Castle Hill Inn

Evan Smith, President and CEO of Discover Newport, recently predicted a busy Labor Day Weekend and was optimistic about Fall

Three key factors, he said, have led him to the projection.

“First, occupancy rates have been at or near capacity throughout the summer. Specifically, Newport’s lodging tax was up 36.5% in July over the same time last year and the food and beverage tax was up nearly 14% – these are very assuring figures,” said Smith.

“Second, gas prices are steadily declining and our destination is within driving distance of 10% of the U.S. population including key markets like New York, Philadelphia, Hartford, New Haven, Boston and points north.” Smith continued to say.

Smith concluded with “Lastly, we’re seeing a promising weather forecast which is critical for so many day trippers and weekend getaway travelers.”

ABC6 and many other outlets are running an Associated Press Story that claims Newport Business Owners Report Strong Tourist Season.

A lot of attention on how businesses did this summer comes from the worry by many of what would be lost after the sale of the Newport Yachting Center and some hoped the success of the Volvo Ocean Race in May would carry through until late summer.

We’ve heard from several Newport business owners on Facebook after posting this story that argue with the idea that was a busy summer; one business owner commenting “It was the worst summer I ever had”, and another with “I’m at least 40% down from last year”.

We’ve also heard that it was a great, memorable and very successful summer by others.

Obviously different businesses will see different success and different results; we want to know what you thought of the “2015 Summer Season” here in Newport.

Summer for some is Memorial Day to Labor Day, and technically it is June 21  – September 23, 2015.

[socialpoll id=”[socialpoll id=”2293645″]”]

Evan Smith is also optimistic about the upcoming Fall;

“We’re equally optimistic about the early fall travel outlook,” added Smith. “Autumn traditionally welcomes a significant amount of visitors including an increase in international travelers as well as thousands of motor coaches and cruise ship passengers. It is also the time of year we see a surge in meetings and conventions; a critical component of tourism business. We look forward to welcoming all of these visitors to our destination during what we believe is one of the most spectacular times of the year.”

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...