Brandy Stanley, Las Vegas City Hall
Wes Myles, BarBistro owner
Keith McCoy, operator of Slidin' Thru
Jorge Morales, operator of Quality Mobile Food Service
BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- The city of Las Vegas is holding a lottery to award three prime downtown parking spots and time slots to mobile food businesses that sell curbside. Monday July 22 is the deadline.
“We wanted the lottery so that we could make sure that the spaces were filled all the time,” says Brandy Stanley of Las Vegas City Hall. She says the assigned parking spaces were requested by the food truck operators themselves – they say it takes time for the trucks to set up once they arrive at a location and they need to know that the spot is available.
The lottery is intended to settle the "food fight" that's been simmering for some time among food truck operators, who compete for the best locations to sell their snacks and cuisines to passing workers, tourists and court visitors.
There’s also tension between the food truck owners and proprietors of brick and mortar restaurants, who feel that food truck operators poach customers, without having to pay comparable overhead.
One food truck owner argues that the competition between food trucks and brick and mortar restaurants is no different than the completion among the restaurants themselves.
“Let’s take the Freemont East space. There’s 3 pizza shops within 150 feet of each other – oh, but they’re brick and mortar so that’s OK,” says Keith McCoy who operates the food truck Slidin’ Thru.
Wes Myles, owner of Bar Bistro and an advocate for a “level playing field” between trucks and restaurants, says he’s all for free enterprise. But free enterprise for all, not just food trucks.
“I believe in small government. I’m a libertarian-based thinking person,” says Myles. “It becomes a public land-private land thing ... I want to set up my poker game in front of Caesar’s Palace on public land that I don’t have to pay rent for.”
Myles says he’s tried for years to display and sell art on public places but has been “beaten up by rules and regulations.”