Yes, people are coming back to dine in Newport.
Outdoor dining has returned at a number of Newport’s restaurants and cafes. Take-out, delivery, and curbside pick-up continues at many establishments. A full list is posted at www.whatsupnewp.com.
Watch this column and daily posts in www.whatsupnewp.com for additional openings of restaurants, cafes, hotels, museums, mansions, and more in the coming days and weeks. Indoor dining will return soon as well.
In the meantime, encourage your friends and guests and inquirers to visit Newport, patronize the open restaurants and cafes, drive and walk and experience the 4+ centuries of architectural beauty, and marvel at the miles of natural landscapes and water vistas.
Much of what we have to offer visitors is already on display.
More food and lodging services, along with museums, historical sites, and Gilded Age mansions will be re-opening every week.
We are one day ever closer to a full re-opening of our city’s many attractions and activities.
The best is yet to come.
Until we meet here again, I want to encourage you to continue to read and research, virtually explore museum spaces and historic places, and learn more about this island we call home. Consider this time as a gift that allows you to improve your knowledge and better equip you for the immense dignity of the work that awaits you.
In addition to the following local web sites, where you will find easy
access to photos, videos, and brief history lessons, here is a review of
a recent [and fun!] Newport history book.
BOOKS FOR NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: AN OVERLOOKED ECONOMIC DRIVER. A Study of the Impacts of Historic Preservation in Rhode Island.
Written & Produced by Place Economics. Study Commissioned by Preserve Rhode Island and The Preservation Society of Newport County. 2018. This comprehensive study details and confirms the many dividends paid to the state of Rhode Island by historic preservation. The authors cite four key areas that benefit from this activity: the economy through tax credits, heritage tourism, the environment, and quality of life. The numbers are amazing. Rhode Island hosts 9.8 million heritage visitors each year which contribute $1.4 billion to the state’s economy. Over $1.4 billion was invested in rehabilitating 326 historic buildings. Every $1 the state invests in a historic preservation tax credit generates $10.53 of economic activity. The report further details the numbers of jobs and wages produced by heritage tourism and the positive effect preservation has on the environment and the overall quality of life in the Ocean State. The full illustrated 70-page report can be downloaded for free at www.PreservationStudyRI.org.
TOUR GUIDE TIP OF THE WEEK
After you have been leading tours for a while or working in one of the historic mansions with its detailed script, it’s a good idea to review the material and “re-remember” the story you have been sharing with visitors. This is necessary because it is not uncommon to begin telling your own version of the history of the place they work. In that natural process, a few details may be dropped, a key date or figure amended, or the name and date of a particular painting or furnishing forgotten.
This tip is particularly timely, especially during the continuing layoff from tours and the closure of the mansions most of us have had during this months-long COVID-19 crisis. Returning to giving tours, date uncertain, will require refreshing our memories and re-reading the details of our scripts. To be prepared for every question from your guests, it is a good and prudent idea to review the script of your tour and re-read a book about your site and its family history. It will keep you fresh, re-inspire you, and make you more interesting on your next tour.
Meanwhile, stay current by reading the daily news sites [such as WhatsUpNewp.com], attending lectures, making online and virtual visits to other historic homes and museums, and walking around our great City-by-the-Sea.
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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 email@example.com.
We will share it with all our readers. And you. Thanks!
Each day, until this public health crisis passes, and we are all again fully open for business, please 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
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OUR WEB SITE LISTINGS
⬥ Belcourt of Newport (www.belcourt.com) – Wonderful videos of the restoration of this gem
⬥ Fort Adams (www.fortadams.org)
⬥ Touro Synagogue (www.tourosynagogue.org) – Read the history, view the photo galleries
⬥ Museum of Newport Irish History (www.newportirishhistory.org) – Be sure to check out the videos of the lectures on their web site: newportirishhistory.org/lectures.html
⬥ Rose Island (www.roseisland.org)
⬥ Newport Historical Society (www.NewportHistory.org)
⬥ Preservation Society of Newport County (www.NewportMansions.org) — Several new virtual tours have recently been added to the web site
⬥ Newport Art Museum (www.NewportArtMuseum.org)
⬥ Gansett Cruises (www.gansettcruises.com) – Check out their photo & video galleries
⬥ Redwood Library and Athenaeum (www.RedwoodLibrary.org)
⬥ The Newport Experience (www.newportexperience.com) – Includes OceanCliff and the Schooner Aurora
⬥ Audrain Automobile Museum (www.AudrainAutoMuseum.org) – The YouTube site for this museum is worth a look
⬥ Discover Newport (www.DiscoverNewport.org) – Video, photos & numerous links to more
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OPERATING SCHEDULES UPDATES
With so many cancellations and postponements and new ones announced every day, it is wishful thinking to list any upcoming events with any assurance they will take place. The future is still too unknown and constantly changing. Therefore, this column is suspending its regular detailed listings until such time as Newport re-opens and the major attractions and historic sites post their new schedules and re-set the dates for key events.
Until then, please check back daily with www.whatsupnewp.com for schedule changes and updates.
KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).