South County Tourism Council, Inc.

2010 Spring/Summer Newsletter


 In This Issue:
From The President
Thank-You Exeter Job Corps Students
Priceless Free Press
SCTC Hosts German Travel Journalist
Helping Save Lives
Statewide Collaboration
Congratulations to Loren Spears!
Sun Shines on Tour Rhode Island
Courthouse Center for the Arts Receives Award
Celebrate South County Day
Requesting Your Summer Packages
Ocean House Opens in Grand Style
Bikes, Kites & Skis Pedals into Narragansett
Seeking Your Reflections of South County
Free Brochure Space
2011 South County Bridal Show
Welcome Aboard!
From The President
As I write this, great swaths of South County remain under water and lacking power, following the biblical rainstorms that swept through our area for several dark days in mid-March. But the sun is so bright today that my office shades are shut against the glare. There's not a cloud in the forecast for the next four days. The dramatic improvement has us all giddy.
 
But spring has sprung, and with it, we're seeing some very sunny developments. A major hotel, Ocean House, is infusing Westerly with enhancements and aggressive global marketing initiatives. North Kingstown has broken ground for a "green" Marriott Towne Place Suites and East Greenwich has Hemenways opening where Table 28 once was.
 
Much closer to home, the Council headquarters has begun a search for much needed space to address the ever increasing expansion of State offices moving into the Stedman Government Center. A big thank-you, to the South County Tourism Council's seven Chambers of Commerce who accepted their annual allotment of South County Style Vacation Planners during a hasty request to move 52,000 magazines from our existing space to make room for a larger DMV waiting area.
 
I welcome this spring/summer season as we bring more innovation and creativity to making South County count!
Thank-You Exeter Job Corps Students

As many of you know, the Stedman Government Center has undergone a transformation of sorts, with the expansion of the DMV waiting room and several state agencies being brought into this state-owned building due to the economic downturn. Well, one might say it has presented some challenging times for us all. So it is not surprising that this influx has had an impact on our warehouse space which we have enjoyed for some 24 years, necessitating the FOURTH move of South County Tourism Council's collateral material stock which includes the RIEDC Tourism Division material as well. Although not a pleasant experience for anyone, nine Exeter Job Corps students came to lend a hand for yet a second time this year. A hearty THANK YOU to Exeter Job Corps instructor, Mr. Glen Tao accompanied by his able tourism ambassador students who provided the perfect "lift" because the Council would have been truly challenged by the "weight" of it all.

Priceless Free Press

David Latt, food blogger, travel journalist and contributor to Peter Greenburg's travel website and New York Daily News Travel Online, toured and ate his way through South County in October.  His stops were: Grille on Main in East Greenwich, a walking tour of Wickford Village with a break at Tavern by the Sea, Gardner's Wharf, Matunuck Oyster Bar, Olympia Tea Room in Watch Hill and Champlin's in Narragansett.

Click here for the full article

From his blog Men Who Like to Cook

http://menwholiketocook.blogspot.com/2010/03/lobster-rolls-clams-oysters-and-much.html
From Peter Greenberg's travel website
http://www.petergreenberg.com/2010/03/11/rhode-island-renaissance-lobster-rolls-clams-oysters-and-more-on-the-rhode-island-shore%E2%80%A8/

SCTC Hosts German Travel Journalist
The Towers B&B was host to Travel Journalist Ole Helmhausen, a writer for our National Geographic counterpart in Germany. SCTC President Myrna George was his tour guide for 304 miles of South County Tourism Council region, including a private tour of Ocean House in Westerly. The tour concluded with an elegant sunset meal provided by The Coast Guard House. Thank-you to one and all for helping to present a gracious South County Welcome to Ole. 
Helping Save Lives

The 6th Annual South County Blood Drive was held Friday, February 19 at the Stedman Government Center, which generated 5 pints of blood that will benefit up to 15 people.  The total amount of blood donated since 2004 is 66 pints.  We thank those individuals who gave so generously to help save lives.

Statewide Collaboration

South County Tourism Council (SCTC) is collaborating with Duffy & Shanley, RIEDC Tourism Division's advertising and public relations agency, and Newport/Bristol County CVB to support press visits to include Farewell Travels, Johnny Jet, Sociality.org, Gonomad.com, Departures, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, Connecticut Magazine, Westchester MagazineBoomer Time and Senior Life and Premier Bride.  In addition, we are happy to have the Ocean House featured in Brides Magazine as a result of our collaborations.

 

SCTC collaborated with RIEDC Tourism Division to host the 24th Annual Educational Travel Conference in Providence February 3-6.  More than 480 educational travel planners, suppliers, operators, and destinations from 41 countries gathered to "Consider the Possibilities" and chart a new course for high end adult educational travel.  As a kick-off, SCTC welcomed several travel planners from Smithsonian Journeys, Harvard Alumni, and The Art Institute of Chicago at Celestial Caf´┐Ż in Exeter for a Rhode Island Farm Dinner and entertained them with a tour at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography's Inner Space Center, a tour of Galilee and lunch at Matunuck Oyster Bar.  

 

SCTC participated in the 7th Annual AAA Travel Marketplace March 5-7 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. The beautiful spring weekend brought tens of thousands of travel buyers to the Rhode Island table where they picked up plenty of materials to plan their South County getaway.

 

SCTC in conjunction with the regions and RIEDC Tourism Division rolled out the red carpet for international tour operators at the 15th Discover New England Tourism Summit.  We all worked together to present Rhode Island as an extraordinary leisure travel destination for international travelers.  A special thanks to students at the Nuweetooun School for their wonderful Native American performance at the opening night gala.

 

Loren Spears

 
Congratulations To Loren Spears! 
Hats off to Loren Spears (second from right in the above photo)for being chosen as one of 11 Extraordinary Woman honorees for 2010 in Rhode Island. Her award was presented on March 8 to coincide with International Women's Day. She is honored for her great success in education as founder of the Nuweetooun School. Spears is pictured above with Nuweetooun School students and SCTC President Myrna George.
Sun Shines on Tour Rhode Island
The sun shone brightly on the South County Tourism Council during this spring's newly created tour "South County: By Land, By Sea, and By Air" as part of Tour Rhode Island, which kicked off Tourism Week in Rhode Island.
 

This latest addition was another sellout, as well as our two established tours, "South County Art & Culture" and "South County, Where Nature Meets History." For eight years, Tour Rhode Island, the collaborative effort of all Tourism agencies throughout RI has celebrated tourism's contributions to the state and emphasized the value of tourism to all residents. 

In early May, Ann Lessman, Tim Cranston and Jim Rugh guided visitors around the beautiful sights of South County, including the Nathanael Greene Homestead, Babcock-Smith House, Langworthy Farm, South County Museum, Gilbert Stuart Museum, Smith's Castle, US Fish & Wildlife, Carpenter's Grist Mill, Seabee Museum, Quonset Air Museum, and last but not least The Jewels of the Bay.  

SCTC recognized Kristen Picard, URI volunteer who oversaw this year's Tour Rhode Island for South County. Picard coordinated the South County tours, in addition to organizing a non-perishable food drive for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in conjunction with the tours. Sightseers were simply asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the food bank and responded generously. Rhode Islanders continue to struggle with record-high unemployment, the economy is lagging and demand at local food pantries has increased 30 percent in the past year. Food pantries are stretching their donations to help feed as many families as possible and drives such as this help keep the shelves stocked. 

Myrna George, SCTC President, praised Picard for her dual efforts. "Kristen went above and beyond while earning her stripes as a much appreciated South County Tourism Ambassador," George said. "She has become a 'star' on the team of Tour Rhode Island."

Courthouse Center for the Arts Receives Award
The Courthouse Center for the Arts was the recipient of the South County Tourism Council's "Tourism Works for Rhode Island" Award for 2010.
SCTC President Myrna George presented the award at the 25th Annual Rhode Island Tourism Unity Luncheon on May 12. "The Courthouse Center for the Arts has become a rich backdrop for the many multifaceted programs that are now offered to the community - including theater, art classes, exhibits, dance, concerts, operas and film," George said. "This is a thriving cultural arts center which provides some 45 programs and events in the visual and performing arts to more than 16,000 adults and children during 2009."
Center Executive Director Russell Maitland accepted the award. George also noted that the Center has received awards and recognition from Nickelodeon, the Providence Phoenix and Rhode Island Monthly for their diverse arts programs, performing arts and film series.
The historic building that houses the Center served as the Washington County Courthouse for nearly 100 years. In 1988 it was deeded to the State of Rhode Island for $1 with the promise to renovate and maintain the structure as a center for the arts. The structure, designed by Leslie P. Langworthy, is now listed as one of Rhode Island's top 10 historic sites in South County.
Maitland, executive director of the Courthouse Center for the Arts, has a varied background, from working on Wall Street to dancing with the Joffrey Ballet. His energetic leadership and innovative programming in both the performing and visual arts has brought statewide and national attention to South County.
Celebrate South County Day
Myrna with Plumy 2
South County moved north briefly during the 18th Annual "Celebrate South County Day...and the Rest of the State" at the Rhode Island State House on Tuesday, May 11, the kick-off of the 2010 National Tourism Week. 
Celebrate South County Day is a collaborative annual event promoting the power of travel by recognizing the benefits created by tourism as it enhances the economy, security and perception of the state. The event is sponsored by the South County Tourism Council. 
"South County is a wonderful place to visit and live in because it is so beautiful and diverse," said Myrna George, president of SCTC. "Of course there are the beaches, but also historical sites, bike paths, nature preserves, arts programs and incredible food."
South County exhibitors offered a "Taste of South County" with food samples including: Indian pudding from Aunt Carrie's, samples from Coventry's Cracker Barrel, Johnny cakes from Kenyon Cornmeal Company, trail mix from US Fish & Wildlife Kettle Pond Visitors Center, George's of Galilee, Del's, and chowder from Yawgoo Bakes & Barbeques. 
Other exhibitors include General Nathanael Greene Homestead, RI Resource Conservation & Development, Seabee Museum, Block Island Ferry, Rhody Warm, South County Chambers, along with other tourism regions to promote awareness of the travel and tourism industry's economic, social, and cultural contributions to the region.
Offering a delicious version of the SCTC's scallop shell logo was Sweenor's Chocolates with their scallop shell shaped chocolates, to the delight of legislators and general officers.
"Plumy" the lighthouse shone as the day's unofficial mascot, greeting visitors and showing off his personalized Rhode Island license plate. A portion of the proceeds from the Plum Beach Lighthouse vanity plates funds the repainting project of the lighthouse.
Requesting Your Summer Packages
Packages are a perceived marketing value and now is the time to submit them.  Calling all accommodations, restaurants and attractions...please send us your summer and fall packages and specials to post on the Packages and Specials section of our website.
Email Lillian, [email protected], with the details and expiration dates and we will post them for you.
Ocean House Opens in Grand Style
Westerly and the rest of South County waited with breathless anticipation the opening of The Ocean House in Watch Hill this spring. Investor Charles Royce has returned the iconic New England seaside resort to Rhode Island, providing its guests and residents with a memorable seaside experience. Royce invested $146 million in the rebuilding of the Gilded Age resort. The distinctive yellow facade, impeccably appointed rooms and breathtaking ocean views provides both private coastal retreats for its guests and a more pampered lifestyle for its residents.
Royce has demonstrated his faith in the idyllic atmosphere of Watch Hill to provide a relaxing and picturesque retreat year-round.
Bikes, Kites & Skis Pedals into Narragansett
Bikes, Kites & Skis is pedaling into Narragansett with a location at 9 Pier Market Place. Bikes, Kites & Skis offers 21-speed adult and kid bikes, hybrids, beach cruisers for rent from a few hours to a full week, with prices starting at $15. Rentals include a helmet, lock and route map. A full range of kites from beginner to advanced are available to purchase or rent for $5 or $10, with the rental fee deducted from the price of the kite. For more information call 401-619-4110 or visit bikes-kites.com.
Seeking Your Reflections of South County
You are invited to submit photos reflecting the naturally serene beauty that can only be found in South County, which as you know, is significantly blessed by nature.  Your challenge is to capture images representing 449 square miles of scenery filled with wildlife preserves, protected parks and forests that spill down to 100 miles of sandy beaches, sprinkled with 18 public golf courses and populated by those who love to live and visit the area. 

With a chance to win over $1,000 in prize money, all entrants to our 9th Annual South County Tourism Council Photo Contest are encouraged to submit enticing images reflecting the beauty of our people and places within the environs of Charlestown, Coventry, East Greenwich, Exeter, Hopkinton, Narragansett, North Kingstown, Richmond, South Kingstown, Westerly and West Greenwich. 

Entries are being accepted through August 12.  For entry form and contest rules visit southcountyri.com or email us at [email protected]

Free Brochure Space

Combining the Registry of Motor Vehicles offices has brought an increase of visitors to our offices at the Stedman Government Center.  Almost 800 people are processed every Thursday and Friday! You are invited to take advantage of this increased traffic and drop off your brochures at our office and we will be happy to display them on our front rack at no charge.

2011 South County Bridal Show
 
The South County Tourism Council will sponsor its 4th Annual South County Bridal Show Jan. 16, 2011 from 11 am to 4 pm at the Historic Towers in Narragansett. Space is limited, and provided to vendors on a first-come, first-served basis.
This show has become a must-attend event for brides planning their special day in picturesque South County. To reserve space at the show, call (401) 789-4422.
Welcome Aboard!
 
As we wish a fond farewell to Kim Charlet who is relocating to the hills of Tennessee from the Shores of Rhode Island, South County Tourism Council welcomes Diane Patefield as our new Marketing Director. You may recognize Diane as the lead Tourism Councilor/sales staff manager for RIEDC Tourism Division located at the Rhode Island Welcome Center in Richmond. Diane is multi-talented and will be a positive team player for the South County Tourism Council.
Also joining SCTC is Nicholas DeRobbio. As Marketing Assistant he will use his recent New England Technical College degree in graphic design/multi-media technology to oversee SCTC's website, internet sites, database, coordination of SCTC functions/events, creating marketing sales and promotional pieces while troubleshooting IT and tech support. In this ever changing world we live in, it is refreshing to see his energy.  
We are pleased that Jean Pacillo has joined SCTC's staff part-time with support for our public relations initiatives. Her writing talents include being the former editor of local weekly newspapers. Need we say more?
 
 Do stop by and give them a warm South County welcome as we continue to entice visitors from near and far!

2010 Style Cover

Did You Know?

* Active links on the downloadable, digital version of South County Style accessible on our website. Now, anyone viewing the magazine online can just click on the ads and go directly to advertisers' websites!

* Additional reach in 2010 - 3,000 South County Style Vacation Planners are being distributed at travel agencies and tourist locations in Arlington and Fairfax counties in Northern Virginia and Montgomery, Baltimore and Prince George's counties in Maryland.

 

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