Newport hotels already filling up for 2015 event

In this photograph provided by Volvo Ocean Race, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and skippered Ken Read, from the USA, lead the fleet from the start of the Ireland In-Port Race Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, in Galway, Ireland, on Saturday, July 7, 2012. Puma won the race. (AP Photo/Volvo Ocean Race, Paul Todd)

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Hotels in Newport are already running out of rooms for the Volvo Ocean Race, which doesn’t arrive in the city for another year.

Rhode Island is the only North American stop for the nine-month, 10-port race that circumnavigates the globe.

The first boats are scheduled to sail into  Newport early next May before leaving on the final leg of the race to Lisbon, Portugal

Laurie Stroll, the owner of Newport Hospitality, tells the Newport Daily News about 4,000 room nights have already been booked at area hotels.

She says every major hotel in Newport is booked for the May 14-17 weekend.  The group expects the race to have a major impact on the entry state’s economy, as demand pushes bookings farther from the city.

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