This summer, the America's Cup World Series comes to Newport and huge crowds of tourists are expected on the island.
Newport and Middletown are busy making plans to capitalize on this influx of visitors, planning events, parking schemes, hotel packages and transportation alternatives. While much of the preparation for this event are focused on money-making venues at Fort Adams - bleachers, viewing areas, etc. - aside from the obvious sailing equipment connection at Melville, I haven't seen or heard of anyone in Portsmouth looking at ways to entice any of these visitors (and their money) to Portsmouth.
Perhaps we don't really care about business opportunities? Perhaps we just don't want to have to deal with the traffic, etc. surrounding such an event?
The problem is that the traffic will be here anyway. Whether or not anyone stops and spends their cash in Portsmouth depends on what we have to offer - so far I have seen nothing planned.
Why couldn't we come up with some events in Portsmouth - something to showcase our beautiful town and its scenic views? Perhaps a town fair or concert at Sandy Point Beach or the Glen? How about the idea of "A Taste of Island Park," a walking tour of Island Park restaurants/bars held over a weekend with participating bars/restaurants along Park Avenue providing a taste of their wares?
I'm sure some of you have ideas about this - please put them in comments and maybe we can get some of the business owners and civic leaders interested in actually doing something, rather than sitting back and watching the tourists drive by.