The new ownership and management of Chewalla Creek Marina may not return the place to a destination for winners of The Dating Game as it once did, but they’re trying their best to make it the “supreme” marina on Lake Eufaula.
Chewalla comes from the Choctaw word “Chiho-la,” meaning Supreme Being.
The marina once had guests such as Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, “Boss Hogg” from Dukes of Hazzard and Eb from Petticoat Junction. Of course, legendary fisherman Tom Mann made the marina famous with many events held at the marina, which was founded in 1983.
Mike Taylor, general manager, of Chewalla Marina, has plans to make it a special place once again.
The marina, located at 580 Chewalla Road, was purchased in March 2018 by Matt Headrick of LaGrange, Georgia. The parent company is GLL Marine of LaGrange, which includes GLL Outdoors. The business expanded about 15 years ago and purchased the Eufaula territory for building boat docks.
The marina employs about 10 people, which includes the marine service department and five on its dock crew.
“We hire out people to do things such as landscaping and boat cleaning,” Taylor said. “The marina itself has 60 wet slips (ranging from 20- to 40-feet). There is also dry storage in Dothan and Enterprise.”
Chewalla Marina’s summer hours are 7-7. It is a gated marina. “Will cut back a little bit in the winter,” Taylor said.
The store has refreshments, snacks and a wide variety of fishing tackle.
“We have a mini bass pro shop to keep people from driving to larger cities,” Taylor said. “Several manufacturers have lures, equipment and even some boats at the marina. It is a Suzuki service center and we are looking at being authorized as a Yamaha service center.”
There are nine rental boats, five of which are pontoons and four center-console skiff boats. Taylor said the service department makes sure the boats are kept in great shape.
“We’ve had a great response, renting 40 to 50 a month in the peak of the summer,” Taylor said. “We rent half-day and full-day.”
Chewalla set its minimum age for renting at 21. The fall rental prices for a 13-passenger or 10-passenger boat are available at $80 for a two-hour rental, plus fuel and tax, available only with a coupon that can be downloaded at www.chewallacreekmarina.com. It is $25 an over for anything more than two hours.
The half-day rentals are five hours, either from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or 1:30-6:30 p.m.
“Ultimately, we would like to build cabins for used year-round,” Taylor said. “We are on 47 acres. We want to get the marina more community involved with things such as movie nights, concerts, boat shows maybe once a month. The Florida Belle once came here. Humminbird executives had an appreciation day here. Fort Benning is using us as a base for a military exercise.”
After spending time at the marina, Taylor believes people will understand the sign as they leave that reads: “Just Another Day in Paradise.”