October 2019 Member of the Month – Nicole Carlson of Green Mountain Railroad
Nicole Carlson of Green Mountain Railroad was recently selected as the October 2019 Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (OVRCC) Member of the Month. In addition to serving on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Nicole coordinates the annual “Night on the Rails” Fall foliage train excursion from the Chester Depot for chamber members.
Nicole is the Manager of Passenger Services, a division of Green Mountain Railroad which has been owned by her family since the 1960’s. Green Mountain Rail is also part of the Vermont Rail Systems. Based in Burlington, Green Mountain Railroad has been operating passenger services in Okemo Valley since the 1980’s. Passenger services offers seasonal passenger rail excursions from May to October for visitors and locals. They also offer special holiday trains, fundraising events hosted by non-profits, weddings and other special private events.
The best feature of the business is that trains are timeless and everyone loves them! Also there are few other activities that connect different generations.
When asked what most people would find surprising about Green Mountain Railroad, Nicole mentioned that many people don’t realize it is a family owned business and that she is a member of that family! Also many folks don’t realize that the parent company, the Vermont Rail Systems, owns over 350 miles of track in Vermont and the variety of products that are shipped into the state by rail.
The biggest challenge her business faces is meeting all customer expectations so everyone is happy. They have limited resources that can be brought onto a moving train! Another challenge is air conditioning in the summer months on rail coaches from the 1930’s.
Nicole is hoping the future of Green Mountain Rail in Okemo Valley will include more passenger rail services based out of Ludlow in addition to Chester, expanding winter & year round operations and building a partnership with Okemo Mountain/Vail Resorts.
She believes the benefit of membership in the Okemo Valley chamber is allowing her an opportunity to be active in the community, how the chamber helps to create a greater sense of community within the region and proudly sharing info about the Okemo Valley when she is away at trade shows.
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