50th Anniversary for Ober Gatlinburg (& a Quick Snowshoe Plug)

50th Anniversary for Ober Gatlinburg (& a Quick Snowshoe Plug)

Let me start by saying ‘yay!’ for Snowshoe’s opening day – TODAY! …in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock somewhere while you wait for the snow and missed the many memos. Stay tuned for a short and sweet announcement on them. Now over to Tennessee–

Winter time in the Smokies is a wonderful time of year to visit. Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg all join together and put on an unbeatable Winterfest with events taking place from early November through mid-February. This year is extra special because Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is celebrating its 50th year of skiing!

On their actual anniversary date, December 9, 2012, Ober is rolling back their lift ticket price to what they originally cost. Back in 1962 —50 years ago— a lift ticket was only $5. In order to take advantage of this, all you need to do is bring five canned goods or nonperishable food items to donate to Sevier County Food Ministries. The slopes will be open from Noon – 7pm with ticket sales from 11:30am5pm.

The celebration doesn’t end there. January 9, whoever comes dressed in ‘60s apparel will receive a half-price lift ticket. No, not half of $5; nice try. What’s more, according to CityView Magazine, “once a day at a random time, skiers and snowboarders on chairlift #50 will receive vouchers for a free hot chocolate and a home-baked cookie.” Home-baked and FREE, that’s the best ingredients ever!

Ober’s annual Christmas on Ice show is always a favorite, too. This year’s dates and times are Saturday, December 1 at 7pm and Sunday, December 2 at 5pm. The performance features local amateur skaters, choreographed by rink instructor Devon Harman, and traditional Christmas music. Admission is free.

Throughout this time, Ober will be offering skiing on eight slopes, a freestyle terrain park for snowboarders, and a snow tubing park with ten 400-foot lanes and a 50-foot vertical drop. As you can see, they’re already making plans with or without the snow. That’s because their snow making equipment is high-tech!

Not only is it high-tech but part of it is brand new. Ober Gatlinburg is using the new equipment exclusively for their tubing park, and already has, which is how they were able to open the park last Friday (compared to a normal opening date of mid-December). Ober is actually the first southeastern ski area to employ SnowMagic Infinite Crystals Snowmaking system, a system that can make snow even when the temperatures are nowhere near freezing.

If you’ve never been to Ober Gatlinburg but have always wanted to try it out, this is the year. Ober’s 50 years of dedication to our chosen sport is surely worth celebrating, so pick a day (once they’re open), head on over, and enjoy the fun promotions and events!

Don't forget to send us your trip reports, photos, videos, and more. Email me at tonette@skisoutheast.com.

Click the bird ;-) >> 

Mike is the Editor and founder of SkiNC.com and SkiSoutheast.com. Since September of 1996 he has written more than 2800 articles promoting all of the ski areas of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. While attending to the thousands of emails, photo submissions and On-Snow reports that come in all season long, Doble also owns and operates a full service web design and marketing company that has more than 800 clients in 30+ states and several countries. He shares that it was his passion for all things snow that prompted him to start the ski network and since that time the website has gained popularity through it's webcam and weather content as well. Mike is the father of four daughters, is an avid snow and water skier, football freak of his alma mater (the University of South Carolina) and hearty promoter of all that is Western North Carolina to West Virginia and Maryland. Mike spends his off time with his horses, playing golf, tennis and boating on Watauga Lake with his family and friends, coaching local soccer teams and oh yes...Snow Skiing!