Vail working on pilot program to get trucks out of Vail Village
The program could be in place by next ski season
Delivery trucks and pedestrian villages don’t mix. The town of Vail and a local company are working to launch a six-month pilot program that could be the start of removing trucks from Vail Village.
Vail Police Commander Ryan Kenney this week gave the Vail Town Council a look at a potential pilot program for the coming ski season. Town officials are now working to finalize a contract with local firm 106 West Logistics.
The system being discussed would have trucks drop goods at the Mountain Plaza loading area. Goods would then be delivered to businesses via electric vehicles.
“This could be the most significant change in years,” Kenney told council members.
According to Kenney’s memo to the council, here’s how the system would work:
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Selected delivery trucks will schedule arrivals at Mountain Plaza. Trucks would drop their loads there, then organize goods labeled for various retail stores and restaurants in Vail Village.
Products will then be delivered through the Village via small electric vehicles. Food and other perishable goods will be delivered first, with beer and liquor next on the delivery list. Retail deliveries would take place throughout the day.
Orders will be checked for accuracy at the loading area.
But change won’t be easy.
Matt Dietz, owner of 106 West, told council members that just gathering data — from the sheer amount of material delivered to the timing of those deliveries and coordinating various delivery companies — will be a “huge” part of the pilot program.
“Right now, nobody knows what anyone else is doing,” Dietz said.
‘A real game-changer’
Familiarity with the situation will help, Dietz said, adding that his family has been in Vail for 50 years.
“We understand the problem, from multiple angles,” Dietz said, adding that it’s going to require tapping into longtime relationships to make any system work.
Kenney said if the program goes beyond its pilot stage, Vail “would be the only ski town in America” with a delivery system like the one envisioned. In fact, he added, part of the problem with creating a system, or software to run it, is that outside companies don’t seem to understand the problems in Vail Village.
Kenney’s memo notes that the pilot program will also allow the town and 106 West to better determine costs for the town and participating businesses.
Kenney noted there’s currently “a lot” of federal grant money available for electric vehicles.
“We want businesses to see the pilot and say, ‘This is how we want our deliveries,’ Kenney said.
Besides getting big trucks out of the pedestrian area, using electric vehicles will dramatically cut noise and diesel exhaust stink.
Council member Travis Coggin said he’s long known Dietz, and is confident 106 West is up to the job.
“This is something that could be a real game-changer,” Coggin said.