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Food Truck Parties

The Gunbarrel Commons (GC) food truck party story and how I choose trucks



-- In 2010, I started CU’s food truck program on east campus and had trucks coming five days a week. I got to know “my truckies” and promoted their visits to the surrounding businesses. A few years later, CU food services took it over the program and started charging hefty fees. My truckies could no longer afford to come and went elsewhere. On a morning walk one day, I looked at GC park and thought, “This would be a perfect place to have food truck parties! Best of all, it’s private and the road is in the county, not the city, so that alleviates many restrictions. And, I can help my truckies with some new business. I think I’ll look into this!” I asked the parks board, did a practice party on Oct. 29, 2011, and the rest is history.


I do this as a volunteer around my full-time job. I do it just for fun, to make my neighbors happy, because I love food, and to help the truckies. Win-win! I don’t get paid. As a matter of fact, I buy the signs and anything else needed. I put together the program (see below), manage the trucks, gather their legal paperwork, work with the park and complex boards, and call around to find a fill-in if a truck has to cancel. I post flyers at complexes to promote the series, put up and take down street signs before and after each event, host parties once a month from before the trucks arrive till they begin to leave (I did them twice a month 2010-2014.). I move garbage cans and do a walkabout for trash after it’s over. I even escort the truckies to the the pool bathroom as needed. [I’m always looking for backup hosts to be on call in case I’m sick or on vacation the night of a party - contact me if you want to volunteer.] I truly have fun and love meeting my neighbors and seeing their smiles. It's my own big party once a month! And, I love my truckies! But, this isn’t a job and I don’t get paid. And, I don’t know of anyone waiting in the wings to take over when I decide to stop.



When I got permission to start the truck parties for the 2012 season, the park's board, the trucks, and I all agreed on five trucks. This was the magic number for the trucks to do good business, yet keep the lines reasonable. As well, it was the most the board wanted. [In 2013, they allowed me to bring a sixth truck on board.]

I choose trucks and owners that I know and trust (see below) and whose foods compliment each other, not compete. Ours are some of the best trucks around. I schedule the trucks in mid-winter, before they book up for the season. There are many neighborhood series that I compete against, as well as breweries. It’s hard to find good, available trucks...and once the season kicks in, most bets are off. I guarantee my truckies the whole season series because they want gigs that they can count on and think this gig is a great one. My truckies are loyal to me so I’m loyal to them. So, short of attrition, the best way to get into the series is to get on my Fill In List so I might call if I have a cancellation. I don't juggle trucks as I don't have the time or desire to play booking agent as all summer. In the end, for as many folks that like variety, we have folks that count on certain trucks each week so they can order their favorites.

If I need a truck to fill in for a cancellation, or to replace a truck if one leaves the series, the following are qualities that I look for. I am always happy to add good trucks to my backup list.

-- Great food that our customers will love! I need to try the food first before I will consider a truck for the series and also try to do so also before adding them to the backup list. But I may make exceptions with trusted recommendations.

-- Their food needs to compliment the rest of the lineup, and not compete with a current trucks. Variety is good. Unique is good.

-- Owners who I like and can work well with and who will follow our guidelines:

  • Put out their own trash can and take their trash with them.
  • Park where we need them to
  • Be ready to serve at 5:30 and stay till the end (unless they run out of food or the weather warrants)
  • Send a copy of current liability insurance and health dept. license (Boulder or Denver city license appreciated).

-- Agree not to heavily promote the events to the public as GC is a private park and we don’t want to get big (like Prospect). Truck's announcements to their Facebook/Twitter followers are fine. Ours is a family-oriented, neighborhood event. Non-park owners are welcome, but they aren’t our main audience and things could change if we have problems.  

-- Be OK with the fact we don’t have a public bathroom. Truckies need to find me to escort them to the poolhouse if they need to go.

-- If a truck is considered for the series, we ask they be loyal. Trucks must intend to make all series dates, baring technical difficulties, sickness, or unique special circumstances (i.e. a huge truck party they can’t refuse like Truckit!). Give me as much notice as possible if they have to cancel. Help me find a backup if I need help and they can do so. We don’t want to be treated as fill-ins around better gigs. I have a list of great trucks who want to get into this series, so trucks need to treat us as they would like us to treat them if they want to stick around. That said, if our series doesn't work out well for them, I'd wish them well if they wanted to bow out.

No other vendors/solicitors allowed, only invited food trucks/trailers/carts etc. No sales, political, promotional tables, tents, or signs, or other business activities may be transacted. No unsolicited food vendors. The park board agreed to have a food truck gathering and I curate the lineup. This is a private park owned by the homeowners of the five parks that surround it so it's like their backyard. They don't want a trade show. As well, legalities also prevent other organized activities, weddings etc. Thank you for respecting the private atmosphere of the park for the owners.


Bring your blankets and chairs and have a lovely evening. Gunbarrel Commons is a private park belonging to five complexes (Powderhorn, Huntington Point, Willowbrook, Hunter Creek, Habitat). That said, it is open to the public. Please respect our park. Pick up your litter. It is a dog park, so bring your dog if they are well behaved around people and other dogs - and pick up after them.  No loud music that may bother the neighbors (thus don’t look forward to any amplified bands). Please don’t park on the Indigo Court side of the park where the trucks park – we will ask you to move. We reserve the right to ask anyone to leave if they are disturbing the peace. HAVE FUN