Newport mansions mark another year of a million-plus tours

East Bay
Breakers Battle

In this June 12, 2018 photo, museum-goers view the facade of The Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I. The group that owns The Breakers is opening a welcome center on the grounds of the mansion that has drawn strenuous opposition from neighbors, preservationists and many members of the Vanderbilt family. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott)

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The Preservation Society of Newport County sold enough tickets to visitors in 2019 that added up to more than one million tours of the historic homes operated by the nonprofit.

To be precise, 1,006,190 tours were given in 2019, the Society said Wednesday. This same year, the organization delivered its 40 millionth tour since it was founded in 1945.

It’s the fourth year in a row that tours have topped seven figures.

“The popularity of the mansions is a testament not only to their beauty and grandeur, but also to the hard work that goes into preserving and presenting them,” said Trudy Coxe, the organization’s CEO and executive director.

Last April, the Society launched a fundraising campaign to pay for major repairs at four of the properties; they also expressed a commitment to improving building accessibility and restoring landscapes.

When the Society’s annual tour tally passed one million in 2016, the organization credited investments in digital marketing as well as making some houses, including flagship The Breakers, open for visitors year-round. In February 2016, the Society made the decision to allow visitors to take smartphone photographs in some of the mansions.

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