Intersection

How a near-death experience helped a Vegas food-truck pioneer find his new calling

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From the moment Ricardo Guerrero sold his first burger out of his Slidin’ Thru truck in 2010, the mobile restaurant seemed destined for success. The truck quickly became one of the most popular in the Valley—so much so that Guerrero had difficulty keeping up with demand—and he sold Slidin’ Thru in 2013.

His latest endeavor, an online web store dedicated to music-festival fashion, finds the former burger chef honing in on one of his favorite pastimes. “If you ask anybody who I am and what I represent, I’m all about music festivals,” he says. “I just love those moments and experiences so much that it definitely became a passion of mine.”

That lust for life can also be risky, and it was a life-threatening accident in Puerto Vallarta in April that led Guerrero to his new business endeavor.

“I tried to scale this windowsill and as soon as I let my feet go I just lost my grip,” Guerrero, 31, says. He fell two stories and woke up in a hospital in Mexico, but it wasn’t until he got back to the United States that he learned he had fractured his cheek and eye socket and broken his jaw. For the next eight weeks, Guerrero’s jaw was wired shut. With nothing to do but watch Netflix and browse the Internet, he took a crash course in e-commerce and launched festivibes.com in May.

With only a small scar on his cheek to remind him of his grisly injury, Guerrero says he’s focused on creating a business that taps into his wandering spirit. “It’s kind of given me freedom. I can run everything from my computer, and that allows me to maintain my adventurous lifestyle. That’s really me and what I represent.”

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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