You’re at home.
We’re ALL at home!
But we must continue functioning.
Mostly, we must go on.
And share our passion for the City-by-the-Sea.
So, for the present, say OLE! And settle back as an intrepid On-Line Explorer!
Browse these links , and SHARE these links, to some of the most amazing mansions, sites, and views in Greater Newport. See all of the photos, short videos, virtual tours, and other interesting information posted on their web sites and related social media sites (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, others).
Be sure, too, to sign up for their individual newsletters and daily posts.
Newport Film goes virtual and streams the new documentary, Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, for free on your smart phone or computer this week through today, Thursday, April 16th. The documentary covers the life of the first female film director, Alice Guy-Blaché. To view, you must register by visiting www.newportFILM.com, after which you will receive a code to use when you want to access the film.
Then you may tune in for a Facebook Live Q&A Thursday, April 16, at 8 p.m. EST with Preservation Society Director of Museum Affairs and Chief Curator Leslie B. Jones in discussion with the film’s director, Pamela B. Green, and newportFILM’s Executive Director Becca Bertrand. The Facebook Live session will be hosted by newportFILM; follow @newportFILM.
Until this public health crisis passes and we are back open for business, take time to read, learn, study, and better understand our city’s exciting heritage.
Meanwhile, continue to check for openings and available services at our local restaurants, stores, and historical sites on the city’s visitor site at www.discovernewport.org with daily updates on www.whatsupnewp.com
You can check out further details in the listings below.
STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES ON THESE UPCOMING EVENTS (Subject to Change)
Check out the upcoming 2020 events at the end of this column.
Tickets, fees, and addresses are detailed in the following listings for the above events.
OPERATING SCHEDULES UPDATES
Despite the current closures from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, literally “going viral,” Newport’s stalwart workforce of tour guides, greeters, restaurant and hotel workers, trolley and taxi drivers, boat and harbor cruise captains, and others are preparing now for the day when this crisis passes and we get back to welcoming our millions of visitors and guests.
TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK
You can be hospitable. You can be friendly. You can smile and be cheerful. You can greet every guest and every visitor. You can deliver good service. You can even deliver great service. But you won’t ever be all that our guests and visitors want, all that they expect, and all that they don’t even know is possible until you finally make up your mind to be the best. Not okay. Not so-so. Not good, great, or outstanding. But the very B-E-S-T BEST of all the R-E-S-T REST.
Take a moment now to think about what that means.
Think about whether you even WANT to think about being and becoming the best.
Thinking about where you stand now and where you want to be is important.
Because how you think about your work in hospitality is EVERYTHING.
Each week in this column we share tips and strategies for planning,
marketing, and providing quality guest services. If you have a suggestion,
please send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll share it with all our readers. And you. Thanks!
Preservation & Heritage Tourism
Historic preservation is a conversation with our past about our future.
It provides us with opportunities to ask, “What is important in our history?” and
“What parts of our past can we preserve for the future?”
Through historic preservation, we look at history in different ways,
ask different questions of the past, and
learn new things about our history and ourselves.
Historic preservation is an important way for us to
transmit our understanding of the past to future generations.
-National Park Service
NEWPORT JOBS & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
TOUR GUIDES · GREETERS · HARBOR CRUISE GUIDES · SUPPORT STAFF
JOBS in the AGE OF CORONAVIRUS
Our state’s Governor has ordered a continuing quarantine and closure of businesses now through May 8th. It may continue after that date as well, but we are all in a wait and see what happens next.
At this point, no one knows the future of the 2020 tourism season and the job prospects for all those who serve as tour guides, ambassadors, and greeters in Newport. We must assume (and believe) that this crisis, like others before, will end and we’ll return to welcoming the world to Newport.
The following job openings were posted over the past 30+ days related to our industry. It is still worthwhile to check in with these employers for the day when this virus is under control and we finally return to some sort of normal life.
- Part-time Associate Guide at The Preservation Society of Newport County. Part-time candidate needed to work a flexible schedule up to 32 hours per week in season, seasonally. One weekend day is required. Occasional special events may require work outside of this time frame. Several other job openings also available. More information: newportmansions.org
- Sightsailing. Runs tours and charters with its fleet of vessels from Bowen’s Wharf. Hires for a variety of crew, office, and reservations positions. Info: 401/849-3333; sightsailing.com
- Visitor Services Associates – Newport Restoration Foundation. The Newport Restoration Foundation seeks seasonal, part-time (3-4 days per week) frontline staff for the 2020 season (April-November). Open positions include tour guides, greeters, and front desk staff for both Rough Point and Whitehorne Museums. Season from April to November. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and résumé. Applications accepted until March 13th, 2020. Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org
- Sales/Ticket Booth — Gansett Cruises-Harbor Tour Boat – Newport, RI. Ability to handle fast paced sales environment, high volume of phone calls, basic computer skills. Prior sales experience preferred, cash handling. Info/Apply: email@example.com
- Server-Crew — Gansett Cruises — Harbor Tour Boat – Newport, RI. Boating experience helpful. Available to work flexible hours including night, weekends and holidays. Knowledge of Newport and surroundings helpful. A seasonal position May thru the end of October. Must be able to pass a mandatory USCG drug test. Info/Apply: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is contact information for the city’s largest 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
- Sightsailing. Runs tours and charters with its fleet of vessels from Bowen’s Wharf. Hires for a variety of crew, office, and reservations positions. Info: 401/849-3333; sightsailing.com
VOLUNTEER TOUR GUIDE OPPORTUNITIES
- Newport Car Museum’s family of volunteer docents share their passion for and knowledge of cars with interesting visitors from around the world. If you love cars and the people who love cars, call Vincent Moretti to learn more about the volunteer opportunities: 401/848-CARS (2277)
- Preservation Society of Newport County. This organization is always looking for volunteers. There are a variety of positions available, including work in the mansions and in the gardens of the Society. They recruit year-round. Check their web site on a regular basis for current opportunities. www.newportmansions.org.
Cruise Ship Season 2020
If you want a job with the land-based tour companies greeting cruise ship passengers, you’ll have to check in with the companies for updates on whether the cruise ships will be operating, and which ships will be arriving here and when. We’ll provide updates here as soon they become available.
For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.
WE BELIEVE TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS ARE THE FACE OF NEWPORT
Check the schedules listed below and get familiar with the long list of
exciting upcoming events during the year ahead. Share these events with
our visitors and try to attend as many of them for yourself as well.
2020 is here, and once this Covid-19 crisis ends, we’re ready to go!
TENTATIVE SCHEDULES – ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO CORONAVIRUS
APRIL & MAY 2020
APRIL 18-24, 2020 – NEWPORT ARBORETUM WEEK – NEWPORT ELKS LODGE – 7:00 PM — CANCELLED
From Earth Day to Arbor Day, come celebrate the City of Arboreta! Newport, Rhode Island is home to far more professionally accredited arboreta than any other city in the world. During Newport Arboretum Week, you are invited to explore this urban forest, enjoy arboreal events citywide, and take pride in our city’s incredible urban forest.
Info: (401) 239-2045.
APRIL 24 – MAY 3, 2020 – 7TH NEWPORT DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL – CANCELLED
More than one million daffodils have been planted in the City-by-the-Sea by this program. As the flowers blossom, an annual festival celebrates Spring and its signature blooms, featuring special events, food, and music. Fun for the entire family. Info: newportdaffydays.com
FRIDAY, APRIL 24 – RHODE ISLAND ARBOR DAY 2020 – STATEWIDE – EVENTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED
Happening during Newport Arboretum Week. Celebrations statewide, but particular emphasis on talks, lectures, and walking tours of our special arboretum. Check discovernewport.org for schedules.
FRIDAY, APRIL 24 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2020 – SPRING BOOK SALE – REDWOOD LIBRARY — CANCELLED
If you love books (of course you do!), you’ll want to go to the Redwood Library Spring Book Sale at the Redwood Library (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) from Friday, April 24, 9:30 am till Wednesday, April 29 at 5:00 pm. Call for Info at: redwoodlibrary.org or phone 401/847-0292.
APRIL 24 & 25, 2020 – NEWPORT CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL – NEWPORT — POSTPONED
Call for Info: newportcraftbeer.com
SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2020 – DAFFODIL DAYS FESTIVAL OPENING CEREMONIES – CANCELLED
Gather round to celebrate as the muskets are fired and the official ribbon of daffodils is cut at the historic Clarke Cooke House. The festival blooms forth on Bannister’s Wharf! With many thanks to Bannisters Wharf, this event will feature the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon of daffodils, the firing of the Muskets by the Newport Artillery Company of Newport, complimentary lemon bars and lemonade (daffy yellow, of course!), free Daffy Face painting for the kids, a Daffy stilt walker for your amazement, and steel drum music to get you dancing and daffy. Time: 1-2 pm. Next door at Bowen’s Wharf, you can pick up your daffy pins at the Pilot House and visit the URI Master Gardener tent for tips on your spring planting and get your free flower seeds. There are plenty of Daffy Deals and store specials for all those wearing the Daffodil Pin. Info: newportdaffydays.com
SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2020 – 35TH ANNUAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONFERENCE – CANCELLED!
Cancellation notice was received for The Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission (RIHPHC) and partners’ Back to the Future, Rhode Island’s 35th Annual Historic Preservation Conference, scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2020. This conference will be re-scheduled for April 2021. Stay tuned for further updates.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29 — DAFFY DELIRIUM! – THE CHANLER — 6:00 – 7:30 PM — CANCELLED
Celebrate the blooming of over one million daffodils! Join the Newport Daffodil Days Festival and Newport in Bloom at the historic Chanler on Cliff Walk (117 Memorial Blvd., Newport) for a delirious evening of merriment. Enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast to Mother Nature’s bounty, live music, daffy prizes and even S’mores at the Chanler’s fire pit while overlooking hundreds of daffodils set against Easton’s Bay. Tickets: $35. All proceeds go to purchase bulbs for the annual free bulb give-away in October and the beautiful flower baskets throughout town. Info: newportdaffydays.com
SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2020 — DAFFODIL GARDEN PARTY WITH LIVE MUSIC AND BALLET – BELLEVUE HOUSE
MAY 9 & 10, 2020 – NEWPORT COUNTY RESIDENTS DAY – FREE ADMISSION TO NEWPORT MANSIONS – TBD
Second of six scheduled Newport County Residents Days in 2020. Residents get free admission to the Newport Mansions. Bring license and/or utility bill to prove residency. Info: Go to newportmansions.org for schedules and hours.
MAY 15-17, 2020 – NEWPORT OYSTER FESTIVAL – BOWEN’S WHARF — TBD
Annual festival in celebration of the oyster. Bowen’s Wharf, Newport. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com
FRIDAY, MAY 22 – SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2020 – OPENING WEEKEND – MUSEUM OF NEWPORT IRISH HISTORY
Memorial Day Weekend season opener. In the heart of the “Fifth Ward” – Newport’s best known Irish American neighborhood – visitors will learn about Irish immigration to Newport County from the 1600s to the present and of the many contributions made to our community by individuals of Irish descent. Interpretive Center exhibits are organized around several key aspects of life in the local Irish community and include maps, photographs, video, and artifacts, including some from the construction of Fort Adams, which was built with Irish immigrant labor. The Museum of Newport Irish History (648 Lower Thames Street, Newport). Info: 401/848-0661; newportirishhistory.org
SUMMER 2020 PREVIEW
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2020 – HOME OPENER – NEWPORT GULLS BASEBALL TEAM
2020 marks 20 Years of the Newport Gulls in the City by the Sea! The past two decades have included six championships, ten division titles, more than 150 alumni playing professional baseball, and much more! Leading up to Opening Day 2020, the Gulls are counting down the Top 20 Moments in History on their web site. Attend Opening Day! Go to: NewportGulls.com
JUNE 6, 2020 – OPENING WEEKEND FOR THE NEWPORT POLO SERIES
Info: 401/846-0200; nptpolo.com
JUNE 13, 14, & 15, 2020 – NEWPORT COUNTY RESIDENTS DAY – FREE ADMISSION TO NEWPORT MANSIONS
Third of six scheduled Newport County Residents Days in 2020. Newport County Residents and Hospitality Workers get free admission to the Newport Mansions and other cooperating attractions. Bring license and/or utility bill to prove residency/work status. Info: Go to newportmansions.org for schedules and hours.
MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2020 – FOUR FAITHS WALKING TOUR
This is the first tour of the summer. Tour begins at Touro Synagogue at 10 am. It continues at United Baptist Church, Newport Congregational Church, and Channing Memorial Church. Tours conducted the third Monday of every month, through September. Information & Tickets: www.4faiths.org
JUNE 19-21 , 2020 – NEWPORT FLOWER SHOW – ROSECLIFF – POSTPONED TILL JUNE 18-20, 2021
This year’s theme is Voices in the Garden. Voices are like fingerprints. Each has a unique register and leaves an indelible signature. A garden is the reflection of the gardener’s voice. Whether that voice echoes the strength in mighty trees, the romance of fragrant flowers, or the laughter of bubbling water, all are still heard in great gardens. Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org
JUNE 24 – 28, 2020 – THE U.S. SENIOR OPEN 2020 – NEWPORT COUNTRY CLUB – Canceled
SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2020 – SUMMER RE-OPENING OF CHEPSTOW, HUNTER HOUSE, ISAAC BELL HOUSE & KINGSCOTE
Info: 401/847-1000; newportmansions.org
THURSDAY, JULY 23 – 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF NEWPORT COUNTY – ROSECLIFF – 6PM
The Preservation Society of Newport County will celebrate its 75th Anniversary with former and current tour guides and other employees with a picnic on the grounds of Rosecliff on Thursday, July 23 at 6 pm. All current and past employees of the PSNC are cordially invited. Need more info? Contact Beverly Ware at email@example.com.
JULY 25-26, 2020 – THE NEWPORT SHOW – ST. GEORGE’S ICE RINK – MIDDLETOWN, RI
Save the dates! The 2020 edition of The Newport Show will be held at St. George’s School Ice Rink (375 Purgatory Road, Middletown). The show benefits the Newport Historical Society and the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County. A Gala Preview Party will be hosted on Friday, July 24th. Free parking. Info: www.TheNewportShow.com
JULY 31-AUGUST 2, 2020 – NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL—FORT ADAMS
Since 1959, the Newport Folk Festival has thrilled audiences. This year’s festival begins on July 31st. Info: newportfestivals.org
JULY 2020 – NEWPORT MUSIC FESTIVAL
Dates & Venues TBA. Info: 401/849-0700; newportmusic.org
AUGUST 1 & 2, 2020 – NEWPORT COUNTY RESIDENTS DAY – FREE ADMISSION TO NEWPORT MANSIONS
Fourth of six scheduled Newport County Residents Days in 2020. Residents get free admission to the Newport Mansions. Bring license and/or utility bill to prove residency. Info: Go to newportmansions.org for schedules and hours.
AUGUST 7-9, 2020 – NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL – FORT ADAMS
This annual event takes place the first weekend of August. Tickets on sale now. Info & Tickets: newportjazzfest.org
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26 – 100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION OF THE 19TH AMENDMENT – MARBLE HOUSE
Be sure to set this day aside to join with members and friends of the Preservation Society of Newport County in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment (ratified on August 18, 1920) to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. The setting of Marble House is appropriate as so many of the rallies calling for “Votes for Women” were hosted by Marble House owner, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, and held on the grounds of this great Bellevue Avenue Gilded Age mansion. Stay tuned for more details. Info: newportmansions.org
AUTUMN 2020 PREVIEW
SEPTEMBER 12 & 13, 2020 –NEWPORT COUNTY RESIDENTS DAY – FREE ADMISSION TO NEWPORT MANSIONS
Fifth of six scheduled Newport County Residents Days in 2020. Residents get free admission to the Newport Mansions. Bring license and/or utility bill to prove residency. Info: Go to newportmansions.org for schedules and hours.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2020 – AUDRAIN MOULIN ROUGE – INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME – 6:30 PM
The Audrain Automobile Museum’s 5th Annual Gala Fundraiser will be A Night at the Audrain Moulin Rouge. Info: audrainautomuseum.org
NOVEMBER 21 & 22, 2020 –NEWPORT COUNTY RESIDENTS DAY – FREE ADMISSION TO NEWPORT MANSIONS
Final of six scheduled Newport County Residents Days for 2020. Residents get free admission to the Newport Mansions. Bring license and/or utility bill to prove residency. Info: Go to newportmansions.org for schedules and hours.
Every day, Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Welcome the World to our City-by-the-Sea!
PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES
PRACTICAL HANDBOOK FOR 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 [Buy direct from 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 author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).