NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Newport has been in the news recently for not the best of reasons, but with Memorial Day and the city’s 375th birthday both happening this weekend, Newport needs to rebound.
Earlier this week, fast moving flames tore through a building at Easton Beach, which was torn down Tuesday. Then came the news that the Cliff Walk full opening was delayed since repairs from Superstorn Sandy aren’t complete.
Andrea McHugh with Discover Newport says AAA’s estimate of 36 million drivers hitting the roads this weekend will benefit the city in a big way.
“This is going to be the highest travel season since the recession.”
She tells Eyewitness News the City by the Sea is known as a driving destination, since 10% of the U.S. population lives within driving distance of Newport.
McHugh hopes this weekend’s momentum continues through the year, despite the recent fire and state of the Cliff Walk.
While the entire Cliff Walk will reopen in mid-July, about a quarter mile stretch is open between Memorial Boulevard and The Breakers.
Also this weekend, the city will officially kick off it’s 375th Anniversary. Celebrations will begin tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at the Colony House on Washington Square. People will be treated to a ceremonial signing of the Newport Compact of 1639 by close to 75 descendants of the original signers.
If Newport’s white sand beaches are filled this summer as expected, it could be a boost not just for the city, but the entire Ocean State.