Ober Gatlinburg Opens Early For Skiing - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Ober Gatlinburg Opens Early For Skiing

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Ski enthusiasts tackle the slopes recently at Ober Gatlinburg. (Credit: Knoxville News Sentinel/ Ober Gatlinburg) Ski enthusiasts tackle the slopes recently at Ober Gatlinburg. (Credit: Knoxville News Sentinel/ Ober Gatlinburg)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - East Tennessee's top winter sports destination has opened for skiing more than two weeks ahead of schedule due to recent snow and cold temperatures.

Ober Gatlinburg opened on Friday, which makes it the earliest opening date for the Sevier County skiing area since 1989.

About 16 to 20 inches of natural and man-made snow were on the ground as of Saturday. If that snow melts from a late autumn warm spell, Ober can use their "Snow Magic" machinery. It creates 150,000 feet of snow nightly.

Three of the nine slopes are currently open. The remaining trails should be open by year's end.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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