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Ober Mountain Ski Lodge gets major facelift

The interior designer took a space straight out of the 80s and transformed it into a modern, cozy space for all to enjoy.

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Since new, local owners bought Ober Gatlinburg in late 2022, the mountain has already experienced a rebranding and refresh. The ski lodge is evidence of the new look.

Right before Christmas, Ober Mountain unveiled the newly re-designed ski lodge and opened it up to customers. The restaurant and lodge, which was stark white and accented in gold since the 80s, now has a retro, cozy and more modern look.

The refresh is thanks to local interior designer Paula Osborn. She's the owner of Roost Home in Downtown Maryville. She usually focuses on residential projects, but she knew working with Ober was an opportunity she couldn't pass up.

"Everyone has a story about Ober, and I want to be involved in that because I remember going to Ober as a child, I have that same memory," Osborn said.

She had to accomplish the project in record time, too. She only had about six weeks from start to finish.

“You can't imagine how I felt when they said six weeks," Osborn laughed. "Stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping into a new creative space is always awesome.”

Osborn got to work immediately giving the space a facelift. She didn't change the bones of the massive room but changed about everything else.

She documented the whole process on Roost Home's Instagram page.

The walls are now an inviting navy with darker yellow accents. The carpet, furniture and light fixtures are also new.

“We haven't changed anything about the bones, it's all original," Osborn said. "We have just, you know, breathed new life in here.”

The cozy feeling is amplified by the two fireplaces in the restaurant and bar area. Osborn made sure to adorn the statement pieces with colorful decorations for the holiday season.

All of the beauty did not come without struggle, though. Osborn said the most difficult part of the process was dealing with supply chain issues. Furniture was on back order and she had a strict timeline to adhere to in order to finish in time for ski season.

Along with the open seating areas, leather couches and new bar top tables, there are also plenty of games and places to sit and watch the skiers and snowboarders on the mountain.

“I hope they find it welcoming and fun, and somewhere they feel like they can come more than once a season, maybe it becomes one of their favorite places to come," Osborn said.

Ober Mountain President Mark Adams said the ski lodge re-do is part of a larger project to refresh the business.

“We are combining the new with the old, and not forgetting where we came from," Adams said. "We're so excited for the future and the new adventures for families and visitors.”

Adams mentioned Ober is going to refresh the downstairs area where the ice skating section is, and focus on adding in mountain bike trails to the land as well, so people can really enjoy Ober as a year-round family destination.

"We're going to concentrate on the other eight, nine months of the year," Adams said. "So, [we will] bring in new attractions like downhill mountain biking, zip lines, and an ATV and UTV experience."

They also plan to enhance their wildlife encounter.

There's plenty on the horizon for Ober Mountain, and the new, local owners are focused on building up a business that has meant so much to them over the years.

The ski lodge and bar is free for people to enjoy and experience, with the choice to buy food and drinks. It is open for lunch and dinner. 

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