Newport Tour Guides & Greeters News #55: Winter in Newport is all about healthy fun

The Breakers

Next week kicks off our annual celebration of mind, body, and spirit during NEWPORT WELLNESS WEEK. The goal is to help all Newporters and our many visitors focus on lifelong health and wellness solutions tailored to help each person become the best version of themselves.  This Sunday (January 20) there will be a free Wellness Marketplace with workshops and booths in the atrium of the fabulous Newport Marriott from 10am-3pm.

In just a few weeks the annual NEWPORT WINTER FESTIVAL will kick off on February 15th.  Some wonderful one-of-a-kind fun events will be features, including live music, a Chili Cook-Off, the amazing Newport Burger Bender, and the Mac & Cheese Smackdown. Tell this week’s guests to make plans to boogie back to Newport for this fun family friendly winter festival that runs from February 15-24.

Be sure to keep up with the changing and growing schedule of activities. And let us know if you have something new and exciting to add to the mix. Get ready for fun!

ALSO THIS WEEK

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Walking Tours led by guides from the Newport Historical Society will resume Saturday, February 16th with the popular “Road to Independence” tour. Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org  

New Tour Times for Beneath-the-Breakers. Fewer daily Beneath-the-Breakers tours are scheduled this month. New times for this one-hour tour are: 10:30 am, 12 noon, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm.  Additional information and schedule at: newportmansions.org

REMINDERS

The Chinese Tea House at Marble House (596 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) closed for the season on December 31st. It is expected to re-open May 18, 2019. Please check back at newportmansions.org for further updates.

The Elms is closed now through February14th for a “deep cleaning.”  This 1901 mansion will re-open for tours on Friday, February 15th at 10:00 am. Additional information and updates at: newportmansions.org

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK FOR MANAGERS: SUPPORT YOUR EMPLOYEES

With growing demand for employees in nearly every sector of the economy, employers everywhere are heeding the call to take better care of their employees and associates.  One of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Richard Branson (Virgin Atlantic), routinely preaches the virtues of focusing on the needs of his associates, saying “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.”  He also emphasizes the continued training of accompany staff, adding, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

Others, like Alexander Den Heijer, agree: “The best way to improve your business is to improve the lives of your employees.” This is echoed by Hal Rosenbluth, CEO of Rosenbluth International, the world’s third largest travel management company, who says, “Companies must put their people first and their customers second.”  

There are multiple reasons. Most importantly, the best employers know that when they focus and take good care of their employees, their employees will take good care of their clients and customers. And the result will be outstanding service and very satisfied clients. A business that focuses more on pleasing customers than caring and supporting the people on their team who will deliver services to those customers will experience lower employee morale, internal staff dissatisfaction, and higher personnel turnover.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Managers and administrators in all tourist and hospitality businesses should take time this winter to re-visit their policies and goals for supporting their employees and associates.  The amazing results achieved by the leaders of Virgin Atlantic and Rosenbluth International are proof that their strategies can be replicated in your organizations, too. Now is the time to put your people first.

Let’s make 2019 our best year ever in the City-by-the-Sea!

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JOB OPENINGS

There is very little new to report this week. No new job current openings for tour guides have been posted. As you already know, this is our slow season for tourist visits and visitor numbers have plummeted from the busy month of December. Nevertheless, the situation and job prospects will change quickly as winter recedes, snow or no snow. So, use this down time to fine tune your resume, practice your interviewing skills, and do some networking with the Newport Chamber, Rhode Island Hospitality Association, and other industry groups.

BEST WINTER JOB SEARCH SUGGESTION: This season can be the best time to research jobs, start making connections, and secure employment for the coming Spring and Summer seasons.  Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round. Get a jump on the next year’s seasonal job-seeking crowd and apply now for 2019 work on 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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SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS

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.

JANUARY 19-25, 2019 – NEWPORT WELLNESS WEEK — NEWPORT MARRIOTT

Start the year off right by focusing on lifelong health and wellness solutions. Join us for this annual celebration of mind, body and spirit featuring a diverse array of events throughout the destination tailored to help you become the best version of yourself. This annual event will feature a Wellness Marketplace on Sunday, January 20th in the Atrium of the Newport Marriott. More info:  https://www.discovernewport.org/newport-wellness-week/

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20 – WELLNESS MARKETPLACE – NEWPORT MARRIOTT – 10 AM – 3 PM – FREE ADMISSION

Join this annual celebration of mind, body and spirit featuring a diverse array of workshops and booths tailored to help you become the best version of yourself. This Wellness Marketplace will be held on Sunday, January 20th in the Atrium of the Newport Marriott. More info:  https://www.discovernewport.org/newport-wellness-week/

SUNDAY, JANUARY 20-21, 2019 – TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE!  — FIRST FULL MOON OF 2019! — BEGINS AT 11:41 PM

A truly unique event with three-moons-in-one! They are: 1) A Wolf Moon because it’s the year’s first full moon. 2) Appearing larger than usual, it is also a Super Moon. 3) The moon will have an unusual red glow making it a Blood Moon. The full lunar eclipse begins at 11:41 PM on January 20th and lasts just over an hour until 12:43 AM. on January 21st. The entire eclipse will take over five hours to complete.  Tell your visitors and guests to enjoy a special event in beautiful Newport!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2019 – WINTER LECTURE SERIES – ROSECLIFF – 11:00 AM

The First lecture in this Winter Lecture Series is titled, “Rosecliff-Hangers: Stories from the Rose Garden.” Members: $10; General Public: $15. Info and Reservations: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 3:00 PM

One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square.  Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 27 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 3:00 PM

One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, 18 Market Square. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.

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CONTINUING PROGRAMS & EXHIBITS

NOW THROUGH JANUARY 20, 2019 – “LA FAMIGLIA” – ART EXHIBIT – ATELIER NEWPORT – 2:00 PM

Since its opening in 2016, Atelier Newport has hosted numerous artists and their work. This new exhibit brings together a number of these artists’ work for one exciting show. Exhibit will remain through January 20, 2019. Free and open to the public. Info: 401/619-0700; ateliernewport.com

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

NOW THROUGH MARCH 1, 2019 – BILL CUNNINGHAM: FACADES – ROSECLIFF

BILL CUNNINGHAM: FACADES, the newest exbibit at Rosecliff, opened on Sunday, December 2nd.   Celebrating the creative intersection of fashion and architecture through the lens of a visionary photographer, this exhibition explores Cunningham’s self-created project, begun in 1969, documenting the architectural riches and fashion history of New York City.  Here he captures Manhattan’s Egyptian temples and Russian cathedrals, Beaux-Arts mansions, Gothic Revival churches, art deco office buildings, and high Victorian department stores. Bill Cunningham found antique clothes in New York’s thrift shops, street fairs and auctions, and dressed Editta Sherman, “the Duchess of Carnegie Hall,” in his fashion finds, posing her in front of a wide variety of these Manhattan sites.  The results are mesmerizing. Hours, tickets, and more info: newportmansions.org

NOW THROUGH SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 – “MY SMALL ABILITY” – THE LIFE AND WORK OF WILLIAM CLAGGETT

This exhibit at the Newport Historical Society Resource Center (82 Touro Street, Newport) features the story of 18th century master clockmaker, William Claggett. The exhibit tells us more than just the life of this craftsman by bringing alive other aspects of Newport including trade, artistry, aesthetics, science, religion, and culture through an examination of the life of Mr. Claggett. Additional Info and hours at 401/846-0813; newporthistory.org

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PREVIEW OF FEBRUARY 2019 IN NEWPORT

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2019 – RETURN TO CAMELOT: A REMEMBRANCE OF THE KENNEDY WEDDING

This year marks the 66th wedding anniversary of Jacqueline Bouvier to John F. Kennedy at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Return to that day of September 12, 1953 to learn more about the history of the church and the Kennedy wedding and reception while viewing archival pictures and vintage film from that day. This is a special, one-time performance of the award-winning presentation featuring the Kennedy wedding music, sung and performed by the Music Director and choir of St. Mary’s. Event from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. St. Mary’s Church, (12 William Street, Newport). Tickets: $15, available online at stmarynewport.org.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – WINTER LECTURE SERIES AT ROSECLIFF – “BUILDING THE AVENUE”

The second program in this Winter Lecture Series is titled, “Building the Avenue.” 11:00 am. Members: $10; General Public: $15. Info and Reservations: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

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, Newport Burger Bender, 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/

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE – 11:00 AM

This tour features riots and rebellion, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport in the years surrounding the American Revolution.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org  

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 11:00 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.  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

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 11:00 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

FEBRUARY/MARCH – NEWPORT FOODIES WINTER STROLL – FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS – 5:30 PM

Newport Foodies will offer a Winter Stroll in February and March.  The mission of this new (2018) walking food tour business is “To introduce the flavors and history of Newport to our guests by discovering the eateries and streets of Newport.”  Book your tickets and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28 – SAVING APHRODITE: CONSERVING GARDEN STATUARY AND FOUNTAINS

The third program in this Winter Lecture Series at Rosecliff will be held at 11:00 am. Members: $10; General Public: $15. Info and Reservations: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

2019 — UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS

THURSDAY, MARCH 14 BEYOND THE WRECKING BALL: HISTORIC PRESERVATION’S COMING OF AGE

The fourth program in this Winter Lecture Series at Rosecliff will be held at 11:00 am. Members: $10; General Public: $15. Info and Reservations: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

THURSDAY, APRIL 4 JOHN JAMES AUDUBON: OBSESSION UNTAMED

The final program in this 2019 Winter Lecture Series at Rosecliff will be held at 6:00 pm. Members: $10; General Public: $15. Info and Reservations: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org

SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 2019 – 34TH RHODE ISLAND STATEWIDE HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONFERENCE

If you love historic preservation, you’ll want to attend this annual conference, focused on Preservation, Recreation and Sport. Keynote speaker is Brent Leggs, Director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mr. Leggs will reflect on the importance of preserving historic places where Americans play and watch sports. The event, including 12 preservation workshops and 12 tours by boat, bus, bicycle, and foot, will be hosted this year in historic East Providence, RI. More Info & Registration:  preservationconferenceri.com; 401/222-2078.

APRIL 13-21, 2019 — 6TH ANNUAL NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL

Join in dozens of fun, free, all family daffy events as we welcome over one million daffodils that promise to put on a great show throughout Newport, April 13-21, 2019. Check back often as new events will be added regularly. Shake off the winter doldrums and have a bloomin’ great time!  Info: newportdaffydays.com

THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019 – TRAVELS ACROSS AMERICA: ART, NATURE, AND THE PURSUIT OF BEAUTY

The 2019 Newport Symposium kicks off with this lecture and opening reception at Rosecliff at 5:30 pm. For info: 401/847-1000, ext. 178; newportmansions.org

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019 – NEWPORT ART MUSEUM EXHIBIT OPENS — GERTRUDE VANDERBILT WHITNEY: SCULPTURE

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, daughter of Alice & Cornelius Vanderbilt II, is best known as an art patron and founder of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art.  She also had a significant career as a sculptor, exhibiting throughout the United States and Europe and receiving major commissions and prizes. This is the first exhibition of Whitney’s art since her death in 1942.

NOTES: “Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: Sculpture” will showcase rarely seen works from private collections, examining the remarkable variety of the artist’s work—from her earliest classical sculptures to her more symbolic public monuments, from her bleakly Realist depiction of the tragedy of World War I to her late Art Deco work.  The exhibit was organized by The Norton Museum of Art and curated by Ellen E. Roberts, the Norton’s Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art. More info: 401/848-8200; newportartmuseum.org

SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2019 – BEACH CLEAN-UP AT CLIFF WALK

Go green & spend your Saturday cleaning up one of Newport’s most breathtaking locations. Join us at the Cliff Walk on Saturday, April 20th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to volunteer with a view! Sponsored by Clean Ocean Access. Coffee provided by Empire Tea & Coffee so BYO Mug.  Info: 401/236-2561; cleanoceanaccess.org

SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019 – NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL POLO SEASON OPENS

The Newport International Polo Series 28 begins on Saturday, June 1, 2019, 5:00 pm, at the Newport International Polo Grounds, 250 Linden Lane, Portsmouth, RI.  Box Office opens to the general public on March 15. Info: 401/846-0200; nptpolo.com

JUNE 8, 2019 – NEW YORK YACHT CLUB’S 2019 SEASON BEGINS – LEUKEMIA CUP

The New York Yacht Club has announced its 12-event 2019 sailing season that begins on June 8 with the Leukemia Cup race, followed by the club’s 165th Annual Regatta (June 14-16), and ending on September 29 with the Melges IC37 national championship races (September 27-29). Info:  401/846-1000; nyyc.org

JUNE 21-23, 2019 – THE NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW – AUDUBON ARTISTIC ADVENTURES – ROSECLIFF MANSION

The 2019 Newport Flower Show will feature design and horticulture exhibit, a Home & Garden Marketplace, Oceanside Boutiques, outdoor garden displays, lectures, and demonstrations by the top experts in the field. The Opening Night Party will take place from 6-9 pm on June 21.  Info: newportmansions.org

JULY 26-29, 2019 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI

This famous festival, launched in 1959, will celebrate in a 4-day music extravaganza July 26-29 at Fort Adams, overlooking the mouth of Newport Harbor.  Tickets and more information at newportfolk.org.

AUGUST 2-4, 2019 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS – NEWPORT, RI

Since 1954, the greatest jazz musicians on the planet have played before the most loyal and appreciative jazz aficionados and fans in the world at the largest coastal fort in America, Fort Adams. They’ll do it again this August 2-4, beginning with a concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, August 2.  Don’t miss any of the music, the fun, and the food! Tickets and more information at: newportjazz.org.

SEPTEMBER 12-15, 2019 – 49TH ANNUAL NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW

Mark your calendar for the 49th annual Newport International Boat Show on the famed downtown Newport waterfront from September 12th to 15th this year. More Information: http://newportboatshow.com/

SEPTEMBER 19-22, 2019 — THE NEWPORT MANSIONS WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL

This is one of the East Coast’s most sophisticated and anticipated events of the year. It is scheduled for September 19-22 at The Elms, Rosecliff and Marble House. Enjoy magnificent wines from around the world, fabulous food from local, regional and national chefs, artisanal food purveyors, cooking demos and interactive activities in an unforgettable setting. To learn more about the schedule of events, or to purchase tickets, visit newportmansions.org

OCTOBER 3-6, 2019 – AUDRAIN’S NEWPORT CONCOURS & MOTOR WEEK – INAUGURAL EVENT

The Audrain Automobile Museum presents the inaugural Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week coming to Newport, Rhode Island on October 3 -6, 2019. Audrain’s Newport Concours & Motor Week 2019 will be the first of an annual event which aims to enliven the story of the automobile and its racing history in the northeast region of our country. With all this history, and help from their Event Chair, world renowned collecting, restoration, and culture expert, Jay Leno and their Concours Chair, Donald Osborne, noted classic car historian, consultant, writer and television personality, the Audrain Automobile Museum adds another chapter to Newport’s extensive book of automotive and sporting fascination. With the support and assistance from the Preservation Society of Newport County, the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Salve Regina University, along with car enthusiasts, luxury car brands, venue partners, and supporters in Newport, Audrain plans to execute one of the highest quality events that the community has ever seen and raise money to increase the local economy. Info: 401/856-4420; audrainautomuseum.org

WINTER IS A GREAT TIME TO EXPERIENCE THESE BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS!

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR – NEW WINTER SCHEDULE

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is still offered daily this winter.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, and 3:30 pm. Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: RESUMES ON FEBRUARY 15TH

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, the world-famous 1-hour guided “Servant Life Tour” at The Elms will resume Friday, February 15, 2019 following the completion of a “deep cleaning” at this historic mansion.  Info and updates: newportmansions.org

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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 [Direct from the author or via 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.

————————————————————————————————————————-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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