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This has been a couple of tough years for the hospitality industry, but even with exploding gasoline prices it promises to be a robust vacation season in Rhode Island. We’ll talk with Dale Venturini, executive director of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, on Tuesday at 11:30 am to get her projections for the season that’s now upon us.

We’ll also want to find out if Rhode Island was as hard hit by the pandemic as some anticipated, with as many as 40 percent of restaurants originally expected to close.

And how did those restaurants and hotels survive? What were the innovations that restaurateurs used to stay in business, and what did they learn from the pandemic?

We know that in Newport outdoor dining remains with us, at least for the short term. How about the rest of the state, and projections that outdoor dining is now here to stay?

Among the industry’s greatest challenges has been finding and keeping employees. We’ll ask Venturini about the employment picture, whether the industry has adjusted wages, and, if still shorthanded, whether properties have adjusted hours and days open.

With the legislative session about to end, we’ll want to know about any important industry related legislation that was approved, and those bills that were not approved.

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Frank Prosnitz

Frank Prosnitz brings to WhatsUpNewp several years in journalism, including 10 as editor of the Providence (RI) Business News and 14 years as a reporter and bureau manager at the Providence (RI) Journal. Prosnitz began his journalism career as a sportswriter at the Asbury Park (NJ) Press, moving to The News Tribune (Woodbridge, NJ), before joining the Providence Journal. Prosnitz hosts the Morning Show on WLBQ radio (Westerly), 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, and It’s Your Business, also on WBLQ, Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Prosnitz has twice won Best in Business Awards from the national Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW), twice was named Media Advocate of the Year by the Small Business Administration, won an investigative reporter’s award from the New England Press Association, and newswriting award from the Rhode Island Press Association.