Newport Tour Guides & Greeters News – #35: Labor Day Weekend and August 2018 Wrap-Up

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Chris Electric

It has been a wonderfully busy summer!  Now we come to wrap up the hot days of August and celebrate Labor Day Weekend in the City-by-the-Sea. There are still a few sailboat races ahead and the rush of tour buses crossing the bridge.

 

It is not the end so much as it is the end of the beginning and a nice prelude to a much anticipated Autumn. After a week of hot and humid weather, we’re welcoming a cooling trend – a few degrees less — this weekend.  It should still be good weather for bottled water sales. The air-conditioned properties may continue to see a jump in their visitor numbers.

 

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WELCOME AUTUMN!

School children return to their hot classrooms and the big fall cruise ship season resumes in earnest.  

 

In the meantime, stay cool, have fun, and enjoy the coming week!

 

 

TOUR GUIDE TIP OF THE WEEK: THINK COOL AND YOU’LL BE COOL

 

The past couple weeks’ humid weather have been a big challenge to guides and guests alike. As the first person your visitors see when they arrive at your property or board your vessel, you get to help set the tone and mood for their visit.  It’s easy to let the humidity and heat negatively affect your enthusiasm and energy. For our guests and visitors, it is human nature to commiserate with others’ misery, including ours. The best remedy? Be enthusiastic and think “cool.” It’s the oldest mental trick in the book, an exercise in mind over matter.  If you can imagine cool — snow falling, a cold arctic wind in your face, or the tingling of icy fingers — you will quickly find yourself feeling cooler. And your “mental coolness” will be picked up by your guests. Maybe not ALL your guests, but enough to improve the quality of their visit, at least until this summer heat wave ends.  Try it today — THINK COOL!

 

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JOB OPENINGS

 

A number of the historic mansions have been short staffed this past week. Today would be a good day to apply for one of the available tour guide positions. There are still other job openings, mostly seasonal, available in the Newport area as we wind up the second half of summer.

The big job fair of the fall season for the Preservation Society of Newport County will be held at their new Breakers Welcome Center on Wednesday, September 5th from 3-6 pm.  Jobs will be available in all departments. Info: www.newportmansions.org

  

Also keep your eyes open for new openings with the “end-of-summer turnover” as college students grab a short break before they head back to campus. Several of last week’s listings continue this week:

 

  • Narrate Motor Coach Tours for cruise ship passengers arriving this fall in Newport. Destinations North America. Forward a current resume to joanne@destinationsna.com, or fax it to: 305/397-2748.
  • Ticket Sales & Customer Service, Gansett Cruises. $11-$15/hour, part-time. Seasonal through October. Flexible hours. Apply through Indeed.com. Info: 401/787-4438. gansettcruises.com  
  • Newport Mansions Tour Guides – Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC). Tour Guides work in PSNC audio tour house museums (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff and The Elms). Tour guides work a flexible schedule up to 30 hours per week. One weekend day is required. PSNC recruits year-round.  Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
  • Tour Guide & Pedicab Driver. Known locally as “The coolest job in the world.” This is a unique way to give tours and run your own business plus get lots of exercise. Make $500-$1,000 per week. Rent a Pedicab and give your guests a custom tour of the City-by-the-Sea. Info: www.newportpedicab.com/drivers

 

HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES

If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city.  It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here. Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the season.

 

REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.

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NEW LISTINGS AND EVENTS: For more information to prepare you to be the best tour guide & greeter ever, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.

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CRUISE SHIPS ARRIVING

Stay up-to-date and aware of the weekly arrival of cruise ships to Newport and the thousands of visitors they bring to our fair city.  Here is a list of the upcoming arrivals, courtesy of Discover Newport.

 

  • Thursday, August 30 – M/V American Star, from American Cruise Lines
  • Saturday, September 1 – M/V Symphony, from Crystal Cruises
  • Tuesday, September 4 – M/V Insignia, from Oceania Cruise Line
  • Thursday, September 6 – M/V American Star, from American Cruise Lines
  • Friday, September 7 – M/V Victory 2, from Victory Cruise Lines
  • Friday, September 7 – M/V American Constellation, from American Cruise Lines

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UPCOMING REGATTAS & RACES

Throughout the summer, Newport features a sailboat race and/or a regatta every week. These are free events, best observed from a chase boat, or from the shore overlooking Narragansett Bay. Tell your guests and visitors to enjoy this most classic Newport sporting event in our seaside community. Here are some of our upcoming races:

 

  • Thursday – J/24 Fleet 50 – Hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club
  • Friday – Thistle Fleet 169 – Hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club
  • Sunday, September 2 – Around the Island Race, an 18-mile race around Conanicut Island [Jamestown]. This marks the event’s 91st annual race. Info: conanicutyachtclub.org

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SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK

Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, tours, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 30 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

This is one of several wonderful walking tours offered throughout the year by the Newport Historical Society. This tour features stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period. Tickets $15; Children $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org  

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – REDWOOD BOOK SALE – 10 AM – 5 PM

Big sale on an amazing selection of nonfiction books, fiction books, CDs, and DVDs.  A preview of the sale takes place Thursday, August 30th ($5 admission) for early bird book buyers. Sale runs through Sunday, September 2. At Redwood Library [50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport] Info: 401/847-0292; redwoodlibrary.org

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour offers stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period.  The tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – 5:00 PM

This week’s match features U.S. vs. ENGLAND. Check out the excitement of Newport Polo and tell your equine-loving guests.  Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth. 5 pm. Tickets to the match ($15 for General Admission; 15-and-under free; $25 for Pavilion seating) and to the après polo field-side dinner are available at www.nptpolo.com or 401/846-0200.

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 – FOUR ENDURING FAITHS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

This is the final tour for this season. EVERY tour guide and greeter NEEDS to take this tour!  It is full of history, amazing architecture, culture, religion, and powerful stories of the people who helped create some of our enduring legacy. This half-mile escorted tour begins at Touro Synagogue (72 Touro Street) and includes tours of Trinity Church, Newport Congregational Church, and Channing Memorial Church. Tour: $10-$20. Info: 4faiths.org

 

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 – RETURN TO CAMELOT – ST. MARY’S CHURCH – 2-3 PM

Each Tuesday, through October 23rd, St. Mary’s Church (80 Memorial Boulevard, Newport) hosts this remembrance of the wedding of future President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953. The program features vintage film clips, performance of music from their church wedding and reception at Hammersmith Farm, and recollections by Jackie’s stepbrother, Yusha Auchincloss, and other local Newporters. Fee: $15. Info: stmarynewport.org/return-to-camelot.

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM ANNUAL GALA – OCHRE COURT

This is the museum’s Annual Gala, Come One, Come All: Vintage Circus, in partnership with Louis Vuitton, to be held at Salve Regina University’s historic Ochre Court on Friday, August 31st at 6:30PM. Guests will be greeted on the Midway by over different circus acts, featuring seasoned performers from such famed companies as Cirque de Soleil, Ringling Brothers, and Big Apple Circus. Aerial silk acts, contortionists, tightrope walkers, fire breathers, jugglers, and more will astound and amaze guests as they enjoy cocktails and spectacular cars from the Museum’s collections. David B. Ford continues as chair of the event, alongside the evening’s entertainment, renowned comedian, Tonight Show host, and celebrated car enthusiast, Jay Leno, as well as writer, appraiser, and TV personality Don Osborne. Tickets: $1,000 and $2,000. Get more information at: audrainautomuseum.org

TWO SITES TO VISIT BEFORE LABOR DAY

NOW THROUGH LABOR DAY – BREAKERS STABLE – OPEN DAILY 10 AM – 5 PM

The Breakers Stable & Carriage House (53 Coggeshall Avenue, Newport) is now open for the season!  This 15,000 square foot carriage house and stable complex was designed by Richard Morris Hunt and was an important part of the life of the Vanderbilt family and their staff beginning in 1895. The structure is located ½ mile from the Breakers. The Stable features a display of 18 carriages and two coaches, clothing and harnesses from that time period, an extensive exhibition on the New York Central Railroad, 26 tie stalls, and two box stalls. Outside flower gardens and the original greenhouses from the Breakers property are located behind the Stable. The Breakers Stable & Carriage House admission is included with any ticket to the Newport Mansions®. Hours are 10 am until 5 pm daily. Info: newportmansions.org


NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16, 2018 – REDWOOD LIBRARY & ATHENAEUM – NEW EXHIBIT

Check out the current exhibit, “Modernity vs Tradition: Art at the Parisian Salon 1750-1900.” 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: redwoodlibrary.org or 401/847-0292.

 

PREVIEW OF AUTUMN IN NEWPORT

 

NEWPORT SECRET GARDEN TOURS – SEPTEMBER 7-9

Here’s one of Newport’s great events to share with your guests to encourage them to return here after the busy summer season. The September Newport Secret Garden Tours will offer ten incredible private gardens for the public to visit and enjoy. This self-guided tour program will raise funds for the Art Education programs in the island’s public schools. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.secretgardens.org for a discounted rate of $20.

 

NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW – SEPTEMBER 13-16

The Newport International Boat Show encompasses thirteen acres of Newport’s downtown waterfront. Exhibitors from near and far offer a full range of new powerboats and sailboats, plus a medley of marine products, services and accessories to enhance the nautical lifestyle. Special events, seminars, and in-water boating courses for the whole family are offered on all show days. Not to be missed is the exciting Newport For New Products program – showcasing boats and boating products making their first-ever debut in the United States.  Newport Yachting Center, 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport.  More information: http://newportboatshow.com/

 

NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL – SEPTEMBER 20-23

This festival features a world-class variety of tastings, seminars, and events over a four-day weekend. Held at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House.  Tickets & more information: http://www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival/tickets-events

 

SAIL FOR HOPE 2018 – SEPTEMBER 29

This marks the 17th anniversary of this sailboat race around Jamestown. This year’s race will raise funds for Hurricane Relief (Harvey, Irma, Maria), Warrior Sailing Program, and the Tad Sanchez Youth Sailing Program at Sail Newport. To date, over $1,000,000 has been raised for various charities.  Info at Sail Newport:  401/846-1983.

 

BOWEN’S WHARF SEAFOOD FESTIVAL – OCTOBER 13-14

11 am – 5pm. Free event. Honoring the harvest of the sea, this Festival offers fresh local seafood, continuous live music and family fun. Bowen’s Wharf, Newport.  More Information: http://www.bowenswharf.com/events

 

CURRENT EXHIBITS & TOURS NOT TO BE MISSED

 

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, The Elms’ now world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” added two additional daily tour times to meet demand during the summer months.  Tours are offered every hour on the half hour, at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

VISIT ROUGH POINT IN 2018 – NRF’s 50th ANNIVERSARY

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions at historic Rough Point mansion, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org), are: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,” and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” This is a collaboration between NRF and David Webb New York, jewelry designer to Duke and many other prominent figures from 1948 to the present.  Rough Point will be open for tours through November 11th. Don’t miss this amazing home.  

 

OSCAR WILDE & THE BOHEMIAN MOVEMENT AS YOU’VE NEVER IMAGINED THEM

Go visit the newest exhibit at the Galleries at Rosecliff, Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport.  Preservation Society Curator Ashley Householder has gathered a breathtaking collection of furniture, ceramics, wallpaper, clothing, accessories, and ephemera about the aesthetic movement (1870-1890) and the era’s major promoter, Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). The colors, patterns, and shapes of this “art for art’s sake” movement and the influence of Irish writer, playwright, and impresario Wilde will whisk you away to another time. Go and see this unique and truly wonderful exhibit. Open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org

 

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” has a new regular daily schedule. Tours are offered every hour on the half hour, at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm.  Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

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KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).  

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