Clear blue skies, sharp bright sunshine, and a fleet of sailboats gliding over an endless Narragansett Bay awaits the hundreds of thousands of visitors who will arrive in our City-by-the-Sea during the next ten weeks! We’ll need all hands on deck, from the visitor information center to the hotels, museums, mansions, and the wide range of retail and dining establishments, to provide an enthusiastic Newport welcome to all these people. Let’s go!
TOUR GUIDE TIP OF THE WEEK – THE POWER OF A SMILE
In the famous Broadway musical, Annie declared that, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile.” She was right in more ways than one.
The power of a smile cannot be underestimated. Every day this summer you may be the first person our visitors see as they enter our city or arrive at the entrance to one of our historic mansions or museums. Your smile has the power to set a positive tone for each visitor’s experience in the City-by-the-Sea. Try to make the act of smiling as natural as possible. If you are not a person who smiles naturally, then practice in front of mirror. Use the power of your smile to welcome your guests and visitors to have a great time in Newport and take home lifelong memories.
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.
There are still many job openings available for the busy summer season in Newport. A few listings follow.
- Tour Guide & Pedicab Driver. Known 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
- Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) is seeking Visitor Services Associates to serve as Front Gate Greeters at this property owned by the Newport Restoration Foundation. To apply, please submit a résumé to email@example.com.
- Sightsailing of Newport accepts applications for its jobs year round. Check their web site for guidance on applying for sailing jobs, front desk staff, and office positions at Sightsailing.com/employment.
- Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic properties offering audio and guided tours in Newport. A variety of positions are available. They recruit year-round. Check their web site on a regular basis for the latest job openings. www.newportmansions.org.
- Belcourt of Newport (657 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) is currently seeking part-time tour guides. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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.
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 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
JULY 4-22, 2018 – NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL
This annual music festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary this summer. A number of special guests and new experiences for the audiences will be included among the festival’s summer season. Performance sites include The Breakers and the Newport Art Museum. More information, schedules, and tickets are available at newportmusic.org. Box Office: 401/849-0700.
THURSDAY, JULY 5 – 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, JULY 6 – 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
MONDAY, JULY 9 – NEWPORT GULLS COLLEGIATE BASEBALL – CARDINES FIELD – – 6:35 PM
Your baseball-loving guests and visitors will love a trip back to a ball game in a historic stadium. Tonight’s game is against the Ocean State Waves, with the first pitch at 6:35 pm. A night at historic Cardines Field (20 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) is a inexpensive night out for a family. Ticket prices are reasonable at $1-$5 per person. Information & Tickets: www.newportgulls.pointstreaksites.com
SATURDAY, JULY 7 – 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, JULY 7 – NEWPORT REGATTA®
This 2018 edition is the 34th running of Sail Newport’s signature annual event. This is one in a weekly series of races to be held here throughout the summer on Narragansett Bay. Hosted by Sail Newport. Info: 401/846-1983.
SATURDAY, JULY 7 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO – 5:00 PM
This week’s match features USA vs ITALY. 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.
SUNDAY, JULY 8 – 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
THURSDAY, JULY 12-15 – NEWPORT-SHIMODA SISTER CITY CELEBRATION – NEWPORT
This event marks the 60th anniversary of the twinning of Newport and Shimoda, Japan and the 35th celebration of the black ships in Newport. This annual event is a cultural exchange that celebrates the City’s relationship to the people of Shimoda with a foundation that includes an alliance that bonds our municipalities as well as United States Navy. Most events are free and open to the public with a focus on engaging a person-to- person exchange with our Sister City to commemorating the historic accomplishments of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, USN, a native son of Newport, RI. The festival celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Kanagawa in 1854 that ended the centuries of Japanese isolationism bringing the two countries together as trading partners and creating a safe harbor for sailors. Schedule and information: https://www.discovernewport.org/event/newport-shimoda-black-ships-celebration/64263/
THURSDAY, JULY 12 – WHITEHORNE HOUSE MUSEUM OPEN HOUSE – 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
The Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF) is hosting its second free open house of this wonderful museum at 416 Lower Thames Street (Newport), from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Come and explore the collection of 18th-century Newport furniture for the first time or come back to hear about NRF plans for the revitalization. The museum’s charming pocket garden will also be open for wandering. Info: 401/847–8344
FRIDAY, JULY 13-15 – 35TH BLACKSHIPS FESTIVAL – BRISTOL, RI
This year’s Black Ships Festival will be held at Independence Park in Bristol and at the Herreshoff Museum’s waterside tent. This event, hosted by the Japan-America Society, celebrates the friendship between Japan and America. It offers a variety of events emphasizing both Japanese art and culture. More Info: http://www.blackshipsfestival.com/
JULY 14-15 – NEWPORT KITE FESTIVAL AT BRENTON POINT STATE PARK
Kite enthusiasts of every type are encouraged to go Brenton Point State park for this annual event. Located on Ocean Drive, Newport. Info: newportkitefestival.com
JULY 14 – GREEN ANIMALS CHILDREN’S PARTY – GREEN ANIMALS – PORTSMOUTH, RI
This annual party for children marks the middle of summer. Mark your calendars for this fun event for children of all ages and stay tuned for more details. Info: newportmansions.org
JULY 15-22 – DELL TECHNOLOGIES HALL OF FAME OPEN – INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME
Just after Wimbledon each year, top ATP World Tour pros head to Newport to compete in the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open, the first stop of the summer swing for pro tennis in the United States. Contested on the historic grass tennis courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, this event offers the only opportunity to see professional men’s tennis in the Northeast prior to the US Open. Tickets and information: tennisfame.com
SUNDAY, JULY 21 – THE FRENCH IN 18TH CENTURY NEWPORT TOUR
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Tour begins at the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org
JULY 27-29 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS
This is the big folk festival of the summer. A number of other events surround this 3-day weekend. Location: Fort Adams, Newport, RI. Tickets: email@example.com
JULY 28-29, 2018 – THE NEWPORT SHOW
The annual Newport Antiques Show has a new name this year, The Newport Show. This luxury show will, as it has since 2007, feature antique furniture, fine art, jewelry, and unique vintage items from more than 40 dealers. Watch for more details about this show in the coming months. The Newport Show will again be held at the St. George’s School Ice Rink, 375 Purgatory Road, Middletown, RI, and will run July 28 and 29, 2018. Updates at www.TheNewportShow.com. Proceeds benefit the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County.
COMING SUMMER EVENTS: AUGUST
Share these dates and events with your guests and visitors. Sell and promote our future activities and invite everyone to return here again and again.
AUGUST 3, 2018 – NEWPORT POLO MIDNIGHT IN MARRAKESH GALA – 7:00 PM
Newport’s polo season will reach its social climax this evening with the 18th annual International Polo Charity Ball, Midnight in Marrakesh, hosted by the Newport Polo Club at Rosecliff on Bellevue Avenue. Tickets and information at: nptpolo.com
AUGUST 3-5, 2018 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS
This is the big festival everyone asks about. May already be sold out, but keep the dates in mind for those who ask. Location: Fort Adams, Newport, RI. Tickets and more information: http://www.newportjazz.org/
AUGUST 16-19, 2018 – A WEEKEND OF COACHING
Every three years, aficionados of horse-drawn 19th century road coaches gather in Newport for a big summer Weekend of Coaching. This year marks the third year since the last event. During the weekend of August 16-19, 2018 the Preservation Society of Newport County will host the biggest Weekend of Coaching ever. The weekend will feature driving exhibitions, viewing of the historic coaches as they drive around the streets of Newport, and tickets to a formal dinner dance at the Breakers on Saturday, August 18th. The weekend is led by Honorary Chair Linda Lindh with co-chairs Kenneth Lindh and Beverly Little. Ted Eayrs is the Chair of Coaching. Event updates and ticket information is available at www.newportmansions.org/events/a-weekend-of-coaching
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 – THE BRITISH OCCUPATION OF NEWPORT TOUR
Info and reservations: newporthistorytours.org
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 – DRIVING EXHIBITION -– 10:30 AM – THE ELMS
This free event, part of the Weekend of Coaching, will take place on the grounds of The Elms (367 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). It will feature many of the coaches and their drivers who are part of the weekend celebration of this unique and historic sporting tradition. More Information: NewportMansions.org
FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM ANNUAL GALA – OCHRE COURT
This event will feature Jay Leno as the key speaker. Get more information at: audrainautomuseum.org
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
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
NEW EXHIBIT OF PORTRAITS AT THE ELMS
Four portraits by artist Elizabeth Colomba are currently being exhibited in the second floor sitting room of The Elms (1901) through September 3, 2018, in collaboration between The Preservation Society of Newport County and ART&NEWPORT, an organization dedicated to developing and hosting citywide visual arts presentations.
Curated by ART&NEWPORT founder Dodie Kazanjian in collaboration with the Preservation Society’s Curator of Exhibitions Ashley Householder, Elizabeth Colomba: Four Seasons consists of four large framed portraits, painted between 2012 and 2018, in which the seasons are depicted as an allegory of womanhood. The figures are nearly life-sized so that the viewer is confronted with the power and beauty of each woman. The portraits are installed in the second floor sitting room of The Elms to be in conversation with historic portraits from the Preservation Society’s collection, all of which depict white women of means.
The sitters are staged in lavish settings – not unlike the room in which the works are hung – and they are serene in their environments, much like the ones permanently on view there. As visitors make their way through the house, they will encounter these paintings in the sitting room and learn more about them through a special stop on their audio tour. The installation is included in regular admission to The Elms. More info on this exhibition: 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
SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS
At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” has also added tours to their 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. The 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.
Here is a recent book to read, learn from, and share.
THE HEART OF HOSPITALITY: Great Hotel & Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets. By Micah Solomon. New York: SelectBooks, Inc. 2016. I have read this book twice over and found myself agreeing with its many lessons, tips, and genius ideas to improve hospitality quality. The author brings the best practices from the high-altitude worlds of Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons hotels. He adds the visionary concepts and food service of Nobu, Craft Restaurants, and Danny Meyer. Then he adds in the elements of scripting, digital technology, and the power of authenticity to bring together all of the many choices the modern tourist and hospitality property has to choose from to deliver memorable experiences. Micah Solomon begins with a thorough and important discussion of systems and standards to guide hospitality service along with the critical keys of the hiring process to get and retain the best employees. Sprinkled in among nine comprehensive chapters are nuggets and ideas for the reader to “steal” and apply to her business immediately. If you are a hospitality and/or tourism leader, or someday want to be, then buy this book, read it, highlight it, and apply its proven lesson s for greater success in exceeding your customers’ expectations. There is no other book quite like THE HEART OF HOSPITALITY.
KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).