Information about Pearl Street Mall Mobile Vending Carts

The City of Boulder issues a limited number of mobile vending cart (MVC) permits each year to enhance the vitality of the Pearl Street Mall national historic district.

Information about Mobile Food Vehicles, as distinct from Mobile Vending Carts, is available on the Mobile Food Vehicles page.

The annual application deadline has been extended to Friday, January 14, 2022

The application period typically begins in December, with notifications by the end of February. Permits are valid for a one-year period, beginning April 1 and ending March 31, with options to renew for two additional one-year periods. A new permit application is required thereafter.

Operation Requirements

  • Hours of Operation – Minimum 5 days/week and 4 hrs./day from May-September, or additional hours as indicated on permit. If a MVC permit is deemed inactive by the city, it will automatically expire.
  • Size – Maximum 4 ft. wide x 10 ft. long (excluding roof overhangs/wheels) x 8 ft. height
  • Location – Must remain in numbered location as indicated on permit, unless relocated by the city to accommodate a Special Event Permit or as approved through a new MVC permit application.
  • Signage – Carts must publicly display their approved MVC permit and approved sign containing dates and hours of operation, items for sale and prices for each. Changes to the items and prices must be submitted to the city permitting entity for approval.
  • Maintenance – All trash will be disposed of off-site, and the permit location will be maintained in a neat, clean and hazard-free condition.
  • Storage – All MVCs will be stored off the mall when not in operation.
  • Permits – MVC permit holders are responsible for obtaining all required building inspections, a Boulder County health inspection, sales tax or other permits or licenses at their own expense from all applicable government departments.

How to Apply for a Mobile Vending Cart Permit

Application Requirements

Please note that when you go to submit the application, you will be asked to fill out and submit the following information.

  • Dimensioned schematic of proposed design (you will need to upload the schematic in PDF or image format, and the file must not exceed 14MB in size)
  • Preferred MVC location number as circled on the Available MVC Permit Locations Map PDF
  • Written statement demonstrating relevant business experience and related business activity
  • Hours of operation and inventory of product offerings, prices, and seasonality of demand
  • Statement of financial backing (such as cash holdings and assets)

The schematic is the only file you are asked to upload. All other required documentation is fillable directly in the form.

Submit Your Application

When you have the materials above prepared, please fill out and submit your application:

If You Are Approved

Approved Mobile Vending Cart permit holders must provide the following to the permitting entity by March 31:

  • When you have received your invoice for the annual payment of $2,445, use your City of Boulder sales tax license login ID to pay by credit/debit card/Echeck using the payments portal.
  • Certificate of Insurance indemnifying and holding harmless the City of Boulder, its officers, employees, and agents against any and all claims arising from any occurrence occasioned by the permitted use for the duration of the permit. Minimum liability limits are $1 million per occurrence or $2 million in the aggregate.
  • Copy of City of Boulder use & sales tax license
  • Copy of cart sign (at least 1 ft. x 1 ft. in size) listing hours of operation, items for sale and corresponding prices
  • Boulder County Public Health Department Inspection Certificate (food vendors only)
  • Completed inspection with the permitting entity to ensure conformance with approved plans

Review Process

The Downtown Management Commission (DMC) shall review each MVC application and recommend to the city permitting entity whether it approves, approves with conditions, or denies the application.

Following DMC approval, city staff will work with the applicant to ensure that the MVC has met all additional code requirements prior to permit activation on April 1.

Review Criteria

Design Quality – As demonstrated in applicant’s dimensioned schematic design.

  • Enhances the vibrancy of the mall
  • Compatible with existing mall activities
  • Supports the goals of the Downtown Urban Design Guidelines

Product Quality – As demonstrated in applicant’s product inventory.

  • Diversity of products
  • Cost and quality of products
  • Length of seasonality

Applicant Experience – As demonstrated in applicant’s written statement.

  • Relevant business experience
  • Related business activity
  • Financial Feasibility – As demonstrated in applicant’s statement of financial backing.