Photo by Town of Middletown

The Town of Middletown today announced that it has received a $60,000 check from Discover Newport to pay for enhancements to visitor experiences. While the Town doesn’t have a specific plan for the grant, Town officials said it will be put to good use.

The Town of Middletown shared the following on their website on Tuesday;

Discover Newport Provides Grant Money To Enhance Visitor Experiences

Ask around and those in hospitality will invariably say Discover Newport is among the best at what it does — anywhere.

Now, the Town of Middletown has an extra reason to be thrilled with the regional tourism agency that represents Newport and Bristol counties.

Recently, the Town received a $60,000 “Community Support Grant” from Discover Newport. A letter from Discover Newport President and CEO Evan Smith indicated the one-time funding must be used for projects and programs that enhance the visitor’s experience in Middletown. 

Town officials said they were thrilled to receive the funding, which must be encumbered by June 30, 2023. At this point, the money has not been obligated to anything yet, but it was a welcome 

“Discover Newport has been an outstanding partner to the Town of Middletown since Day 1,” Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown said. “We all know how important tourism and hospitality are to our overall economy and we couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for Middletown and the entire region than Discover Newport.”

Annually, millions of people visit Newport and Bristol counties, attracted by a range of assets. While the City of Newport is the named draw, each of the nine communities offers something special and unique, with Middletown at the top of that list.

Whether it’s Second Beach — often described as the “crown jewel” of Middletown — to the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, the Norman Bird Sanctuary and more than two dozen local parks and playgrounds, the Town offers something for everyone looking to enjoy the outdoors.

But that’s not the only reason the community is an international tourist destination. From its laid-back, safe, family-friendly atmosphere to its history, restaurants and vibrant arts scene, Middletown truly has it all.

This doesn’t happen by mistake, far from it. Led by the direction of the Town Council, Middletown is constantly looking for new, exciting and meaningful ways to improve itself, not only for visitors, but everyday residents and businesspeople too.

Smith’s letter said if the community was not able to use the grant by the June 2023 deadline, an extension could be requested. Once the grant was spent, Smith said a complete description of the use of the funding was required.

He also offered a myriad of suggestions on ways the Town could best deploy the grant money. Among those included hiking trail improvements, bike trails, outdoor planters for public gardens, new outdoor waste bins, directional signage, marine improvements, public restrooms, fireworks displays, public concerts, event development, public art installations and playgrounds.

With a number of similar projects already in the works, the town administrator Brown said it wasn’t clear where the grants would be applied. However, he said there was no question Middletown would put the funding to good use.

“Middletown is always looking for high impact, low cost projects to improve our community,” Brown said. “Whether that’s related to hospitality or our business community, residents or elsewhere. Everything we do keeps a focus on the bottom line and giving our taxpayers the most for their investment and this ‘Community Support Grant’ will be no different.”