The Las Vegas Sun reports that Las Vegas City Council has debated the fate of food trucks roaming the city for months, only to come to an em pass earlier this week.
Currently, there are no restrictions for food truck vending on the streets of Las Vegas – one of very few “food truck friendly” locales – and restaurant owners have had enough.
Las Vegas City Council heard public comments earlier this week, before voting on several proposals. The owners of Roberto’s Mexican restaurants, a Las Vegas institution, said that at least three food trucks parked outside the entrance of both of their restaurants, selling tacos and burritos at cut-throat rates, and the effects are devastating.
A Roberto’s employee made a public plea to restrict food trucks, claiming that her work hours have been slashed from 40 to 20 hours per week as the result of food truck vultures parked in front of her workplace.
Las Vegas City Council voted on three proposals:
- Do nothing, and allow food trucks to continue vending with no restrictions.
- Impose a 150 foot distance requirement.
- Impose a 300 foot distance requirement.
All three proposals failed, and the matter was tabled – in essence, “do nothing,” but pick it up at a later date. Councilman Steve Ross finds it hard to believe that food trucks could hurt a restaurant’s business. “In my mind, they’re two different customers,” he said. “I can’t imagine one of these putting a Roberto’s out of business.” He said that the city should “protect the food vendors. The markets rely on being free to grow and expand … it is hard for me to interfere with that free market and free enterprise.”
Councilman Bob Coffin didn’t see eye to eye with Ross, saying the city proposal was not “an infringement on personal liberty or an antitrust action.”
“I strongly disagree this is against a new burgeoning business,” he said. “(Food trucks) are just going in there and taking the cream of the crop, not in every instance but enough.”
Other council members felt that the city should do a better job, protecting the restaurants it worked so hard to lure into the area, citing unscrupulous food truck vendors who paid no fees, hold no permits and siphon utilities from the buildings they park in front of.