Two big citywide events — Newport County Days & the Newport Winter Festival – will bring new visitors and increase attendance at our Gilded Age mansions and historic sites in February. For residents, there is free admission at the Newport Mansions during this entire weekend (See listing below). For everyone else, there is the upcoming winter festival (February 15-24) featuring more than 150 events, including contests, music, food, and fun for the entire family.
Tell your guests and share this information with our visitors. Invite them to return and enjoy Newport in Winter, with or without snow!
NOTABLE THIS WEEK
The special performance of “Return To Camelot: A Remembrance Of The Kennedy Wedding” will take place this Sunday, February 10th at 3 pm at St. Mary’s Church. Originally scheduled for February 3rd, it was postponed due to the gas crisis in Newport that left the church without heat the previous week. Tickets are $15 for this special fundraiser for the St. Mary’s Choir Program and available online at: stmarynewport.org.
The Elms is closed through February 14th 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
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
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.
TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK: GREAT SERVICE MAKES FOR A BETTER PLACE TO WORK
A couple weeks ago I mentioned my friends at Zingerman’s, a group of eight businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They are recognized for their high service standards and for exceeding the expectations of their customers and clients. Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of Zingerman’s and author of Guide to Giving Great Service, reminds us that raising service standards makes for a better place to work.
He says, “If you raise service standards in your organization, you’re almost guaranteed to produce a more enjoyable workplace. When you and your staff are focused on giving to those around you, on being courteous, on going the extra mile for customers, that spirit can’t help but carry over into the way we all work with each other.”
Weinzweig says that the way people treat their peers is one of the biggest contributors to quality in the workplace.
The lesson? Create high benchmarks for service in your organization and you will find a better atmosphere and a better working environment in your business. There will be fewer disputes between staff members, less stress, and fewer headaches. This will free up more time to spend on things that provide positive contributions to our organizations and to our personal lives.
CONTINUING PROGRAMS & EXHIBITS
FEBRUARY 9 – JUNE 2 — HORSELESS TO HORSEPOWER: GILDED AND GOLDEN AGE AUTOMOBILES – NEW EXHIBIT
This new exhibit opens February 9th and will feature some of the most extravagant and beautiful vehicles ever produced. Come and see for yourself the amazing elegance and styling of these classic automobiles. 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
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS – FEBRUARY/MARCH – NEWPORT FOODIES WINTER STROLL – 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.” Tours begin at the Armory (365 Thames Street, Newport). Book your tickets and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com
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
TOURS, 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.
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
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 – EIGHT BELLS LECTURE – “ADMIRAL LORD NELSON IN CONTEXT”
This lecture, by Dr. Evan Wilson, looks more closely at Vice-Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson, among the best-known and most-studied figures in naval history. He was voted the ninth greatest Briton by a BBC poll in 2002 and memorials to him can be found all over Britain and its former empire. Yet too often we read about Nelson the hero without any understanding of what made his career unique. This lecture will put Nelson in the context of the officer corps from which he emerged. By looking at the thousands of other officers who fought alongside Nelson, we can uncover a more complete picture of him and the navy in which he served.
Dr. Evan Wilson is an assistant professor at The John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research at the U.S. Naval War College. He was recently awarded the Sir Julian Corbett Prize in Modern Naval History by the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. His most recent book, “A Social History of British Naval Officers, 1775–1815,” was published in 2017 by The Boydell Press.
This event begins promptly at 12 Noon at the McMacken Community Center, Fort Adams, 402 Monroe Road, Newport. Free and open to the general public. Free parking. No reservations required. Info: 401/841-7276;
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10 – NEWPORT COUNTY DAYS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS
This weekend is Newport County Residents Days at the Newport Mansions. Any Newport County resident will receive free daytime admission to all Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) properties currently open (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff) as guests of the PSNC. Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill, etc.) must be presented. Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 – NEWPORT ART MUSEUM SPEAKER SERIES – 2:00 PM
Richard Dowling, concert pianist and lecturer, presents “Great Scott! — A Joplin Celebration,” featuring the music and history of composer Scott Joplin (circa 1968-1917). Joplin’s music, famously featured in the Paul Newman/Robert Redford 1973 film The Sting, continues to be popular. Admission: $15-$20. Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport); Tickets & Info: 401/848-8200; newportartmuseum.org
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 2:00 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.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 – NEWPORT FOODIES WINTER STROLL – MEETS AT THE ARMORY — 5:30 PM
Cozy up this Winter and enjoy a three-course meal accompanied by selected wine pairings at three of Newport’s exquisite restaurants. This progressive stroll will last several hours along Newport’s Historic Thames Street and will encompass a total of .75 miles. Tours run Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 5:30 P.M. Meet Tom and Sue, your tour guides, in front of the Armory (365 Thames Street, Newport). Book your tickets and get more information at: 401/619-3019; newportfoodiesstroll.com
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 2:00 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, FEBRUARY 10, 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 [postponed from last Sunday when the church had no heat due to the gas crisis in Newport] 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.
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
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22 – NEWPORT WINTER FESTIVAL COMEDY SHOW – GURNEY’S NEWPORT RESORT & MARINA
Comedian Nick Griffin will headline this year’s 2019 Newport Winter Festival comedy show. Griffin, a solid crowd favorite, sold out his appearance at the festival’s comedy show two years ago. He has appeared in his own comedy special on Comedy Central, as well as on “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Conan.” Griffin’s show will begin at 8:30 pm at Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina on Goat Island in Newport. Joining Griffin will be special guest Ray Harrington of Warwick. For tickets and info: 401/847-7666; newportwinterfestival.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
UPCOMING 2019 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
TUESDAY, MARCH 19 – 2019 ANNUAL EXPO – 4-7 PM — GURNEY’S NEWPORT RESORT & MARINA
Newport County Chamber of Commerce’s Expo, sponsored by Newport Hospital, Swipe For A Cause, and MWR Navsta Newport, will be held from 4-7- pm on Tuesday, March 19th at the beautiful Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. Info about booth space and schedule: 401/847-1608; newportchamber.com
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
APRIL 5-14TH – NEWPORT RESTAURANT WEEK – SPRING 2019 EDITION
Newport Restaurant Week, part of a nationwide movement, debuted here in 2006. Two editions of Newport Restaurant Week take place each year in the spring and in the fall. More than 50 participating restaurants offer extraordinary two-course prix fixe lunches for $20, three-course prix fixe dinners for $35, and a three-course premier prix fixe dinner for $50. For a list of participating restaurants: discovernewport.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. Info & Registration: preservationconferenceri.com; 401/222-2078.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11-13, 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
APRIL 13-21, 2019 — 6TH ANNUAL NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL
Join 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
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. More info: 401/848-8200; newportartmuseum.org
NOTES ON THIS SCULPTURE EXHIBIT: “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.
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
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND — BOOTS ON THE GROUND FOR HEROES MEMORIAL – FORT ADAMS STATE PARK
In 2016, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island (OSDRI) launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial with the widely acclaimed and dramatic display of nearly 7,000 military boots. Each boot is adorned with a name placard and an American flag representing each American service member killed in action in the Global War on Terror. The first of its kind, the display has taken place at Roger Williams State Park over the last three years. This display will take place at Fort Adams State Park during the Memorial Day Weekend. Info: 401/383-4730; osdri.org
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – JAMESTOWN NEWPORT FERRY SEASON BEGINS
The 2019 season for the Jamestown Newport Ferry begins Memorial Day Weekend. Stops include Rose Island, Fort Adams, Ann Street Pier, and Perrotti Park. Ferry leaves from the docks at the end of Narragansett Avenue in the village of Jamestown. Info & Tickets: 401/423-1556; jamestownnewportferry.com
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
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2019 – OPENING NIGHT – NEWPORT GULLS BASEBALL – 6:35 PM
The Newport Gulls will welcome the Mystic Schooners to kick off the 2019 collegiate baseball season at Cardines Field (20 America’s Cup Avenue, Newport) on June 5th. Info & Tickets: 401/845-6832; https://bit.ly/2RxDm0D
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 15, 16, 17, 2019 – NEWPORT COUNTY DAYS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS & HOSPITALITY EMPLOYEE DAYS
This weekend is the second of four annual weekends called Newport County Residents Days at the Newport Mansions. Any Newport County resident will receive free daytime admission to all Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) properties currently open (The Breakers, Marble House, Rosecliff) as guests of the PSNC. Proof of residency (driver’s license, utility bill, etc.) must be presented. This weekend will also feature Hospitality Employee Days with other Newport cultural attractions participating. Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.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
OCTOBER 3-7, 2019 – ROGUE ISLAND COMEDY FESTIVAL – VARIOUS LOCATIONS – NEWPORT, RI
For auditions, show information, and tickets, contact: rogueislandcomedyfestival.com
OCTOBER 13-15, 2019 – VISITOR EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE (VEX) – PHILADELPHIA, PA
This is an annual industry conference that should be of special interest to tour guides, greeters, tour operators, chambers of commerce, and all those whose goal is to create a memorable experience for their guests and visitors. The 2019 Visitor Experience Conference is a recognized platform for experts to share best practices in the Visitor Experience sector and provide specialized knowledge to take museum organizations to the next level. VEX offers a range of professional learning opportunities. From keynote and panel sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, half-day workshops, and lots of social events to meet and talk with colleagues. The conference takes place in the history-rich city of Philadelphia.
Attendees include museum professionals at all levels of their career, mainly in the Visitor Experience and Visitor Services field, but also consultants, exhibition developers/designers, volunteer managers, ticketing and database companies, and more. Past VEX attendees have included The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Johns Hopkins University, Arizona State University Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Longwood Gardens, National Trust (England), Columbus Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Tacoma Art Museum, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and more from around the world. Info & Registration: https://visitorexperience.group/conference
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
JOB OPENINGS – TOUR GUIDES · GREETERS · SUPPORT STAFF
UPDATE: Employers are beginning to interview people for the upcoming 2019 season. Winter here is often the time when much of the past year’s full-time staff go on the unemployment rolls. During that time, they may decide to take a new job, explore another career, or retire. As these decisions are shared with their job sites, employers start increasing their recruitment efforts. Now – February/March – is that time. If you want to break into the tour guide and hospitality industries, now is the time to get more aggressive to find and secure a position at your preferred organization.
CURRENTLY: Business is still slow around the city, but the 31st Newport Winter Festival is coming soon (February 15-24). So, check with employers and find someone who needs an extra hand or two to help them during this week of events.
As February rolls on, do not despair. The current situation and job prospects will change quickly as winter recedes, snow or no snow. So, continue to use this slow 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.
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. Handbook includes greetings in 18 of the most frequently spoken languages heard in Newport.
KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).