Mobile vending can lend a hand to city's outdoor rec initiative, business owner says

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FARMINGTON — Mobile vendors and food trucks will pay the same rate to operate in City of Farmington parks for the next three years after a review process by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.

PRCA Department Business Analyst Shay Jacquez said the city reviewed the permit process for mobile vendors this winter according to city rules that require the department to gather feedback from vendors every three years to set permit prices.
 
The price has not changed from the original rate, which was set in 2016, Shay said. Vendors will pay a $100 permit application fee and $50 in monthly fees to operate in premium locations on city property, such as Berg Park and Farmington Lake.

Mobile businesses and food trucks may apply for permits to operate at any time, Shay said, but the next time the city will review permit fees will be in 2021.

“The three-year cycle kind of renews (interest) and puts it fresh and back in people’s minds,” Shay said of the mobile vendor and food truck potential in Farmington.

Shay said three vendors submitted proposals in this year’s request for bids, which the city uses to set the price. Two businesses submitted proposals in 2016.

There are currently five mobile vendors and food trucks permitted to operate at city parks in Farmington. Though the majority are food vendors, some follow a trend that Jacques said might continue as the city diversifies its economy.

“I think we’re going to see more non-food mobile businesses applying for permits as the Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative kicks off,” Jacquez said, referring to the city’s campaign to draw in and establish outdoor recreation and tourism in the Four Corners area.

One such mobile business is prepping to open at Berg Park this month. Jacquez said a company called Animas Outdoors has filed for and received a permit to operate a bike and tube rental mobile shop out of Berg Park this summer.

Cameron Garrett, who owns Animas Outdoors, said the rental shop will likely be up and running by the middle of May in advance of the city’s Riverfest events.

Garrett said mobile businesses could make Berg Park an even more active community gathering place in Farmington.

“If we can start getting people down to the park, we can do food courts down there,” Garrett said. “It’s a nice and neat area, and probably a lot of stuff down there can work.”

As the weather gets warmer, mobile business are setting up shop for the season. Jacquez said food vendors DNV Hotdogs and Shelly’s Burritos both currently operate out of Berg Park.

DNV Hot Dog’s food cart Hot Dogs Galore was open for business for its first day of 2018 on April 24, owner David Martinez said.

Martinez said this is the hot dog stand’s second season in business — the food cart went between Berg Park and Municipal Drive last year — and though business can be slow, people are catching on.

“The people in Farmington are really good. They’ll try it, they’ll give it a chance. They won’t just go by,” Martinez said, adding that the potential for mobile business is “good if you’re in the right spot.”

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.

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