Rosecliff Mansion
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Newport, RI – We were thrilled to read the recent Rhode Island Hospitality Association announcement with the names of the Stars of the Industry winners for 2018. This annual event recognizes the best and brightest members of the state’s tourism and hospitality industries. Several of our colleagues in Newport have been recognized and will receive their awards at the Stars of the Industry gala from 4-8 pm on Wednesday, November 28th at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI.

 

Tourism Employees of the Year include Raymond P. Roy (Preservation Society of Newport County); Cori McWilliams, Lindsay Chapin, and Samantha Rodrigues (all with Newport Hospitality, Inc., a DMC Network Company); and Alex Hurd and Natalie Manning (Discover Newport). The 2018 Emerging Star is Meghan O’Neil of the Preservation Society of Newport County. Woman of the Year for 2018 is Trudy Coxe, Chief Executive Officer of the Preservation Society of Newport County. The 2018 Man of the Year is longtime Newport friend, Al Zannella, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Rhode Island Distributing Company.

 

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for all your many efforts to create and deliver a great Newport Experience for our visitors and guests.

 

 

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – BE OF GOOD CHEER

This is the start of the Thanksgiving, Christmas and holiday seasons.

It is traditionally known as the “season of good cheer.”

More than any time of the year, this is the season to begin each workday with a positive attitude and to strive to make each of our visitors and guests feel warmly welcomed. In addition to your natural passion for people, your smile and friendliness are the most important assets you can bring to your guide and greeting work.

You can make a positive difference in the lives of each of your guests and visitors.

So, share your passion and be of good cheer!

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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.  This is also 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.

 

Here is contact information for the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.

 

  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic mansions in Newport. Open year-round. They hire tour guides, housekeepers, and security guards. Check out their web site for current job openings.  Info: newportmansions.org
  • Newport Historical Society. This organization offers the largest variety and greatest number of walking tours in the city.  Tours offered year-round. Info: newporthistory.org
  • Newport Restoration Society. This non-profit operates Rough Point mansion (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Seasonal. Info: newportrestoration.org

 

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

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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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CHANGES & REMINDERS FROM THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF NEWPORT COUNTY

  • Rosecliff [548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport] is 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 will be offered Saturday, November 24th through Saturday, December 29th at the mansions.  
  • 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 NOVEMBER 11 – NEWPORT RESTAURANT WEEK

The great food and affordable pricing continues this week during the 12th annual Newport Restaurant Week, featuring more than 55 restaurants in greater Newport County. This is perfect for our visitors, with attractive pricing:  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/

 

NOW THROUGH THE END OF NOVEMBER — HAUNTED BRISTOL WALKING TOURS – BRISTOL, RI
Join this lantern-led walk in historic Bristol’s shadowy Lanes. Discover 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. 

 

NOW THROUGH FEBRUARY 3, 2019 — 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

 

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8 – 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: Adults: $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, NOVEMBER 9 – 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 10 – 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, NOVEMBER 10 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 1-2 PM

One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, Market Square. 1-2 pm. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10 — DAFFODILLION VOLUNTEER BULB PLANTING – CLIFF WALK @SEAVIEW AVENUE — 10 AM

Join this band of Daffy volunteers, led by John Hirschboeck, who have been planting daffodil bulbs all over the City of Newport during the past dozen years with the goal of having one million bulbs in the ground and blooming throughout our city. Bring your gloves, a shovel and a daffy attitude. Let John know you’re coming or ask questions at: daffodillion@cox.net

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11 – 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

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – CREATIVE SURVIVAL – 11:00 AM

Discover the early history of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free. This unique tour looks at the places where enslaved people lived and labored, along with locations where free people built their enterprises and supported a new local industry. It concludes in the country’s oldest intact African-American graveyard, “God’s Little Acre,” in the Common Burying Ground. Tour departs from the Museum of Newport History & Shop (127 Thames Street, Newport). Tickets: $20. Members: $15. Military with ID: $15. Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.org

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – REDCOATS AT THE REDWOOD – 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The British are returning to Newport! Visitors to the Redwood Library & Athenæum will step into 1778 Rhode Island during Redcoats at the Redwood: A 1778 Living History Event as over 20 costumed interpreters recreate life in Newport during the height of the British occupation. Presented in partnership with the Newport Historical Society. The Redwood Library & Athenæum is located at 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the building. Admission is free, donations are welcome.  Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.org

 

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS — NOVEMBER 23 – DECEMBER 29 – HOLIDAY LANTERN TOURS — 4:00 PM

One of those most interesting and inspiring Newport walking tours!  Guests hear the history of early American holiday traditions on this memorable evening walk. Learn how Newporters did, or did not, observe the holidays.

Tour departs from The Museum of Newport History and Shop (127 Thames Street, Newport). Tickets: $15. Members: $10. Active Duty Military with ID: $10. Reservations recommended. Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.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

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23 — CITY OF NEWPORT ILLUMINATED BOAT PARADE

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

 

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

This annual event ushers in the season of joy and good cheer. Friday, November 23; 10 AM -8 PM.  Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 — BOWEN’S WHARF 48TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING –– 4:00 PM

It’s not Christmas in Newport without the official lighting of the Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree. Come and join the community for fun, music, shopping, and more.  Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE — 3:00- 5:00 PM

Newport Historical Society’s annual Holiday Open House takes place at the 1739 Colony House on Washington Square. Costumed interpreters will sing hymns that were sung in colonial Newport. Guests are encouraged to sing along. Lyric sheets will be provided. Christmas in Newport’s official Opening Ceremony and tree lighting will take place in Washington Square following the Open House. Admission: Free. Donations welcome.  Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistory.org

 

DECEMBER 1, 8, 15 & 27 — A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – DORIS DUKE’S ROUGH POINT

Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday while others will be cloaked in their winter coverings. Together, these spaces tell the story of Doris’s holiday traditions and the off-season routines of one of Newport’s most famous summer cottages. Hours: 10 am – 4 pm. Admission: $10, adults; Children 12 and under, free. Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org/events

 

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

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

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 — THE BROADWAY HOLIDAY WALK-ABOUT – LOCAL BROADWAY DISTRICT

This annual shopping and strolling event will be held on Sunday, December 9th from 11 am – 4:30 pm on Broadway in Newport. Enjoy local restaurants and merchants all along this vital district. Sponsored by the Broadway Business Association. Info: facebook.com/broadwaynewport/

 

FEBRUARY 15-24, 2019 — NEWPORT WINTER FESTIVAL

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/

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THREE 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.  

 

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.  

 

THE NEWPORT BRIDGE

This new book (2018) by James M. Ricci, offers a detailed history of the decades of proposals and planning leading up to the construction of the Newport Bridge. It is a history of great challenges, struggles and disappointments. And if you want to know more about the history of the building of this largest of all New England bridges, together with the details about the politics, financing, controversies, and design issues that needed to be resolved before it was completed, then this book is for you.  For the more casual history buff, tour guide, and everyone else, here are a few pertinent facts you can share with your visitors and guests.

 

This $61 million span opened on April 28, 1969. It took builders 3-1/2 years to complete. It eliminated the Jamestown-Newport ferry business and quickly increased the number of travelers and visitors arriving in Newport. More than one million cars crossed the bridge in its first 10 months.  Today the bridge averages 27,000 vehicles per day, and more than 11,000,000 per year. The bridge carries a four-lane highway (Rt. 138) and is 2.13 miles long; its main span is 1,600 feet. The center span at its highest point is 215 feet, 8 inches above the water. The bridge crosses over the east passage of Narragansett Bay and unites the islands of Conanicut (Jamestown) and Aquidneck (Newport).  The bridge was renamed The Pell Newport Bridge in 1992.

Book Info: The Newport Bridge by James M. Ricci. Published by The History Press (2018). $23.99

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PREPARE FOR THE BILL CUNNINGHAM EXHIBITION AT ROSECLIFF WITH THESE 3 BOOKS

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

 

Another recent (2017) book to check out is KNOW-IT-ALL FASHION: The 50 Key Modes, Garments & Designers, Each Explained in Under a Minute, edited by Rebecca Arnold. It has a brief but wonderful 4-page illustrated article about street photography with a focus on Bill Cunningham.  It’s succinct, but worth a look.

 

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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