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Ober Gatlinburg is one of the most popular attractions in the Smoky Mountains! It’s a top winter destination, offering skiing, snowboarding and tubing, and it has water slides and other fun activities in the summer. Whether you’ve never been to Ober or you make sure to visit every time you’re in town, there are some interesting facts you might not know about the attraction! Check out our list of the top 5 things you might not know about Ober Gatlinburg:
1. It’s Tennessee’s First and Only Ski Resort.
Before it became Ober Gatlinburg, the attraction was named the Gatlinburg Ski Resort. It opened in 1962 as a private club, but then quickly opened to the public. Originally, the attraction just featured a lodge, some slopes and a rope tow. This was also before the Aerial Tramway was built, so skiers would have to drive up a snow-covered Mount Harrison to get to the resort. Now, Ober Gatlinburg is the number one destination for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing.
2. The Ski Resort and Aerial Tramway Used to Be Separate Attractions.
Did you know the ski resort and the Aerial Tramway used to be two separate attractions? The lower terminal of the Aerial Tramway was built in 1972 and 1973 to make it easier for people to visit the ski resort. On August 5, 1973, the Aerial Tramway opened to the public. In 1975, the family who built the Tramway, the Anders Family, bought the ski resort and merged it with the Tramway. Two years later, the resort was named Ober Gatlinburg. Ober is the German word for “upper” or “top,” meaning “Upper Gatlinburg” or “Top of Gatlinburg.”
3. It’s a Popular Gatlinburg Attraction All Year Long.
It doesn’t have to be winter for you to have fun at Ober Gatlinburg. The ski resort is just part of the fun at this attraction! You can also enjoy all the activities in the amusement park, from rides to mini golf. When you visit in the summer, be sure to try the 3 water rides and slides that will help keep you cool in the Tennessee heat! Some of the most popular things to do in the park throughout the year include the Wildlife Encounter, the alpine slide, the mountain coaster, ice skating and the scenic chairlift.
4. There are Two Locations.
Ober Gatlinburg actually has 2 parts to it at 2 different locations. There’s the ski and amusement park on top of Mount Harrison, and the Aerial Tramway and Mall in downtown Gatlinburg. The Tramway Mall has a variety of shopping and dining options for visitors to enjoy. It is also home to Ober’s indoor ice arena, where you can enjoy both ice skating and ice bumper cars. On Mount Harrison, you’ll find more shops and restaurants, as well as all the rest of the fun activities you can do at Ober! To get from one location to the next, we recommend taking the Aerial Tramway so you can experience breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg.
5. Home to 1 of 3 Color Blindness Viewers in Tennessee.
Did you know that Ober Gatlinburg is home to 1 of 3 color blindness viewers in the state of Tennessee? The color blindness viewer provides the opportunity for those who are color blind to enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains! Visitors who are color blind finally have the opportunity to take in the vivid green, yellow, orange and red leaves.
About Ober Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg is open year-round for both visitors and locals to enjoy! It’s full of fun for people of all ages, whether you’re looking for a thrill or just want to relax and take in the scenery. If you’ve never been, you’ll definitely want to put this Gatlinburg attraction at the top of your list!
For more ideas of fun things to do on your vacation, learn more about other popular Gatlinburg attractions!