Avon to allow out-of-town food trucks in limited locations | VailDaily.com

Avon to allow out-of-town food trucks in limited locations

The town will also add grab-and-go snacks to the Nottingham Lake beach this summer

A change to an Avon ordinance could bring new food options to Harry A. Nottingham Park this summer.
Courtesy Photo

The Avon Town Council voted Tuesday to allow food trucks from out-of-town vendors to set up in limited locations around town. The change revised a 2020 amendment that limited food trucks to only those that were operated by an existing restaurant or food purveyor business in Avon.

The proposal of opening up the ordinance first came before council at its Feb.22 meeting as town staff felt opening up the ordinance may lead to greater success in getting food trucks to Avon.

Since it revised the ordinance in 2020, only one Avon business, El Sabor Mazatlán, applied for and received a permit to operate in the town. Ultimately, however, the restaurant’s food truck never came to fruition due to pandemic-related challenges and equipment failure.

Only one food truck currently operates in Avon — Rocky Mountain Taco with its trailer between Avon Station and The Westin. While the business is not located in Avon, it was grandfathered in to get around the restriction.

At the February meeting, council members were split 3-3 — with seventh Council member Chico Thuon absent during the discussion — on whether to allow vendors from outside of Avon. Those against opening up the ordinance argued that the town had an obligation to its brick-and-mortar restaurants. Those for it argued it could add new vibrancy and culinary options to the town.

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However, a revised proposal on swayed two council members — Amy Phillips and Tamra Underwood — to vote in favor of the amendment Tuesday. This new proposal significantly limited where the food trucks could be located, addressing council concerns that the change would bring undue competition to local restaurants.

Previously, town staff presented numerous possible food truck locations throughout town — including in parking spots on Benchmark Road, on the main street mall, in Possibilities Plaza and near the railroad tracks at Avon Station. However, the new proposal included only five possible locations.

The first would be a “grab-and-go” snack operation, coordinated with the stand-up paddleboard operator, at the Nottingham Lake beach during the summer. An additional license would be offered during the summer to one truck at a time at one of three possible locations around Harry A. Nottingham Park. And the third location would be authorized in the winter near Avon station and the Westin Gondola. This third location would not replace Rocky Mountain Taco, but rather compliment it during ski season, according to the meeting packet.

Both Phillips and Underwood reversed their opinion on the matter as a result of these changes, stating that the limited scope made it more digestible.

“What is being proposed to us today, which is much more limited than we looked at last time — I can get behind it,” Phillips said. “I would want to review it in a year again.”

Council member RJ Andrade, who was the only council member to oppose the change to the ordinance at both meetings, said he was only in favor of the grab-and-go snacks on the beach.

“I have no problem selling snacks from there, it’s not taking any parking spots and not cooking actual food,” Andrade said, later adding: “I’d be in favor of the grab-and-go at the SUP and that’s about it.”

Thuon, who was absent during the February discussion of the ordinance, expressed his support for the change, stating that it could not only add new vibrancy to the town, but that it could support entrepreneurs wanting to get into restaurant business as well.

Ultimately, Town Council voted 6-1 — with only Andrade dissenting — to remove the restriction that only existing Avon businesses can operate food trucks in town.

“I supported the ordinance saying it was Avon businesses, and we’re not seeing an influx of a lot of food trucks,” said Council member Scott Prince. “Let’s give it a try.”

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