GATLINBURG (WATE) – Unseasonably warm weather is affecting a popular Sevier County attraction. Ober Gatlinburg officials are having to hold off on opening the ski slopes until the temperatures drop.
Tiffany Nichols didn’t mind the weather. Nichols said it didn’t stop her and her 11-year-old son from having fun.
“I’m enjoying it greatly. It gives us a lot of chances to do things outdoors we might not otherwise be able to do,” said Nichols.
The park started making snow in October and opened for the winter season in late November. The tubing park is covered with what Ober calls “Snow Magic,” but the ski slopes are bare.
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“I’m not expecting to have a green Christmas here at Ober Gatlinburg, but we’re having to be a little more patient,” said John Cossaboom.
Cossaboom, Ober Gatlinburg’s winter sports director, said the ski slopes usually open around December 10, but that’s not looking like the case for this year. He’s hoping it’ll happen around December 18.
“We’re just waiting for Mother Nature to give us the right signal,” said Cossaboom.
He said the latest the slopes have ever opened was after the new year in 2012.
Park managers said the temperature needs to be at 28 degrees or below before the four snow making machines can start covering the slopes.