You can hit the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg by the end of the week, but you'll have to travel on a tube instead of skis or boards.
Ober announced Tuesday that it will open its snow tubing season on Friday, November 16. Officials say it will be the first tubing operation to open in the Southeast this year.
Using new technology, the resort was able to begin making snow on September 21 and plans to operate tubing through Easter.
The tubing lanes are 400 feet long with a 50 foot vertical drop and are serviced by a moving conveyor lift which transport riders and their tubes quickly and smoothly to the top of the runs. The snow tubing schedule this weekend will be 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, with 1.5 hour sessions beginning every two hours. Rates per session are $20 on weekdays and $25 on weekends and holidays. Special rates are available weekdays for church, school, scout and other groups.
"We are excited about the prospects of a great season." said Bruce Anders, president of Ober Gatlinburg, Inc., "The SnowMagic system allows us to offer snow tubing to our guests much earlier and gives us the capability to maintain the quality of the tubing surface in the event we experience another unusually mild winter."
The ICS technology uses no chemicals in the process. The environmental friendly snow can be recycled and reused after melting.
For more information on Ober Gatlinburg and its list of season-long events in celebration of 50 years of skiing, contact 865-436-5423 or visit www.obergatlinburg.com