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NEWS: Orlando plans permanent food truck festival on I-Drive


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http://www.thedailycity.com/2013/01/bob-snow-developing-great-american-food.html

 

Bob Snow, developer of the original Church Street Station, is possibly developing "The Great American Food Truck and Music Festival." He and his assistant Mark Boyd, held a meeting with local food truck owners at Festival Bay Mall Wednesday January 2, 2012, to talk to local food truck owners about this food truck project his company, Snow & Associates, might be developing. The plans call for it to be permanently located on the site of the Festival Bay Mall on International Drive near Premium Outlets Mall.

 

More than food trucks, the food truck space will house a large bar and seated dining area covered by a giant canopy. Live music will be featured nightly and a fresh fruit gazebo will sell everything from strawberries to frozen daiquiris. The current name for the space is "The Great American Food Truck and Music Festival."

 

Festival Bay Mall is considering a complete renovation using Snow & Associates as the developer. The interior of the mall would be transformed into a European-style marketplace bazaar with a ton of entertainment, dining, and shopping. The new name of the mall would be the Great American Exposition, or simply EXPO.

 

It has been estimated that annually 20 million tourists visit the north end of International Drive where Festival Bay is located and part of the allure of EXPO will be its food truck plaza.

 

In addition, EXPO will be home to America’s first permanently-located circus as well as a European-flavored amusement ride area called Grande Carnevale.

 

In an email sent to local truck owners, he described one part of his project as a "food truck bazaar" which will house 20 permanent food truck slots, each "hand-picked" from dozens of candidates around Florida.

 

Bob Snow's assistant Mark Boyd was present at the December Food Truck Bazaar I put on and passed out pamphlets to truck owners and myself describing a national food truck association he was starting. That was the last I heard about it. As I was told, there was no talk of this association at the meeting January 2nd.

 

At the first meeting held in Orlando on Wednesday January 2, 2012, when questioned how trucks will be chosen, Snow indicated the the trucks chosen were already in the room. He also said trucks from across the country would be scouted. It was told to me by a source at the meeting that some truck owners at the meeting felt more meetings with other truck owners were a necessity for Snow, since about only 10 food truck owners were in attendance at this initial meeting.

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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I can see Festival Bay from my office and end up there a few times a month for lunch at Fuddruckers. The mall is dead and is a dump (it was a dump when things were there). You cross over the turnpike and you are in one of the worse areas in Orlando. In short the area is trashy.

 

The type of people that usually visit that end of I-Drive is not the kind I envision that would enjoy the cusine of food trucks. (I say usually but putting a prenium food experience in an area full of outlets and junk stores doesn't seem to add up). Put it down I-Drive near the convention center and I think you got a hit.

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Why would a food truck want to be tied down to a single location? Isn't the idea to be mobile so as to go where the people are all day long?

 

I was kind of under the impression that the trucks themselves are not permanent only the "slots" for the trucks. I can't imagine a place like this would attempt to operate a full lunch and dinner schedule 7 days a week. The intention is probably to have a venue built to house the trucks for different events, and weekend meetups, and concerts and stuff on a semi-regular basis instead of every day.

 

I'm sure Festival Bay has a big section of parking lot that is unused almost all of the time, so building something like this in that space probably isn't the most expensive venture so it might work.

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Why would a food truck want to be tied down to a single location? Isn't the idea to be mobile so as to go where the people are all day long?

 

Sounds like the only benefit is saving rent if you want to have a second truck versus a storefront. And I'm not even sure how beneficially it would be.

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Considering how many food truck owners around the country have to battle certain licensing and zoning issues (probably brought to local politicians' attentions by established restaurants who fear the competition), this idea sounds pretty cool. If I was a food truck owner, I think it'd be nice to have an established "safe zone" where I know I could operate whenever I'd like.

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Why would a food truck want to be tied down to a single location? Isn't the idea to be mobile so as to go where the people are all day long?

 

I was kind of under the impression that the trucks themselves are not permanent only the "slots" for the trucks. I can't imagine a place like this would attempt to operate a full lunch and dinner schedule 7 days a week. The intention is probably to have a venue built to house the trucks for different events, and weekend meetups, and concerts and stuff on a semi-regular basis instead of every day.

 

I'm sure Festival Bay has a big section of parking lot that is unused almost all of the time, so building something like this in that space probably isn't the most expensive venture so it might work.

 

Maybe but this makes it seem like it is a daily event not just on select days.

 

More than food trucks, the food truck space will house a large bar and seated dining area covered by a giant canopy. Live music will be featured nightly and a fresh fruit gazebo will sell everything from strawberries to frozen daiquiris. The current name for the space is "The Great American Food Truck and Music Festival."

 

Festival Bay Mall is considering a complete renovation using Snow & Associates as the developer. The interior of the mall would be transformed into a European-style marketplace bazaar with a ton of entertainment, dining, and shopping. The new name of the mall would be the Great American Exposition, or simply EXPO

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So much fail in this idea. I think one of the biggest issues for Festival Bay is the market for "normal" mall stores is tapped out. They aren't going to get many locals and every other store in existence is already at Florida Mall or Mall at Millenia.

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Considering how many food truck owners around the country have to battle certain licensing and zoning issues (probably brought to local politicians' attentions by established restaurants who fear the competition), this idea sounds pretty cool. If I was a food truck owner, I think it'd be nice to have an established "safe zone" where I know I could operate whenever I'd like.

 

And that is exactly why a food truck would want to be stationed in one area.

1) they would have a known and established place that their customers know they can find them.

2) all "food trucks" are not mobile such as carts and trailers. So this would be a great stationary location.

3) with a stationary location the owners do not have to worry about knowing the local parking regulations and risk receiving a ticket or being harassed by restaurant owners, police, or other food truck owners.

4)with the addition of the alcohol or the bar it adds to the customer experience which increases foot traffic to the food trucks as well as the mall.

5)food trucks are a great small business model that operate one on one with the customer in mind

 

Check out www.truckfoodfinds.com to learn more about the food truck movement.

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Down here in Miami,about 2-3 years ago food trucks were everywhere,there were round ups every day of the week with 30-40 food trucks,I think they even had one mega round up at the Miami Dade fair location with like over 70 trucks,some even coming from Orlando and Tampa.It seems as it is a slowly fading fad as many of the trucks are closing up shop,some are just getting out of it,others actually had success and have opened up their own restaurants.Some of the more popular ones are still out there hitting up different areas throughout the week but it seems there are fewer and fewer round ups and good trucks left.If the same is happening in Orlando it seems like an idea that could be a total complete fail,I guess it could work if the project actually becomes successful but I have my doubts,especially since I heard somewhere else that the center will have a country western theme and now I'm hearing the words European marketplace,permanent circus,Great American Expo,all these are descriptions are kinda all over the place,the last permanent circus I knew of was at that shopping mecca known as the Swap Shop in Ft. Lauderdale,basically a grungy flea market with a couple carnival rides and all the descriptions I'm hearing about the new remodel makes me think it sounds more like something closer to a flea market than to the I Drive Live project going in south of Sand Lake rd which looks way more promising.I just have my doubts,if they do something cool maybe people will come out,either way it's gotta be better than that Festival Bay mall,I've never seen a new mall so empty ever,I remember going in there a couple of months after it opened and it was like 90% empty,I told myself it's new give it a few months but it just never worked.

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