Newport’s famed Cliff Walk accounts for over $90 million in direct, indirect and induced annual spending in the City, according to a recent study by the Cliff Walk Commission.

In 2015, the Cliff Walk Commission, in a desire to determine what economic impact visitors to the Cliff Walk have on the Rhode Island and Newport economies, commissioned survey design, data gathering and analyses to be undertaken by Salve Regina University. The study was coordinated by the Center for Business Outreach and involved students from an Introduction to Econometrics class led by Professor Samuel Sacco.

273 visitors along the Cliff Walk were interviewed in September of 2015 and February of 2016 with a survey of 16 questions.

These results were then compared to an supplemented by a much larger survey undertaken by the Newport Preservation Society of Newport County in 2013 of visitors to their mansions. The results of this study reinforced the findings of this Salve Study.

Major Findings From Interviews With Visitors To The Cliff Walk”:

  • 75% were from New England.
  • 55% were first-time visitors to Newport.
  • 41% stated Cliff Walk was their “main destination.”
  • 41% of visitors to the Cliff Walk were staying in Newport for two or three days.
  • 86% either dined or shopped while in Newport, contributing to the local economy.
  • 34% planned or took tours while in Newport.
  • 87.5% considered the Cliff Walk and Ocean Drive to be “important” to their visit”.

The Cliff Walk Commission study concluded that the Cliff Walk is an invaluable asset – an economic driver attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Newport, many of whom stay to tour, dine, shop and stay, contributing significantly to both the state and City’s economy.

Newport City Council will receive a copy of the Economic Impact of Newport’s Cliff Walk at their regularly scheduled council meeting on Wednesday, October 12th.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).