|By George Hohmann, Charleston Daily Mail,
W.Va.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 12, 2008 - WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- There's something odd about a tree directly across from the front entrance to The Greenbrier Resort.
The fact is, it's not a tree. It's a "monopine" -- an artificial pine tower designed to resemble an Eastern White Pine.
"The branches are cast from actual pines and attached to shield the view of the antennas," said Verizon Wireless spokesman John Johnson.
"It's so realistic, our biggest problem is squirrels," Johnson said.
"They like to chew off the plastic pine needles."
Greenbrier spokeswoman Lynn Swann said the resort asked Verizon Wireless to install the special tower, which is on Reservoir Hill. "This is such a beautiful area," she said. "The monopine is a wonderful way to have the technology without having a negative impact on the view."
The tower went into service in May.
The Greenbrier Resort currently has cellular service with Verizon Wireless, U.S. Cellular and AT&T "and we're working with nTelos," Swann said.
"We also hope to add T-Mobile service in the future. The Greenbrier is committed to providing the services our guests expect, and that includes communications services."
Johnson said a White Pine doesn't fit in everywhere.
"In Arizona we recently installed a 20-foot-tall stealth saguaro cactus," he said.
Contact writer George Hohmann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4836.
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