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Reviews for Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort

Read skier and snowboarder-submitted reviews on Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort that rank the ski resort and mountain town on a scale of one to five stars for attributes such as terrain, nightlife and family friendliness. See how Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort stacks up in the reviews, on and off the slopes, from skiing and family activities to the après scene. Read up on pros, cons and other comments in reviews left by fellow skiers and riders. Don't forget to submit your own Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort review! Scroll to the bottom of this page to let other travelers know about your skiing and resort experience. For more destination information, click Add to Compare to see a side-by-side comparison of Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort vs. other ski resorts (up to 10 total).

by: - 12th February 2015

  • 3
  • 4Beginner
  • 4Intermediate
  • 3Expert
  • All-Mtn. Terrain
  • 5Family Friendly
  • 5Aprés Ski
  • Terrain Park
  • 3Overall Value
Après ski
Inconvenient, can't buy tubing tickets online, needs a face lift

Full review

We visited Ober Gatlinburg in December 2013, after Christmas. The main reason we chose there was because we received a time-share stay at a nice hotel in the town of Gatlinburg (unaffiliated with the ski resort) if we listened to their ownership sales pitch. We had several destination locations in the eastern US from which to choose, so we decided to take the Gatlinburg option because of the combination of the skiing and the large amount of stuff to do for our young kids in Gatlinburg and nearby Pigeon Forge. Those towns have been thoroughly reviewed elsewhere so for the purposes of this review I'd call them more or less like a hillbilly Vegas without gambling. Not really my thing but they DO have a ton of kid and family-friendly attractions that, combined with the skiing, and the time share, made the trip worthwhile for us, driving from the Triangle area of North Carolina. Overall we had a good time at Ober, and we leveraged its strengths to our advantage on that trip, but I probably wouldn't go back and it has some aspects which I didn't like at all. We went to Ober at a time of year known for being crowded, so I can cut them some slack for that, but we've been to other places at the same time of year which managed the crowds better. The first thing that strikes you about Ober is that it's not convenient to reach. You either have to drive up the twisting mountain road from Gatlinburg and take a chance that the parking lot isn't already full, or take the cable car. We did both in the two days we were there and made an event of the cable car ride for our young kids. The view IS really nice and it was fun for that one time but I'd prefer to just drive up. The cable car costs $10/ person and even though they reimburse you half that with a lift ticket purchase it's still pricey for me and it took a long time to get up to the ski area because you have to drive to the parking lot in Gatilinburg, walk a few blocks to the tram location, stand in line to buy your tickets, line up again to wait for the tram and then the ride up takes ~20 minutes in it's own right. So door to door it was about an hour's worth of transit time that cost us $25 even after the discount we got from buying the lift tickets, whereas the parking lot option was like $5-10 and took less than half that time. Plus when you leave Ober you also have to wait in a long line for the cable car unless you leave early. I think we waited a total of an hour just to get on at the end of the day. The whole setup really makes for a lot of waiting. Buying our lift tickets and getting our gear rentals took a long time too. Again, I realize it was a crowded holiday season, but I've been to other ski resorts where things went much more quickly even during similarly busy times. We wanted to try tubing for our kids but you have to physically go to up to Ober really early in the morning to buy the tickets and reserve a certain block of time. For some reason, they don't allow online tubing ticket purchase, which I find baffling, and it pretty much made the whole thing impossible for us - just not worth the trouble. Once you get to Ober the "lodge" is really more like a shopping mall food court surrounding an indoor skating rink. This is not horrible, but it looks (probably unintentionally) retro and could use some updating. The lodge/mall/food court/whatever it is does have a bunch of small indoor kiddie rides which kept our kids happy when they were too tired to ski. The skiing area itself is small with some reasonably good runs and conditions are what they are (it's the South) but when we were there the slopes were in pretty good shape. Unfortunately the second day they made snow during the day and it was really loud and blew right in our eyes. I geddit that they have to make hay when the sun shines, so to speak, but the noise and semi-white out conditions were no fun at all. The ski school was OK, and because my kids took lessons we got a coupon for half off an additional group lesson. I saw that nobody had shown up for the lesson so I jumped on it and was able to get what amounted to a private lesson for about $20. That was a big discount and pretty cool. Because Ober is in the middle of the Gatlinburg resort town the après ski is really a strength once you get back down into the town. Between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge there are tons of lodging, dining and entertainment options. It looked like there were a variety of condos up the mountain closer to Ober but I can't speak to those. The food at the lodge/mall/whatever was just average - neither particularly good nor bad. In summary, we had a reasonably good time at Ober Gatlinburg but unless you live nearby or are otherwise planning a trip to the many other attractions in Gatlinburg and/or Pigeon Forge and want to combine that with skiing I wouldn't recommend it over the better ski resorts in western North Carolina, Virgina or West Virginia.

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 36 Resort Reviews

  • Joe (2nd May 2018)

    If you enjoy sliding down 500 feet of ice, then this is the place for you!!! Rarely are the decent runs open,...

  • Chesney Bell (10th February 2018)

    My husband and I were excited to try out Ober's attractions. However once we paid to ride up everything outside except for...

  • Gianna Camejo Garin (2nd January 2018)

    I went with my family hoping to see snow. The food was not good. Then we waited in a very long line...

  • Parth’s iPhone (2nd January 2017)

    Good place if you're a beginner but not good passed that

  • Quincy (9th March 2016)

    The guest service will not inform a guest of rides that are closed for the season. Purchased 6 wristbands for a total...

  • Amber Kapinskis (7th March 2016)

    For moms/dad with kids thinking of visiting. The first day, we arrived for twilight snow boarding and tubing with our kids (sunday)....

Displaying 1 - 6 of 36 Resort Reviews


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