2013 Autumn Newsletter
Charlestown - Coventry - East Greenwich - Exeter - Hopkinton - Narragansett -
North Kingstown - Richmond - South Kingstown - West Greenwich - Westerly
In This Issue:
Welcome Aboard!
2013 Photo Contest Winners
Hip Hip Hooray!
2014 South County Bridal Show
11th Annual North American Travel Journalists Association Conference
Welcome, World Headquarters!
Gift from the Sea
Star Destinations
Driving Tourism in the Shoulder Season
Submit Your 2014 Events for Style
Regional Monthly Lunch with the Governor
Australia Visits
Are You Missing That Warm Summer Breeze?
Welcome Aboard!          

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest board members including Elsie Foy of Aunt Carrie's, Tracy Feinstein of the Hampton Inn Coventry and Steven Wright, RI DEM (retired). They each bring a unique and dynamic perspective to the board and we could not be more excited to have them.         
 South County Photo Contest Winners
The 12th Annual South County Photo Contest winners were announced at a press conference and reception, held at the South County Museum. More than 330 entries were received capturing the essence of South County's 449 square mile tourism region.

Selena Millard, photographer for the South County Independent and a graduate from the University of Rhode Island, judged the photo contest.

Julie Ladd, of South Kingstown, R.I., won first place (photo shown above). Second place was awarded to Steve Wood; third place to Ingrid Mathews, and runners up were Ingrid Mathews, Eric Wertheimer and Steve Wood.

Thank you one and all for your creative style!

Hip Hip Hooray!  

South County has garnered an exciting 4 out of 7 Rhode Island Preservation Awards. Please extend a warm congratulations to the following -
Michael P. Lewis, Michael Rubin and Gregory S. Schultz
The receipents of this years John H. Chafee Public Service Award were: Michael P. Lewis of the Rhode Island Dept. of Transportation, Michael Rubin, from the Office of the Attorney General  and Gregory S. Schultz, also from the Office of Attorney General.
Each received the preservation award for their cooperation and dilligence to save the 900 year old Narragansett Indian Village, after a 20 year legal  battle. 
The land is home to the oldest archaeological site of Indigenous people, dating back to 1100 A.D., on the East Coast.
The Weekapaug Inn
The Weekapaug Inn, nestled next to Quonochontaug Pond, is a delight shared by its visitors. The natural setting and the historical markings make it a unique treasure. Rebuilt after being destroyed in the 1938 hurricane, it has been painstakingly restored to it former glory by Chuck Royce and Lang Wheeler.
Through all the renovations and updates, every step was of the project was examined for both historical elements and 21st Century comforts.
G. Timothy Cranston, North Kingstown
Tim holds the title of North Kingstown's "First Official Town Historian." In 2008 South County Tourism Council acknowledged Tim's service and presented him with the Starlight Award.
Tim has over 400 years of family history in the area, dating back to 1635. In addition to writing four books including, North Kingstown 1880-1920, and a series of three: Walking in Olde Wickford, Tim also serves a local travel expert for both walking and bus tours.
Willett Free Library, North Kingstown
The Willett Free Library has been a gem to the citizens and visitors of Saunderstown. After many years of use, there was a need to enlarge the space, while keeping the authenticity of the architecture. When the work was completed, the library had achieved both goals.
Cranberry Processing Barn, Coventry
Cranberries have long been a staple of New England.  Coventry is host to, the Greene Company, the longest operating private cranberry farm in  Rhode Island.  Its roots trace back to 1890. While the rennovation project was extensive, the family always maintained history first.
2014 South County Bridal Show           

With the New Year just around the corner, we are in full swing preparing for our 2014 South County Bridal Show scheduled for Sunday, January 12th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Set at The Towers in scenic Narragansett, it is a perfect back drop for a day filled of information and preparation for our brides and grooms to be! We just held our second working meeting with vendors and it is shaping up with a great deal of progressive and positive energy. As a collaborative team, we are excited to showcase South County as the truly affordable wedding destination in New England.

Ticket pre-sales have begun on our website, www.SouthCountyWeddings.com for $13/each courtesy of PayPal. We will retail these until the day of the event, but tickets will be available at the door for $15/each.

Planning a wedding or know someone who is? Please join us for a day that cannot be missed!
11th Annual North American Travel Journalists Association Conference


This past October, President Myrna George attended the 11th Annual Travel Writers conference in Shreveport, Louisiana. This four day event hosted a number of diverse speakers including Kim Mance - Travel Writer and Contributing Blogger from Conde Nast Travel, Don Nichols - Editor in Chief for Private Clubs and Veronica Stoddart - Editor in Chief for USA Today's Travel.


The conference provided a nice balance between speakers and marketplace exhibitors. Two out of our 20 relevant contacts made at the conference have already reached out to connect with us! We look forward to developing further relationships with the remaining travel writers in the months to come.


Welcome, World Headquarters!
Welcome to the newly constructed and custom designed Poliquin World Headquarters campus for your next meeting or conference. With the ability to seat up to 500 people, the on-site meeting professionals will take care of the details so you can focus on a successful meeting. The Poliquin Group is conveniently located on Route 2 in beautiful East Greenwich, it boasts quick access to Interstate 95. 
1598 South County Trail, East Greenwich RI 02818
401-885-4070 phone
401-885-4080 fax
The Purple Shell Wampum Store            
The Purple Shell Wampum Store is a Native American store owned and operated by Allan Hazard Sr. Allan is a member of the Narragansett Indian Tribal Nation and has the gift for crafting Wampum items by hand. A rare trade, Wampum has limited access to the immediate area, its next closest location being Martha's Vineyard.

His store, located 5219 Old Post Road in Charlestown, RI, offers a lovely mix of Native American arts including jewelry, pictures, clothing and more.

Allan Hazard is a true gift from the sea!
Star Destinations Tour           
South County Tourism Council President & CEO Myrna George participated in a statewide fam tour, also known as a familiarization tour, with Star Destinations. Myrna hopped on a bus at Fort Adams accompanied by 24 Tour Owners and Operators to educate them about beautiful South County! The tour included lunch at the Matunuck Oyster Bar where conversation topics incorporated a general overview of the region, along with an overview of aqua-farming by Perry Raso of Matunuck Oyster Farm, Tours and Restaurant.       
Driving Tourism in the Shoulder Season           
South County Tourism Council has partnered with the Hampton Inn at South County Commons and Matunuck Oyster Bar to promote visitors to drive interest amongst new potential visitors in the shoulder season. Using social media as the vehicle, we are working to entice fans to 'LIKE' our Facebook page with the entry to win a fantastic getaway at the Hampton Inn and a $100 gift card for Matunuck Oyster Bar.

The contest, for ages 21 and above, is encouraging residents outside the area to join our Facebook community and stay linked in with the beautiful South County page for up-to-date information on events around the region. We have been working with our great local partners to develop creative opportunities utilizing social media to drive interest of South County.

For more information or to see the contest live, please visit -- https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-County-Rhode-Island/63704788745?id=63704788745&sk=app_143103275748075            


Submit Your 2014 Events for Style 


Event listing submission for the 2014 edition of South County Style Vacation Guide has begun. If you would like your 2014 event to be considered for the Events section of the guide and our online calendar of events simply click here: http://www.southcountyri.com/events-calendar/submit-an-event and complete the form.  (See sample below) Deadline is December 1, 2013. 


Do NOT miss this opportunity for free event listings - send your information off to us today!



Regional Monthly Lunch with the Governor           
The South County Tourism Council hosted Governor Lincoln Chafee on Wednesday, October 23rd at T's in East Greenwich for the Region's monthly meeting. Topics discussed included a recent New York Times bestseller entitled, 'Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism' by Elizabeth Becker. The book "... uncovers how what was once a hobby has become a colossal enterprise with profound impact on countries, the environment, and cultural heritage." Additional discussion topics surrounding the book included the detrimental effects of the cruise ships on Venice, as well as the potential impact of travelers staying overnight in Rhode Island, but not contributing to the bed tax.          


There was unanimous agreement that there is a necessity to continue the search for a consistent funding mechanism for the RI State Division of Tourism, as our umbrella agency to better enable competition from our sister states.

Australia Visits
South County Tourism Council had the pleasure of meeting with Aussie travel writer, Linda Bentley as she was continuing through her epic journey of '..50 United States (in) 50 Weeks and One Packed Bag.'

After researching the US destinations of travel by our international visitors, Linda concurred that about 90% of our international travelers are visiting four states - New York, California, Hawaii and Florida. With that information as her driving force, she set out to visit the other 46 states that make up this beautiful country. Along her adventure, South County was a necessary venture as stop number 46 on this journey.

Linda had a full agenda here in South County which was split into two days. Upon her arrival, she met SCTC President Myrna George to discuss her agenda and off she went! Linda was able to tour the Matunuck Oyster Farm, enjoy a Farm & Vine Class at the Ocean House in Watch Hill and a seaside tour and star gazing at The Weekapaug Inn in Westerly.

Linda's trip was possible due to the collaboration between the RI State Division of Tourism and SCTC. Huge appreciations also go to TownePlace Suites Marriott in North Kingstown for hosting Linda, so her second day in South County could include a tour of historic Wickford Village and a trip to the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum in Exeter.

Linda's challenge continues as she looks to wrap up her adventure of a lifetime on December 24th. To relive Linda's journey, you can visit her website at http://www.thepackedbag.com/the_packed_bag/the_challenge.html or follow her on Facebook at The Packed Bag (https://www.facebook.com/ThePackedBag).



Are You Missing That Warm Summer Breeze?


Let the 2013 Rhythm & Roots Music Festival transport you back to when the days were a bit longer and faces had a sun kissed glow.


The festival has uploaded clips from this year's festival and beyond to their YouTube page -- http://www.youtube.com/user/rhythmandrootsfest 

You can relive some of the memories of this past Labor Day weekend which included acts featuring Jim Kweskin, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Taj Mahal Trio, Holly Williams, Marcia Ball and the Carolina Chocolate Drops as well as many others.


If you missed this year's festivities, don't fret! The Rhythm & Roots team is already planning next year's festival slated for August 29 - 31st, 2014. 









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