The Breakers Newport RI
The Breakers (Photo via The Preservation Society of Newport County)

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Newport’s largest Gilded Age mansion, The Breakers, and the elegant Bellevue Avenue French-style chateau, The Elms, successfully re-opened last week after more than two months being closed. Numerous changes were implemented in order to ensure safety for both guests and staff members. These included social distancing, limited capacity, reservations, and online-only ticket sales. Both mansions are owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County. 

Newport Historical Society will begin offering walking tours tomorrow (June 12). Tours will begin at the 1739 Colony House.  Check with NewportHistoryTours.com for reservations and tickets. 

We are seeing more restaurants, bars, retails stores, and houses of worship re-open as life begins to return to life as usual in Newport. Traffic is still quite reduced while many museums and historic attractions remain closed.  We have a ways to go until the Newport tourism and travel industries can be fully revived. 

For current information on re-openings and operating hours, please check directly with individual museums and other historic sites for days, times, and Covid-19 rules. 

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As this week marks the final edition of this column, please check in at www.whatsupnewp.com for

additional openings of restaurants, cafes, hotels, museums, mansions, and more in the coming days and weeks.

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BOOKS FOR NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS

THE HEART OF HOSPITALITY: Great Hotel & Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets

By Micah Solomon. New York: SelectBooks, Inc. 2016. 

I have read this book twice over and found myself agreeing with its many lessons, tips, and genius ideas to improve hospitality quality. The author brings the best practices from the high-altitude worlds of Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons hotels. He adds the visionary concepts and food service of Nobu, Craft Restaurants, and Danny Meyer. Then he adds in the elements of scripting, digital technology, and the power of authenticity to bring together all of the many choices the modern tourist and hospitality property has to choose from to deliver memorable experiences. Micah Solomon begins with a thorough and important discussion of systems and standards to guide hospitality service along with the critical keys of the hiring process to get and retain the best employees. Sprinkled in among nine comprehensive chapters are nuggets and ideas for the reader to “steal” and apply to her business immediately. If you are a hospitality and/or tourism leader, or someday want to be, then buy this book, read it, highlight it, and apply its proven lessons for greater success in exceeding your customers’ expectations. There is no other book quite like THE HEART OF HOSPITALITY

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TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – SAY HELLO AND SMILE 

Great hospitality begins with a sincere hello and a smile.

Practice smiling in your bathroom mirror.

Make it sparkle.

Make it shine.

Your smile can have power. 

Your smile most definitely HAS power.

Your smile can validate the most unappreciated person and the quintessential “shy visitor.”

Use your smile to empower and inspire your visitors.

Just as we love to see a smile on the face of the person next to us, across from us, and coming toward us. 

Make a special effort to make your smile make magic and inspire a great experience for every guest in front of you.

REMEMBER: A smile is a non-verbal expression of welcome, joy, and love.

Your smile is the best welcome any guest can receive. 

So, say hello and smile. 

Everything else you deliver after that will be a bonus.

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Each week this column has shared tips and strategies for planning,

marketing, and providing quality guest services. If you have a suggestion, 

please send it along to kennethproudfoot@hotmail.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. We encourage you to 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. 

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

 Jamestown Historical Society (jamestownhistoricalsociety.org) – In January, the Society’s Collections Committee uploaded 41,834 records to the online database of holdings. Check it out this rich resource on their web site.

 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) – Check out their daily Car of the Day photo.  Also, 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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THE FUTURE 

Things are changing rapidly.  Please check back daily with www.whatsupnewp.com for schedule changes and updates. 

A FINAL NOTE

This is my last regular weekly column for WhatsUpNewp.com.  This marks 128 weeks [1/2 years] writing this column. It has been fun, interesting, and I have learned much more than I was ever able to include in these weekly posts. While this column will fade into a Newport sunset, Ryan Belmore, and the good folks at WhatsUpNewp will continue to provide updates for all the happenings in our wonderful City-by-the-Sea.  Many of you also follow my Facebook page.  In the future, I will post occasional news items and features on the Newport Tour Guides & Greeters page at Facebook.com.  Thank you for reading, responding, and sharing with me the good news of life in Newport.

KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is a documentary filmmaker, playwright, and author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).   

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