NEWPORT — Last weekend, Newport came alive with the Winter Swim Festival, Wright’s Ice Fishing Derby, and the Ryan Coulter Pond Hockey Tournament.
Businesses reported seeing what some called a record week. Most restaurants had waiting lines and area hotels were packed.
Darrick Granai from Newport City Inn and Suites plus Derby 4 Seasons Hotel cites the many events in the area as to why it was so busy.
“There were hockey players in town for a tournament, the international swimmers, a fishing tournament, skiers, snowmobilers and fat bikers,” Granai said. “If we had more events, more often, we’d have this kind of business every week,” Granai reported.
Also in the area were families participating in and watching the Rotary Basketball Tournament with teams from far and wide across northern and central Vermont, which contributed to the crowds.
Steve Wright and crew at Jay Peak were working hard as Jay hosted almost 10,000 visitors Saturday between skiing, the water park, the ice hockey tournament, and Jay’s climbing center.
With 10,000 visitors just twenty minutes from Newport, many businesses reported that a number of the Jay visitors came in and explored Newport and establishments on the Derby Road in the evening.
Frank Richardi from restaurants Lago Trattoria and The Warehouse Pub said he was very happy with the business over the weekend.
“We did have a waiting line at times, but we were fortunate to get people in, seated, and made them very happy,” Richardi said. “The pub at the Warehouse was full and our billiards tables were filled all night long. It was a great atmosphere.”
Getting a table on Friday night was tricky at some restaurants, and the crowds were larger Saturday.
Jaspers Tavern had a full house of revelers, attached to the international swim, from mid-afternoon to closing. The fun party atmosphere in a traditional-style pub was enjoyed by the international crowd.
The Eastside Restaurant and its Quarter Deck Pub were in full swing from lunch til closing with food, drinks, and entertainment.
At the Winter Swim Festival, weather on Saturday was sunny with light winds and air temperatures in the upper 20s and into the mid-30s.
Sunday was generally cloudy with a bit more wind and slightly lower temperatures which rose as the day progressed and, after the festival had concluded, turned to rain.
As Granai summed it up, “the bottom line is events bring in the dollars to local businesses.”Are you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.