More than one million more travelers than last year are expected to take to the roads, skies, rails and water nationally this weekend to create the highest Memorial Day travel volume since 2005. In response, Newport and its surrounding coastal communities are preparing for the holiday weekend and summer season ahead.
Evan Smith, president and CEO of Discover Newport, points to many new businesses, attractions, outdoor activities and events in addition to lodging renovations as key factors expected to enhance the visitor experience.
“Our destination has captured a very rare proficiency for offering visitors an authentic look at American history, from our cobblestone streets to our centuries-old buildings and landmarks, while embracing completely new experiences like contemporary restaurants, outdoor expeditions like pedal powered Rail Explorers, attractions like the new Newport Car Museum and events like the inaugural J Class World Championship. Newport truly is a place where one can choose their own adventure,” said Smith. “We look forward to welcoming returning visitors as well as new ones, especially with the new airlines and routes coming into T.F. Green.”
For new businesses in the destination, the anticipation of Memorial Day weekend and beyond is palpable. “We look forward to introducing Gurney’s to travelers to Newport as we kick off the summer season,” said George Filopoulos, owner of Gurney’s Newport. “Newport is an incredible year-round destination and the authenticity of the classic New England getaway will
be brought to life at the resort through design, bespoke programming and new culinary offerings." Gurney’s is set to unveil Scarpetta, a critically acclaimed modern Italian restaurant with locations in Las Vegas, Montauk and Philadelphia, as well as The Pineapple Club (an upgraded Pineapples by the Bay) this weekend.
An activity that has garnered much buzz since its springtime debut is Rail Explorers, which offers pedal-powered bike/vehicle hybrids that ride on railroad tracks along historic Aquidneck Island and Narragansett Bay. "We are excited about our first summer season in Newport County,” stated Rail Explorers CEO Mary Joy Lu. "Based on our advance bookings, we could host over 20,000 visitors to the unique Rail Explorers experience in Portsmouth during 2017."
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ABOUT DISCOVER NEWPORT
Discover Newport is the official destination management organization (DMO) dedicated to promoting the City of Newport and the eight surrounding coastal townships in Newport and Bristol counties, Rhode Island. These include Barrington, Bristol, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Warren. As a non-profit organization, Discover Newport partners with stakeholders throughout our tourism and hospitality industry to market the region as a premier destination for business and leisure travel.