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The Bit Players

There is no other city in the world like Newport.

You already know there is plenty to promote here.

With the last of the cruise ships visiting our port, the beginning of the season of Thanksgiving, the wonderful colors of fall leaves, and the change in the weather, there will be lots of returning visitors and first-time guests. Look for local music and entertainment all around the city.  Check the listings on WhatsUpNewp.com for places and times.

Let’s keep making new friends for the Newport Experience.

And as always,

Keep doing what you do to help our visitors enjoy every moment!

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TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – BE PROACTIVE

Becoming proactive, that is, taking initiative with helping your guests and visitors, begins with thinking about their needs and understanding all the options we have available.

In your work position as a tour guide, greeter, manager, or support person, you will be seen by most guests as the “expert” and “local resource” about all things Newport. They are expecting you to know everything!  Of course, we know that is optimistic at best. Nevertheless, we can teach ourselves to think like a visitor and consider each of the main needs they will have during their visit to our city, such as food, dining, lodging, parking, repair services, and recommendations of other places to visit in our area.

Knowing as much as possible about the many options available to visitors is your responsibility. The more you know, the more you will have to offer when a guest asks for your recommendations about where to eat, where to park, where else they should visit, how to get to other historic sites, and more. And of course, the more you know, the more confidence you will have about making solid recommendations to your guests.

BOTTOM LINE: As you become more experienced and knowledgeable, you will be better able to anticipate and deliver the ideas, information, and suggestions that will improve each visitors’ experience in our “City-by-the-Sea.”

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REMEMBER TO KEEP LEARNING

Learn as much as you can about our city and know about upcoming events, concerts, and schedules of our many museums, attractions, restaurants, and historic sites.  Be sure to review the following updated listings and previews of the activities and events scheduled for the coming season for both residents and visitors alike.

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JOB OPENINGS

There are still a few current openings for work at the city’s historic attractions, including tour guides, cashiers, security personnel, and ticket sellers.

However, this is a great time to start making connections and seeking employment for next year. Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round. Get a jump on the crowd and apply now for 2019 harbor cruises, walking tour guides, trolley driver/guides, and cruise ship bus step-on guide work.

For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.

  • Preservation Society of Newport County, Associate Tour Guide. Part-time. Work as a Tour Guide within the audio tour house museums (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff and The Elms). Audio guides are responsible for providing excellent customer service, assisting visitors in way-finding on tours, learning about our house museums and the families who owned those houses, providing information to visitors and contributing to the overall quality of the visitor’s experience. Info: newportmansions.org

 

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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.

  • Sunday, November 4 – M/V Silver Spirit, from Silver Sea Cruises
  • Monday, November 5 – M/V 7 Seas Navigator, from Regent Cruise Line

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UPDATES FROM THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF NEWPORT COUNTY

  • Additional tours have been added to the daily schedule for both the Beneath The Breakers tour at The Breakers, and the Servant Life Tour at The Elms. Tickets and reservations are available for both tours online at newportmansions.org.
  • As of November 4, all of the Society’s house museums will close at 5:00 pm.
  • Rosecliff [548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport] will be closed for tours from November 5 – December 1st.
  • Chateau sur Mer [474 Bellevue Avenue, Newport] closes for the season on Friday, November 16th.
  • Holiday evenings with musical entertainment at the mansions begin on Saturday, November 24th through Saturday, December 29th.
  • Updates and schedules available at www.newportmansions.org.

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.

NOW THROUGH THE END OF NOVEMBER — HAUNTED BRISTOL WALKING TOURS – BRISTOL, RI
Join this lantern-led walk in historic Bristol’s shadowy Lanes. Discovered Legends, native Indian fables, court trials and scandalous stories. Tours depart every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 at Bristol Commons State House, 240 High Street. Tours run between 60 and 80 minutes. And reservations MUST be made. Tickets are $15 and reservations are made through 401/286-1209. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Tours will be running every Friday and Saturday night till the end of November. 

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – AUTHOR JAY DOLIN & HIS BOOK ABOUT THE MOST NOTORIOUS PIRATES

A new book, “Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates,” will be discussed by author Jay Dolin, followed by a book signing.  5:30 -6:30 PM. Newport Historical Society, 82 Touro Street, Newport. Tickets $1 – $5. RSVP, 401/841-8770, or newporthistory.org.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – 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

NOVEMBER 2-11 – NEWPORT RESTAURANT WEEK

This is the 12th year for this annual event, featuring more than 55 restaurants in greater Newport County. This is perfect for our visitors, with great prices:  Two-course prix fixe lunches for $20; Three-course prix fixe dinners for $35; and a generous selection of three-course “premier menu” prix fixe dinners for $50.  Complete information and menus at discovernewport.org/newport-restaurant-week/

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 – 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 – pirates, criminals, and more — leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – 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

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – 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

“PORSCHE THEN & NOW” – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM

The Porsche is one of the most amazing automobile stories of the 20th & 21st centuries. Check out this exhibit and learn about the history and current leadership of this brand.  Open daily, 10 am – 4 pm. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420. Audrainautomuseum.org

PREVIEW OF WINTER IN NEWPORT

CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS – NOVEMBER 17, 2018 – JANUARY 1, 2019

Christmas Season begins in November at the four big houses of the Preservation Society. Christmas flowers and special decorations will fill The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House, and Rosecliff. Special holiday evenings are scheduled at the Breakers on November 24, December 1, 8, 22, and 29th from 6-8 pm. The Ems and Marble House Duet holiday evening is scheduled for December 15th from 6-9 pm. Info: newportmansions.org

CITY OF NEWPORT ILLUMINATED BOAT PARADE – November 23

Takes place in Newport Harbor, Newport. Info: 401/845-5815

HOLIDAYS BY THE SEA BLOCK PARTY & HOLIDAY STROLL KICK OFF – NOVEMBER 23 — BOWEN’S WHARF

This annual event ushers in the season of joy and good cheer. 4-8- PM. Bowen’s Wharf.  Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com

NEWPORT WINTER FESTIVAL – FEBRUARY 15-24, 2019

Check out the 31st Annual Newport Winter Festival, touted as “New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza.” the annual Winter Festival will take place throughout Newport and Newport County. It features over 150 events and offers our guests and visitors a unique winter experience combining food, festivities, music, and fun for all ages. Highlighted events include the Family Fun Days, Chili Cook-Off, Mac & Cheese Smackdown, Princess Party and exciting, fun concerts by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitudes and more!  Updates and more information: https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/event/newport-winter-festival/39329/

NEW EXHIBIT AT ROSECLIFF – BILL CUNNINGHAM: FACADES — OPENS DECEMBER 2, 2018

This new exhibit arrives at Rosecliff, December 2, 2018 through March 1, 2019. Celebrating the creative intersection of fashion and architecture through the lens of a visionary photographer, this exhibition explores Cunningham’s project documenting the architectural riches and fashion history of Newport York City.  Info: newportmansions.org

FOUR CURRENT EXHIBITS & TOURS NOT TO BE MISSED

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS :: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!

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 now offered 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 – NEWPORT RESTORATION FOUNDATION’S 50th ANNIVERSARY

The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) is celebrating 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 has been 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

This is the final week to catch this one-of-a-kind exhibit at the Galleries at Rosecliff, called “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. Now open daily through November 4th. 9am until 5pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR  :: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is scheduled daily.  Tours are now offered 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

PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES

The very best leaders, guides, and managers of historic sites, mansions, and tour companies read constantly to know the most about the places they work and to learn the latest research about the history, artwork, and artifacts of the places they talk about to their guests. Tour Guides & Greeters should be aware of this online app. Best of all, it’s free!

RHODETOUR.ORG

Broaden your knowledge of Rhode Island history with this free app. Rhode Tour is a statewide mobile historical smart phone application. It offers captivating places, intriguing people, and exciting events that are all part of Rhode Island’s history. Rhode Tour offers a new way to interact with these untold tales of the state’s past. Using stories, sounds, and images, history comes alive on Rhode Tour.  The site offers more than 200 stories of food, culture, community from throughout the state’s 39 cities and towns. Download the app for your smart phone at the iPhone App Store or Google Play. A website version is also available at rhodetour.org.

PREPARE FOR THE BILL CUNNINGHAM EXHIBITION AT ROSECLIFF WITH THESE 2 BOOKS

There are currently two books, just published this year, you can read now to get an insight into the life and careers of photographer and hat maker, Bill Cunningham. Check out, FASHION CLIMBING, by Bill Cunningham. Also, look for POLKA DOT PARADE: A BOOK ABOUT BILL CUNNINGHAM, by Deborah Blumenthal.

AND ONE MORE

HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS

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.

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SUGGESTIONS & REVISIONS REQUESTED FOR THE 2019 EDITION OF THE

NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK

I am now updating and editing changes and revisions to the content of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook to prepare for publication of THE OFFICIAL 2019 NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK.

If you or your organization has updated phone, numbers, web sites, social media pages, job opportunities, special events scheduled, or other information that would be helpful to the current and future corps of tour guides, greeters, and volunteers working in the Greater Newport County tourism and hospitality industries, please send them to me directly at kennethproudfoot@hotmail.com; or by mail to Kenneth Proudfoot, P.O. Box 231, Newport, RI 02840.  Thank you!

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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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