GCI plans to lease a spot at Eaglecrest Ski Area for a cellphone tower.

The company wants a 20-foot by 20-foot parcel of land near Porcupine Chairlift to install a 50-foot high wooden pole with cellular equipment.

Cellphone coverage at Eaglecrest is spotty at best and non-existent in some places, especially at the base of the mountain.

CBJ Lands Manager Greg Chaney told the Assembly Lands Committee Monday that reliable communications would improve Eaglecrest customer service and skier safety as well as bring the city-owned operation more revenue.

“It’s going to be in the order of 500 to 600 dollars a month.  We’re still negotiating the final amount, but we’re hoping to have a 3 percent increase-per-year provision.  That’s what we’ve done on other towers and that’s kind of the industry standard right now, so for about a five-year period we’ll have that little bit of escalation,” Chaney said.

Chaney said the tower won’t spoil skiers’ and snowboarders’ view, or hinder their way down the bunny slope.

He said GCI plans to string fiber optic cable all the way up Fish Creek Road to the Eaglecrest Lodge.

The Eaglecrest Board of Directors has already approved a draft lease, but it must yet come before the CBJ Planning Commission.

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