Just going out for a meal or traveling to a place are not enough anymore. People want memorable experiences. As Mark Harmon, Chairman of Auberge Resorts, says, “Experiences are the luxuries that customers today – customers of all ages – are seeking.”  He is right. Therefore, each of us has the honor and the opportunity to deliver memorable experiences to every one of our visitors and guests.  As a guide, you are perfectly positioned and equipped to make this happen.  Consider all the ways you can help people to find and make memories in our wonderful city!

Check out the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK: Develop, as best as you can, an authentic and genuine service style. While most of us begin our tour guide work reading and memorizing written scripts. We take notes and practice delivering our tours in a very specific order. But most of our guests and visitors are most charmed by our total command of the stories we share and our seeming naturalness in our delivery.  Practice, practice, practice. The result can be amazing. Sara Kearney of the Hyatt Corporation once said, “You have to practice an awful lot to come across as completely unscripted (but it’s worth it).” Good advice to take to heart and implement.  

BIG BOOK SALE: If you love books (of course you do!), you’ll want to go to the Semi-Annual Redwood Library Book Sale at the Redwood Library (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) from February 22-24. Saturday, the 24th, will feature their popular “$5 per bag” offer. Info at:  redwoodlibrary.org or phone 401/847-0292.

TOURISM JOBS – JOB FAIRS & RECRUITING ARE IN SEASON

Breaking weather, warm days, and the promise of a busy summer season are three reasons to get busy securing your first job or your next job in our exciting visitor & tourism industry.  Two big job fairs are planned for the coming six weeks or so. There is some expansion planning happening among the various tour operators.  There are also some major events coming to Newport in the next few months that will need additional people to support all the visitors.  Job openings include tour guides, greeters, boat crew, ticket sales, and a variety of support staff.

  • Newport Hospitality is looking for greeters and a variety of support staff to help host the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race Newport event that begins May 8th. For more information, call 401/848-2264.
  • Adirondack II Sailing Excursions is looking for ticket sellers for the upcoming summer season. $11/hr plus commission. Full-time. Sail-Newport.com or 401/847-0000.
  • The Preservation Society of Newport County is seeking a Special Events Assistant, as well as Ticket Sales Associates, Team Leaders and Associate Team Leaders for their mansion properties (newportmansions.org).  The Society will also hold an open Job Fair on Tuesday, February 27. 4 pm – 7 pm at 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport.
  • Sightsailing of Newport accepts applications for its jobs year round. Check their website for guidance on applying for sailing jobs, front desk staff, and office positions at Sightsailing.com/employment.

REMEMBER: Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round.

COMING SOON – NEWPORT’S BIGGEST HIRING EVENT: Make a note to attend the Newport County Chamber Of Commerce Annual Expo & Job Fair 2018 on March 20th.  Meanwhile, be open to the temporary jobs available this month and next that may lead to a fuller schedule of work.  Watch for new job postings at www.WhatsUpNewp.com  website and at www.Facebook.com/NewportTourGuidesandGreeters.  

SPEAKERS & PRESENTATIONS THIS MONTH

Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – NEWPORT WINTERFEST CONTINUES

Don’t let the temperature fool you. We’re still in the middle of the 30th Annual Newport Winter Festival.  There are more than 150 events with food fun & music. This event runs through Sunday, February 25th. More information available from Winter Festival Office: 401/847-7666.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – BLACK HERITAGE MONTH LECTURE – ROSECLIFF

Keith Stokes, noted historian and Vice-President of the 1696 Heritage Society, will bring his lecture, “Gilded Age Newport in Color: The African Heritage Experience in Early Newport,” to Rosecliff, 548 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, from 6:00-7:00pm. Preservation Society members – $10; General Public: $15. Register in advance: newportmansions.org/learn, or call 401/847-1851.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – SAIL NEWPORT PRESENTS: VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT UPDATE

Big Screen Presentation:  The latest Volvo Ocean Race Videos. Live call with Team Brunel on the leg from Hong Kong to Auckland.  Plans for the only North American Stopover in Newport this May.  6:00 pm, Jane Pickens Theater, Washington Square, Newport. TICKETS: $5/ Under 21; $15/Members; $20/Non-members; $25/at the door.  Proceeds support Sail Newport’s Volvo Ocean race efforts.

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24 – Educational Program: 10 AM – 1 PM

In the mid-18th century, Newport was the fifth wealthiest city in colonial America. What jobs were people doing that helped the city become so successful? Join the Newport Historical Society to learn how people made their living. During this colonial career fair, costumed interpreters will represent different occupations that would have been present in this seaport. Jobs range from tradespeople like a printer, milliner and leather worker to merchants such as a toy seller and store owner, along with food service jobs such as a baker, brewer, coffeehouse owner and tavern keeper. This program takes place at the Colony House on Washington Square. Admission is free, donations are welcome.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25 – PIERRE CARDIN EXHIBIT CLOSES AT ROSECLIFF

The internationally-renowned Pierre Cardin: 70 Years of Innovation exhibition has been resident at Rosecliff mansion for the past seven months. Originally scheduled to close on January 1st, the exhibit’s popularity has caused an extension through February 25th.  Go experience this one-of-a-kind exhibit before it closes.  

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 27 – JOB FAIR – NEWPORT MANSIONS®

The Preservation Society of Newport County Job Fair will be held from 4 pm – 7 pm at the society’s headquarters at 424 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Applications will be available. Hiring leaders will also be on-site to meet applicants and answer questions.  More info at www.newportmansions.org  

SPECIAL TOURS

The Breakers continues offering the new guided tour first launched in 2017 — “Beneath the Breakers” — throughout the winter. Tours begin every hour on the half hour from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm and are one hour in length. At The Elms, their world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” is offered throughout the winter at 10:30 am, 12 noon, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm.  

UPCOMING NOTEWORTHY EVENTS: MARCH & APRIL

Tell your guests about these upcoming special events and lectures. It’s a great way to help them extend their current time here or plan a return visit to the City-by-the-Sea.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8 – HIDDEN PRESENCE: GOD’S LITTLE ACRE & BEYOND

Historian & author Glenn Knoblock will discuss some of the African American historic burial grounds and cemeteries in the region and in particular, God’s Little Acre in Newport.  This lecture will take place at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport; 5:30pm – 6:30pm. $5 per person; $1 for members, active & retired military personnel with ID. Please RSVP online at NewportHistory.org or call 401/841-8770.

FRIDAY, MARCH 9 – MUSEUM OF NEWPORT IRISH HISTORY OPENINGS

The Museum of Newport Irish History [newportirishhistory.org] will offer special opening hours (Noon to 6 pm) for six days during Irish Heritage Month in March, beginning on Friday, March 9th.  The museum at 648 Lower Thames Street in Newport will be open March 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18.  The regular season starts with a grand re-opening Memorial Day Weekend, beginning on Saturday, May 26th.  Learn here about Irish immigration to Newport County and the key aspects of Irish influence and contributions to life in Newport.

THURSDAY, MARCH 15 – THE NATURAL WORLD OF WINNIE-THE-POOH

Kathryn Aalto, author, and landscape architect, will discuss her book and share her thoughts on the intersection of nature and culture in Winnie-the-Pooh. 6 pm at The Elms. Members: $10/General Public $15. Advance reservations required at newportmansions.org/learn, or call 401/847-1851.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 11 AM

At 11 am, the 62nd Annual Newport Rhode Island Saint Patrick’s Day Parade will step off in front of Newport City Hall on Broadway.  There will numerous events and activities at Newport’s many bars and restaurants all along the parade route and elsewhere in the city.

TUESDAY, MARCH 20 – Expo & Job Fair – 4 PM – 7 PM

NEWPORT COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL EXPO & JOB FAIR 2018. Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. One Goat Island, Newport, RI 02840. Info: 401/847-1600

SATURDAY, MARCH 24 – Exhibit Opening

Bohemian Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement & Oscar Wilde’s Newport.  Opening day: March 24.  A new exhibition at Rosecliff.  Open daily through November 4th. 9 am until 5 pm. Additional information available at: newportmansions.org

THURSDAY, APRIL 5 – Rough Point Re-Opens

The Newport Restoration Foundation’s (NRF) historic Rough Point mansion will re-open on Thursday, April 5th for Guided Tours. The Foundation will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. This year its exhibitions, as posted on its website (newportrestoration.org) will be: “‘To Preserve and Restore’: Newport Restoration Foundation at 50,”  and “A Hand in Design: Exquisite Drawings of Jewelry and Architecture for Doris Duke.” 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.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14 – THURSDAY, APRIL 22 – NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL

Make plans to share details of this annual fun festival with your guests. Daffodil Days offers a popular series of events –road races, garden tours, a car parade, and daffodil garden party — highlighted by the hundreds of thousands of daffodils blooming at sites throughout Newport.  Info: newportdaffydays.com

UPCOMING SUMMER EVENTS: JUNE, JULY & 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.

THE NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW COTTAGES SMART & SMALL – JUNE 22-24

The annual flower show adds the current trend of tiny homes and combines them both as livable spaces, functional & beautiful, and the prettiest plants and flowers ever.  Rosecliff.  Information & tickets: NewportFlowerShow.org

NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL ⬥ JULY 4-22, 2018

This classical music festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! World-class musicians performing in the finest mansions in Newport combine to offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences for festival attendees. Check out the full schedule of dates, times, and ticket prices at newportmusic.org. Box office: 401/849-0700.

NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL ⬥ July 27-29, 2018

This annual sold-out event will be held as always at Fort Adams State Park. Check out the full line-up ad recent additions at the festival website, newportfolk.org.

THE NEWPORT SHOW ∙ JULY 28-29, 2018

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.

NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL ⬥ AUGUST 3-5, 2018

Visitors and guests ask about this famous festival all year. Check out the amazing line-up of performers appearing at Fort Adams State Park and the International Tennis Hall of Fame at newportjazz.org.  Tickets are on sale now.

WEEKEND OF COACHING – AUGUST 16-19

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

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.  

BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

The 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 places they talk about to their guests.

Here is a brand new book to read, learn from, and share.

THIS WEEK: Don’t miss the Semi-Annual Redwood Library Book Sale at the Redwood Library (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) from February 22-24. Saturday, the 24th, will feature their popular “$5 per bag” offer. Info: 401/847-0292.

RHODE ISLAND: THE SPIRIT OF AMERICA. Text by Paula M. Bodah. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2000. This nearly pocket-size book is a wonderful resource for new guides and a wonderful refresher for every guide. It is one in a series of books about the fifty states. In less than a hundred lavishly illustrated pages, the esteemed publisher Harry N. Abrams, known for their coffee table art books, has at once produced a rich volume of Rhode Island’s history, people, geography, industry, art, food, entertainment, and contributions that set us apart from our neighboring states. From our small size to our place as the birthplace of the American industrial revolution, we are home to amazing seacoasts, world-class food, renowned colleges and universities, and famous artists from portraitist Gilbert Stuart to writer Ann Hood to songwriter George M. Cohan. Of course, Newport gets its due with insights and photos of the gilded age ‘cottages,” the importance of its seaport and long naval history, boatbuilding, museums, Narragansett Bay, and its art. As a refresher text or as a primer of state history and contemporary Rhode Island, this book makes a welcome addition to the guide’s permanent library and is one that will be referred to and re-read often.

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PROUDFOOT is a documentary film producer, tour guide, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).  

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).