We try to get to Ober at least once a year, I have been going for the last 20 years and have seen a lot of change for the good. Yes its crowded but thats normal. Anywhere people can have fun for a reasonable price its goning to be crowded. Weekdays are definitely less crowded. I took my 10 year old and her friend to ski for the first time in Feb. We live in Mobile, AL so we always leave for Mardi Gras holidays. They took a group lesson at the ski school supposed to be an hour but ended up being 2 hrs, but it was well worth it. On the first trip up, her friend says "Oh No, We're gonna Die!." But after that trip down, her words changed to "THAT WAS AWESOME!" After that they skied for the next 8 hours like they had been doing it all their lives. I couldn't ask for a better place for a family vacation, Gatlinburg is the best.