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New snow machines at Ober Gatlinburg help kickstart season

4:48 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
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After a warm 2011-2012 winter in East Tennessee, hurting profits for the area's only ski resort, Ober Gatlinburg is not taking any chances this year for a good season.

"To get our tubing open early for guests that want to experience it that can't come later in the year, by opening tubing earlier for them," said Jerry Huskey, a spokesperson for the resort.

With a lofty goal of opening tubing by Thanksgiving, Ober Gatlinburg is already making snow on that trail -- something they could not do in the past during this time of year.

In the last month, the resort purchased two snow-making machines that can operate in conditions up to 70 degrees. Previous machines at Ober could only work if the temperature drops below 28 degrees.

"If it gets cold in November, we can start making snow with our regular snow-making system. This just hedges our bet quite a bit," Huskey added.

Now the Thanksgiving start date is for just the tubing lanes only.  For skiers, Ober Gatlinburg hopes for a full opening of sometime in December.

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