Food truck slated for spot at Brush Creek Park and Ride |

Food truck slated for spot at Brush Creek Park and Ride

Taquería El Yaqui could open as early as next week

The Taquería El Yaqui food truck at the Brush Creek Park and Ride on Friday, May 27, 2022.
Kaya Williams/The Aspen Times

Can tacos entice more people to bus or carpool from the Brush Creek Park and Ride?

This summer, local transportation officials are going to find out.

Taquería El Yaqui of Glenwood Springs has signed a lease with the city of Aspen to operate a food truck out of the Park and Ride lot located on Highway 82 at the base of Brush Creek Road, according to documents from the city of Aspen and the Elected Officials Transportation Committee (EOTC). Committee officials include the Aspen City Council, Snowmass Village Town Council and Pitkin Board of County Commissioners.

The one-season lease will run through Sept. 30, with a rent of $10 for the duration of the term, according to a copy of the lease provided by the city of Aspen.

The truck is already onsite but “the owner is finishing up some paperwork with the state before they are able to open,” according to an email from David Pesnichak, a regional transportation administrator who develops the packet material for the EOTC.

The taqueria could open as early as next week, according to Pesnichak and Oscar Gambino, who works at Taquería El Yaqui.

Taquería El Yaqui already operates a food truck in Glenwood Springs; the operation at the Brush Creek Park and Ride will mark an expansion into “new territory,” Gambino said in a phone call.

A current Pitkin County permit allows a “food truck/farm stand experiment” to take place for one season between 2022 and 2025, according to the packet for the EOTC’s meeting held Thursday.

Additional seasons would require more permitting from the county “pending favorable data on the food truck promoting transit and carpooling from the Park and Ride,” the packet states.

During the transportation committee work plan amendment process in February, “staff heard from the elected officials that having a food truck at the Park and Ride in 2022 was a high priority,” the packet states.

​​Transportation staff collaborated with the Pitkin County Community Development Department, Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the city of Aspen attorney’s office to make that priority a reality this year, according to the packet.

The county Community Development Department “worked to streamline the permit amendment and approval process,” and “CDOT amended their typical process to allow the city of Aspen to sublet to the vendor instead of having a lease signed directly with CDOT,” which saved “up to two months,” according to the packet.

Pesnichak reached out to vendors who had expressed interest but hadn’t submitted proposals in the past to gauge current interest in an effort to “streamline” the process and got a proposal from Taquería El Yaqui, according to an email from Pesnichak and information in the packet. This is the first time any vendor has submitted a proposal, according to the packet.

Electric service was installed at the site for the food truck to use this summer, according to the packet.

With construction anticipated at the Park and Ride in 2023, it’s unlikely that a food truck would return next year.

But if the food truck experiment does seem to “support transit ridership and carpool usage from the Park and Ride,” there’s potential for future opportunities, according to the packet.

Staff could work with Pitkin County and CDOT to make the Brush Creek food truck idea “a regular seasonal event starting in 2024.”

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