For the third consecutive year, The Preservation Society of Newport County has delivered over one million tours, attracting visitors from more than 100 countries and all 50 states to the Newport Mansions in 2018.
The longest trip reported this year to visit the mansions was 11,670 miles from Fremantle Western Australia to Newport, RI.
“People from around the world are curious and interested to know more about American history,” Preservation Society board chairman Monty Burnham said. “It is incredibly gratifying to see the commitment of our board, donors and staff rewarded by people from six continents making their way to Newport, Rhode Island to experience what we are preserving here. History is alive and well in Newport.”
The Newport Mansions are one of only four museums in New England that regularly reach one million admissions. The other three are in downtown Boston. Newport Mansions’ guests can see seven national historic landmarks and four other historic sites, including The Elms and Chateau-sur-Mer, as well as two Vanderbilt estates, The Breakers and Marble House.
Visitors enjoyed a wide variety of experiences, including guided, audio and family tours, as well as self-guided landscape tours and tours in French, German, Spanish and Chinese. Additionally, more than 130,000 visited the special exhibitions at Rosecliff.
“Historic Preservation is labor intensive and extraordinarily costly,” CEO and Executive Director Trudy Coxe said. “It takes nearly 400 people to preserve, protect and present the historic buildings and landscapes we hold in trust. Every one of those people deserves credit, along with our tourism industry partners.”
“Congratulations to the Preservation Society of Newport County for once again achieving this impressive accomplishment,” said Lara Salamano, Chief Marketing Officer for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. “Historical and cultural tourism are huge selling points for Newport and throughout the state, and we are seeing this interest generate strong visitation to our high quality attractions, shops, hotels, and restaurants. Congratulations again to the Preservation Society on reaching this milestone and on their continued success.”
“The fact that one million tours a year are given by the Newport Mansions is a tribute to many things,” said Evan Smith, the President and CEO of Discover Newport. “The first would be to the incredible preservation work that the PSNC does to keep these magnificent structures and landscapes in top form. The second would be to understand and appreciate that cultural and heritage tourism is still very relevant in our ever changing world. Travelers have a wide choice of destinations to consider, and the iconic Newport Mansions still hold great appeal, not only to view the extraordinary architecture of the Gilded Age, but to hear the fascinating stories of notable families and the time they spent in Newport. We are so fortunate to have one of the top architectural preservation programs in the world, and we salute their many contributions to the economy of our city and state.”
The Preservation Society reached two other milestones in 2018. The American Alliance of Museums renewed accreditation to the mansions, a status only achieved by 6% of American museums. Trip Advisor awarded the Newport Mansions “Hall of Fame” status for five consecutive years of highest recommendations from its subscribers.
Four of the Newport Mansions now operate daily year-round: The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House and Rosecliff. The Preservation Society’s other houses – Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, Hunter House, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote and Green Animals Topiary Garden – operate on a seasonal schedule from early spring to late fall.
The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history. Its 11 historic properties–seven of them National Historic Landmarks–span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.