Norris Dam Marina

Father and son follow their dream

May 2014 Feature Jocelyn O'Bryant

Mark and his son Brad Bardo took over Norris Dam Marina in Tennessee back in 2012. It is newly renovated with a fully serviced marina with a restaurant, rentals and everything you need to enjoy your time on the lake. If you are looking for great fishing, skiing, or just relaxing, this is the right place.

After 15 years, the father and son team’s first order of business was to bring back houseboat rentals. They launched three new Majestic luxury houseboats over the summer. Two of the houseboats are 16 by 76 feet long with six bedrooms and a sleeper sofa. The other is 18 by 75 feet long and has four bedrooms with a king master suite. It has a private bathroom, three queen rooms and a sleeper sofa. All three boats have party tops with bars, slides, grills and patio furniture. They all also have a unlimited fresh water supply, full-size kitchen appliances, stereo with speakers throughout the whole boat and 46-inch flat screen televisions.

Along with the three houseboat rentals, they also did a complete renovation with a brand new restaurant and added eight new Bentley 24-foot pontoon boats to their line. They are currently working on adding 24 brand new slips this season.

Mark and Brad love being out on the lake and getting to interact with people who love the lake as much as they do.

“We have loved getting to meet so many different people from all over the country and hear their different stories and why they love the lake,” says Mark. Brad adds, “It’s been great getting to know so many different individuals and hopefully long-term relationships will come out of this.”

The Bardos have been coming to Norris Lake for 23 years. It has always been a dream to take over the marina so they could be out on the lake every day. Brad graduated from college three years ago and before he and his father bought the marina he was selling heavy equipment in the coalmining business in West Virginia. His father was on the board of heavy equipment sales for 25 years. Brad knew his dad was getting toward the end of his career and started bugging him about owning the marina and finally the right opportunity opened up.

Brad’s main job consists of everyday office and accounting work, as well as taking care of all the boat rentals. Mark oversees all the marina activity, new construction as well as managing everyday activities. In the off-season you can find them doing all the maintenance and upkeep at the marina; including the slips. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their business and make it even better.

“We offer a family-friendly environment and focus our business on keeping our customers happy,” says Brad.

They have four full-time employees and in the summer about 15 employees. The marina is open seven days a week from March to October. On the weekends they stay open later if they have live music or entertainment.

If you are interested in a long-term slip or just want to check out the marina for a few nights, make sure to check out Norris Dam Marina. Mark and Brad ensure high-quality customer service and a fun-filled experience. For more information visit or call 865-494-8138.

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