Ober Gatlinburg is just around the 3,000-foot mark in terms of elevation. This means that Ober is at a significant disadvantage as compared to the multitude of other ski areas in the southeast. There are plenty of reasons to visit Ober this winter for all your skiing needs.
We are in one of the most fun areas in the south. If you have not been to Gatlinburg, then Ober should be on your bucket list. We are located on Parkway making Ober a super convenient location. We also offer our Aerial Tramway that has been a staple in the Smoky Mountains for 45 years. It is super easy to find us and access skiing.
We also have plenty of places to stay that are affordable. Because we are on the main street of Gatlinburg, the options to stay are endless. Your group can rent out a massive cabin in the mountains or just grab a hotel room. There are literally hundreds of options to stay in Gatlinburg.
The convenience of staying goes hand in hand with my next fact. Gatlinburg is a FUN town. We have endless distilleries, bars, restaurants and after-hours attractions. This Après life is like nothing you have ever experienced. First, we have our traditional après themed lounge as a part of Ober. If you walk not even a minute from the downtown mall, you will hit at least 3 different bars and restaurants where you can share stories from your day with friends and family.
It is not hard to sell Gatlinburg as a fun town; however, you’re probably wondering how the skiing compares. If you’re like me, you have spoiled yourself by skiing out west and in the northeast. There is no claim that southeastern skiing even holds a candle to the massive conglomerate resorts. We do compete in a few areas though. Our terrain might be short, but it is challenging and there are 100 different ways you can ski a run. We have side hits that can only be found by watching locals bomb the mountain, a park run by a team that is extremely knowledgeable and helpful, as well as snowmaking technology that we think is the best in the country.
Because our elevation is around 3,000 feet, we have acquired some of the best snowmaking technology offered today. Our new snow guns are fully automated and placed strategically so we can maximize our snowmaking. We also have multiple top of the line groomers that help us spread our snow and make use of every square inch of run possible.
Don’t tell anyone else, but our season passes are the most affordable in the southeast. We are almost half the price of our major competitors in Boone and Maggie Valley. For the price, you cannot beat Ober. My friends from NC will drive the extra hour just for the value of Ober. You simply get more bang for your buck.
Finally, if you can ski here, you can ski anywhere. As someone who has skied my whole life, I was hesitant to bring my friends to Ober at first. I attended school at UTK, so we are a little more than an hour from my campus. My first year coming to Ober was as a guest. I spent 6 hours lapping the runs before I got tired. Every time I went I would take a more difficult and technical route. This variety coupled with a few ice patches that we southeastern skiers have known to expect made for a difficult but exciting skiing day. The next year when I came, it was for a UTK ski class. In the midst of one of the worst ski seasons on recent record, I took the class and was offered a job teaching lessons.
The third year of coming to Ober was the best by far. I taught 10 of my friends how to ski and half of them ended up coming to Breckenridge for Spring Break. While most of them struggled to make it down a blue at Ober, they were surprised that they could hang on blues out west. Simply put, they had overprepared on our terrain and psyched themselves out. The ease of turning on natural snow was foreign to them. Many who would have never thought about hitting Mogul Ridge hiked to backcountry terrain with me out west. Now, the snow at Ober is not bad. We all know that going out west is a whole different ballgame. In the southeast you must be hyperaware of the people around you and your own edges. We in the southeast know that a strong edge is all you need to blast through any terrain. Once a southeast skier goes out west their edges cut through their groomers like butter as they speed past Jerrys.
Our snow will be leaps and bounds better and more abundant than in the past. We can create a more consistent base with the use of our fully automated system. Ober is excited to show off its new toys when you come visit this winter. Until then, have pride that we live in the southeast and still have access to amazing mountains that are right in our backyard. We are tough, down to earth, and hungry to prove southeastern skiing can compete with the big dogs.