Ober Gatlinburg started with a vision in which people could view Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains while heading safely up to the Gatlinburg Ski Resort.
The lower terminal of the Aerial Tramway was constucted in 1972/73 on the original site of The Hemlock Motel (open in the 60’s and early 70’s). In the beginning, the Gatlinburg Ski Resort was separate from the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. The resort opened as a private club in December of 1962. Before Claude Anders had built the tram, skiers would have to drive up snow-covered Mount Harrison to reach the resort.
Anders visited Europe in the late 1960’s and got the idea to introduce this means of transportation to the U.S. He thought it would be a great attraction idea and make it easier for those wanting to visit the ski resort.
On August 5th, 1973, the Aerial Tramway opened to the public. It was designed, engineered, and constructed by the Transportation Division of Von Roll, LTD of Berne, Switzerland. Eventually in 1975, the Anders Family purchased the ski resort and merged it with the Aerial Tramway. Just two years after, the resort was incorporated as “Ober Gatlinburg, Inc.” “Ober” is the German word for “upper” or “top of”, so “Upper Gatlinburg” or “Top of Gatlinburg”.
There have been a variety of rides and attractions on the mountain since 1977, including a circus, bungee tower and go-cart track.
The upper mall, which currently houses the Ice Rink, Retail Shops, Arcade and Eateries, was constructed in 1980/1981 and opened to the public in 1982.
We’ve become more than a ski area since the original vision by Claude Anders. Each and every year, we find more ways to bring family & friends together, and make Gatlinburg, Tennessee a more memorable visit for all.
For more information, please visit our website: www.obergatlinburg.com