Food cart operators in Steamboat Springs applaud relaxed rules, but some still want changes

Scott Franz

— Food carts and trucks won’t be parking in any public right of ways like the promenade at the base of Steamboat Ski Area anytime soon.

Despite interest from some local food truck operators to set up shop on public property in Steamboat, city officials recently told the Steamboat Springs City Council that they currently have no plans to pursue any rule changes at this time to broaden where the trucks and carts can operate.

The discussion came right before the council approved the city’s request to greatly reduce the amount of time and money food truck operators must spend to get licensed by the city.

While operators applauded the rule changes, some wanted the city to go even further and make it possible for them to operate outside of private property.

Skull Creek Greek owner Cynthia Pougiales said earlier this month that the city should allow carts and trucks to operate on public property like the promenade and in clusters in places like the empty lot at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue.

Pougiales said she has struggled to find a private property owner willing to host a wagon that she would sell Greek food out of.

Steamboat Ski Area Vice President of Resort Services Jim Snyder told the City Council that the ski area is “totally opposed” to the idea of allowing food carts and trucks on the promenade.

He said it wasn’t about fearing competition from the carts, but about safety concerns from blocking fire lanes and pedestrian walkways.

“We have not addressed doing this in the public right of way,” Planning Director Tyler Gibbs told the council, adding it would involve checking into whether the addition of food carts and trucks would allow right of ways to function as they were intended to and be safe.

Council member Walter Magill asked Gibbs what it would take to get those possible rule changes on the city’s agenda.

Gibbs said it would take direction from the council or more public interest in seeing food carts on public property.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

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