There are many surprises hidden behind the scenes at Ober Gatlinburg. The woman employees of this family owned, and operated business are stepping up!
A few months ago, Ober Gatlinburg’s very own, Mickayla Smith, was featured in the magazine: “Ski Area Management.” Mickayla has shown incredible interest AND skills regarding the Aerial Tramway and its operations. She also helped create a great training exercise for new-hires and even those already on staff.
Another inspiring woman working behind the scenes is Brooke Bailey in the Ice Rink Department. Ever since Brooke was 8 years old (if not younger), she has been coming to Ober with her father who worked as a nighttime floor manager. Ron Bailey eventually moved into the Ice Rink since he and his daughter both loved to ice skate. Soon after, Mr. Baily ended up in management and would have study sessions with Brooke on how the ice arena worked. The more time Brooke spent learning the refrigeration process and mechanics, the more she wanted to make it her career. Just like the saying goes, “Like father, like son,” except in this case, “Like father, like daughter.”
Brooke Bailey is now 28 years old working towards her goal to learn everything there is to know about this fascinating ice world. Brooke loves what she does so much that she decided to take a class on Ice Rink Management. Once the owners found out what she was doing, they insisted on paying for the rest of her education at I.S.I. University and are even sending her to a trade show conference in March!
She’s already completed:
- Ice Rink Management
- Arena Operation (Zamboni/Refrigeration)
- Ice Arena Programming
When talking with Brooke about her job, we could tell how passionate she was about it. She replied with, “I just love the Science behind the machinery and the refrigeration process.” You could also tell how knowledgeable Brooke is about the operations because no question would go unanswered. We asked her about the Refrigeration Process and what system the Ice Rink used to keep the ice frozen and cool. She said, “We use Accent Refrigeration which uses Ammonia to help keep the ice frozen.” Adding to her statement, she says, “A lot of people are leaning away from Ammonia because they feel it’s too dangerous. It’s actually the best thing to use.”
In the Fall, Brooke plans to go to Boston to get her Arena Executive Certificate, which is the last thing she will need to complete her goal. To finish up the interview, we asked her what her plans were for the future, and if she wanted to build and manage her own Ice Rink. Her reply was, “For now, I think I’d like to stay with Ober.” We couldn’t agree more and would LOVE to keep her as long as we can!
Thank you Brooke for sharing your story with us and we look forward to seeing how much you improve on the Ice Rink Department.