So many awesome memories at the old Newport Yachting Center… International Oktoberfest, The Great Chowder Cookoff, Reggae Fest and of course ice skating! A few years back when the Yacthing Center was sold, we all heard the rumors of what it was going to be turned into. Some people said it would just be a parking lot, others said that they were turning it into a huge hotel. Well, those rumors are now coming to fruition as it was just announced that an 84-room hotel has been approved for the downtown location.
There goes the neighborhood! It sucks that such a historic city which has tried so hard to hold on to its identity is allowing a building as large as this one to be built in such a central location. Im not even mad that the new owners are putting in a hotel there – they’re clearly gonna make a butt load of money, it’s a great investment. Also, right now the space is a parking lot. I’ll take a fancy hotel over a parking lot any day. But it’s the fact that the city council and outspoken community members make a big deal when ever someone tries to bring something new to the city. Their excuse is always something like, “We’re just trying to maintain Newport’s historical value and integrity.” Now that someone wants to drop a huge hotel in the middle of downtown, where’s the excuse?
Another issue is the people who constantly complain about the noise downtown to the point where places like the yachting center have to shut down. Take it from me, I’ve worked at multiple restaurants and event venues in Newport and some of the noise complaints we would get were RIDICULOUS! In one instance, a venue where I worked had to buy a decibel meter to measure how loud they were being to avoid a visit from the police due to a noise complaint. I always pictured a bunch of old hags sitting by their window with one of these decibel meters, just waiting for the noise to go 0.01 over the limit.
Im not saying old people are single handedly responsible for the yachting center closing down, they’re not. But they certainly make the situation way more difficult for the city to handle. Go on a cruise or move to Florida like a normal old person.
There’s nothing we can do about it now, so why not embrace what the new hotel has to offer. The owners of the to-be hotel have agreed to allow “perpetual” access to the waterfront via public walkway, so thats a good thing. According to Newport Daily News, the hotel will also feature a seasonal skating rink! Woohoo!
All said and done, even though this is a bummer, it’s not the absolute worst thing to happen to Newport. I’m eager to see the new hotel go up and how the rest of the community reacts to it.