Vail phone building work is just cosmetic |

Vail phone building work is just cosmetic

VAIL, Colorado – It’s still a few months early to get excited about upgraded wireless service in Vail.

A reader asked via e-mail whether a crane outside the building near the Middle Creek apartments was a precursor to upgrading Vail’s “4G” wireless services. The short answer is “no.”

The longer answer is that the work on the building – known to long-time residents as the “Mountain Bell” building – is simply some needed work to the exterior of the structure.

“We’d noticed some cracks in the concrete that covers the building,” said Scott McKenzie, local manager for CenturyLink, which this year acquired Qwest, which formerly provided land-line service to the upper valley.

McKenzie added that the building isn’t a wireless tower, although it used to be a microwave relay station for land-line phones. CenturyLink isn’t in the cell phone business, and the building is, in fact, the hub for all the town’s phone lines.

So when is upgraded 4G service coming?

Ron Braden, the town of Vail’s information technology director, said work is coming along for a new facility that will provide 4G service for the major carriers. Braden said all but one of the carriers has agreed to use a new facility – to be built by Crown Castle – and the process of getting the deal finalized could take another several months.

Once the carriers are on board, the new tower itself will have to pass muster with the Vail Design Review Board before it can be built.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930 or

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