Purchases of materials and supplies for trains, vessels, and property are done through Connecticut based suppliers to the greatest extent possible. 60% of our vendors are based in Connecticut, while 26% are vendors local to our railroad from Old Saybrook to Middletown, including adjacent towns of Westbrook, Old Lyme, Hadlyme and East Haddam.
- An overwhelmingly Connecticut-based workforce currently totaling 419 full and part-time staff (5/2018)
- 64% of employees (nearly all of the full-time staff) reside in communities through which we operate, or are immediately adjacent.
- 10-year continued growth in employment amidst statewide employment challenges
- Growth and expansion with the acquisition of Lady Katherine Cruises, bringing additional tourists to Haddam, Middletown, and Hartford landing sites.
- Creating a broader scope of tourism opportunities in the Connecticut River Valley.
- Almost exclusively Connecticut-based employment of musicians and performers for over 50 yearly special events.
- Quality attractions such as ESTR and LKC keep Connecticut tourism and entertainment dollars in-state while attracting out-of-state consumers who bring money into CT.
- Each tourism dollar spent at a venue generates an additional $3.00 of State economic activity.
- We work with other local attractions on market sharing, boots on the ground spending – e.g. – Haddam Swing Bridge Special, Concert Trains, Gillette Castle Connection, event space rental in River Valley Junction, free concerts, etc. These collaborations showcase the region and promote return visits for increased spending and patronage to multiple attractions, hotels, restaurants, shops, and businesses.
- State Property Leases with full responsibility for all capital upkeep.
- All capital improvements become the property of the State of Connecticut.
- We do not receive any direct funding from the State of Connecticut.
Unlike other State Park properties, The Valley Railroad Company expanded through the Great Recession and has not had services reduced or depleted during State budget cuts. By growing through recessive times, the positive economic impact of ESTR operations has continuously had a positive impact on the local economies.