Busy holiday season at Ober Gatlinburg

Busy holiday season at Ober Gatlinburg

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Skiers making their way down the slopes at Ober Skiers making their way down the slopes at Ober
The indoor skating rink at Ober packed full The indoor skating rink at Ober packed full
Spokesman at Ober says cold weather is more so desired for machine-made snow than actual snow is Spokesman at Ober says cold weather is more so desired for machine-made snow than actual snow is

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

GATLINBURG (WATE) - Ober Gatlinburg officials say business is up this holiday season, thanks to the weather. With snow in the forecast, they expect numbers to keep climbing into the weekend.

Brady Smith tells 6 News his favorite part about skiing there is going fast down the hills.

"When you go down the mountain and when you go fast, and you stop and you kind of fall," Smith said.

He's up from Mississippi for the holidays with his Aunt Kaytlin Benzel. She says New Year's Day is the perfect time to hit the slopes.

"It's a lot better than it was on the 30th. It's a lot smoother and it's not as foggy and it's not packed at all," Benzel said. 

John Cossaboom, the winter sports director at Ober Gatlinburg, says this season is the busiest it's been in a few years.

"My feeling is that we're certainly having a stronger holiday period than last year. A lot of that is due to the fact we opened December 23rd last year versus November 29th this year," Cossaboom said.

He says he always likes to see natural snow, but machine made snow is actually more efficient.

"We really rely on machine made snow 100 percent of the time, anything we get from nature is a bonus. We always appreciate it and it certainly gets the folks excited, but I'm just as happy if it's cold at night and we can put the snow where we need it," Cossaboom said.

Rick Allen and his daughter Danielle say the more snow, the more fun it is to snowboard.

"Once you start going it's like you're flying. It's so much fun I love it," Danielle said. 

Cossaboom says another reason the resort is busier this year, is because Christmas and New Year's fell during the week, which is typically a slower time for tourism.

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