In celebration of its 50th year of skiing in Tennessee, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort will open its snow tubing season on Friday, the earliest of any tubing operation in the Southeast. Implementing new technology, the resort was able to begin snowmaking on Sept. 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.-7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m.-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.
Snow tubing is a great way for ages three and above to experience the fun of winter recreation. Different than open-hill sledding, the tubing park’s expertly shaped lanes guide custom tubes down a course designed to deliver an exhilarating ride. Adjacent to the tubing park is an enclosed viewing area with food concessions, jacket and insulated pant rentals, and a winter accessory shop.
The SnowMagic Infinite Crystals Snowmaking (ICS) system is revolutionary and completely different from other snowmaking systems that require temperatures below freezing. The ICS system freezes water to create tiny snow crystals. Using its controlled and cooled forced-air technology, the snow crystals are blown out with explosive force, creating snow with a natural feel and texture at an average micron size of 0.3 millimeters in diameter.
“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 snowtubing 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.