mark found the east Tennessee region to his liking when he visited nearby Oak Ridge while performing Army duties. When he retired from military service, he “started the marina life,” which he describes with a unique analogy.

“Marina life is kind of like a farm,” Mark said. “24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“We have a little slogan that we’re ‘all in, all the time.’ That’s absolutely true. There’s always something going on, something to do.”

Mark and wife Heather, both originally from south Georgia, bought the marina seven years ago. They brought with them their seven children: Ella, Annie, Molly, Jackson, George, Joe, and William. The children work various duties around the facility while continuing their education on site.

“They are the brains behind the operation,” Mark said. “We absolutely love it here. It’s a fantastic little spot of the earth, just a remarkable spot.”

Molly Cauley, age 19, has spent her teens years living and working at the marina. Her duties include work in the office during the winter and in the restaurant in the summer.

“We’re always together,” she said. “We’re family oriented, and we get to spend time with parents and siblings. That’s a great thing.

“At the same time, we get to see the world by serving others and talking with other people who visit us. It’s a lot of fun.”

In addition to the typical marina offerings of fuel, boat slips, and pontoon rentals, Terrace View features plenty of other amenities. Lodging is year-round while seasonal offerings include a restaurant/lounge and swimming pool, one of the few on Watts. Check out all the services, including restaurant and live music schedules, at www.terraceviewmarina.com.

Mark said running the facility can be an around-the-clock job, adding that no day is the same. Aside from regular duties, he said the after-hours calls lead to some unique opportunities to serve customers.

“There’s really no such thing as a typical day,” he said. “We do get calls after regular hours. Normally, it’s someone stranded on the water or maybe the TV doesn’t work in a hotel room or the generator stops on a big boat, just a full gamut of activity “

To confirm this idea, check out the Facebook reviews for Terrace View. The reviews offer plenty of anecdotal evidence about the service and dedication to customers, many of them strangers who wander the river, by the Cauleys.

Boat rehab is one of the major tasks Mark and crew perform, much of it in the winter. They offer anything from big-boat refurbishment to pontoon makeovers, including basic maintenance plus carpentry and upholstery work.

“The summer season is consumed with the restaurant, hotel, and on-the-water activities,” Mark said. “We do our major rehabs in the winter. There is never a slow period. We’re always changing, always busy.”

Terrace View served as the host for the recent Crappie Cove/ACC Crappie Stix Big Crappie Bash, and plans are already in plans for the next edition of the hourly crappie tournament. It will be held in April 2023.

Mark said such events are common at Terrace View. He mentioned a yearly gathering of Allison boat owners among other corporate events. He said the marina and resort area is also a popular destination for family reunions., 

Whether people come here for fishing, skiing, or just relaxing, we want to promote family,” Mark said. “Husbands, wives, kids, grandparents, and grandkids, we welcome them all.”

Ultimately, the Cauleys promote the rest and relaxation aspect of marina and on-the-water life.

“We like to be a home, a friendly place,” Mark said. “We have a basic rule, ‘Be safe and be nice.’ 

We deal with folks, boaters and fishermen, who aspire to be the safe and nice folks.”

Terrace View is located by water at Tennessee River mile marker 545 (about 15 miles above Watts Bar Dam) or by road at 3367 Euchee Chapel Road Spring City, TN 37381. Reach the staff by phone at (423) 365-6060.