Park City looks to approve two food trucks | ParkRecord.com

Park City looks to approve two food trucks

The trend of food trucks has hit cities around the country, but the trucks do not have a year-round presence in Park City just yet. That will likely change soon.

The city recently received proposals for two food trucks to set up and serve in limited areas around town. Jonathan Weidenhamer, economic development manager for the city, said there is a possibility trucks could be serving food before the end of the ski season just two weeks away.

The city put out a request for proposals for food trucks at the beginning of March. The submission period ended on Wednesday. Weidenhamer said the city received two proposals, which was fewer than the city was expecting, but he considers it a good start. He did not release the names of the businesses that submitted proposals, but he said one of the proposals is from a Park City restaurant and the other is from a restaurant in Midway.

Weidenhamer said the city hoped to bring in food trucks that would minimize competition with existing brick-and-mortar businesses.

“Having folks that are already in the Wasatch Back, I think that’s helpful,” he said.

Minimizing competition was one of the criteria in the city’s proposal process. The criteria also included the food truck’s approach to “promote city’s vision of diverse cultural and culinary amenities” and environmental sustainability efforts. The city chose to go through a proposal process so it was fair and open to all businesses, Weidenhamer said.

The city had to change its policies regarding food trucks last year due to a Utah law restricting cities from regulating food trucks with zoning ordinances. Park City officials spent six months working on new policies that aimed to balance the needs of food trucks and existing brick-and-mortar restaurants. Many restaurants with permanent locations worried food trucks would hurt business and that the trucks would not pay the same taxes restaurants do.

Part of the process to change policies was to approve city-owned locations for food trucks. Currently, food trucks are permitted in six locations in Park City: the PC MARC, City Park, the Bob Wells Plaza on Swede Alley, the Silver King Coffee parking lot, the Park City Ice Arena and Quinn’s Field. Summit County has also changed its policies for food trucks to adjust to the laws.

Weidenhamer said the start date and length of the contracts, as well as the days the trucks will serve food, will depend on the location. He said he wants to get a food truck in the historic district as soon as possible, but food trucks might not be at the PC MARC until the weather warms up, for example. He said the two food trucks would likely rotate among the locations.

“We’ll give them each a shot at it and see how it does,” he said.

He said the city plans to see how the food trucks do and adjust its proposal process accordingly in the future. He expects that the city will do another request later this year to get a broader range of food truck options in town.