State launches first-ever Hotel Week

Fri, 12/20/2019 - 1:00pm

In an effort to promote Rhode Island during the off-season, Rhode Island Commerce and the state’s tourism office, has created the first-ever Hotel Week, which kicks off Jan. 18 and runs through the end of the month. Block Island Tourism Director Jessica Willi made the announcement at the Tourism Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

“The Hotel Week has launched, and you can go online to find out all about it,”  said Willi. (

The website states: “Rhode Island's first hotel week is a great opportunity to treat yourself to a stay in one of Rhode Island's top hotels! This is your chance to take advantage of amazing savings at Rhode Island's new, historic and distinguished hotels across the state. This 14-day promotion from January 18-31, 2020, features flat rates of just $100, $200, $300 and $400 per night for hotels that typically charge upwards of $500 per night! Why stay home when you can discover Rhode Island for the first time or enjoy a relaxing staycation? Check out these exclusive offers to plan and book your trip.”

One hotel on Block Island is participating: The 1661 Inn, which is offering rooms for $200 a night.

The 1661 website states: “Taking in the spectacular ocean view of the Atlantic Ocean, one can’t help but feel that this is what vacation should be. These nine spacious and elegant rooms, named after Block Island’s founding families, are filled with an eclectic blend of antiques and feature a combination of ocean views, decks and whirlpool tubs. All nine rooms are non-smoking and feature private baths, air-conditioning, television, small refrigerators and wi-fi. Children of all ages are welcome, and The 1661 Inn is open year-round.”

As the Tourism Council begins to look ahead for the 2020 season, Willi noted that the departure of Ed Roberge as Town Manager — he’s scheduled to leave Friday, Dec. 20 — will leave a few things up in the air, including the future use of the town’s Visitor Center in Old Harbor. The function of that facility has been the focus of three town hall-style forums, at which its use, staffing and finances have been discussed.

The facility is currently occupied by the Block Island Chamber of Commerce, but the discussion has centered on how the building can be staffed by people who would promote the entire island, as opposed to focusing on Chamber members.

At one of the town hall forums, Willi suggested that the Chamber be given a one-year lease when the lease expires in January. “I don’t know if that’s going to happen,” Willi said at the Council meeting. “It was just a suggestion. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.”

After putting out a plea for more volunteers to assist with the putting up the tree on the lawn of the Harbor Church for the annual tree lighting ceremony, member John Cullen said the event was a great success.

“The Harbor Church has been a great host,” said Cullen. “Reviews of the tree lighting were good. Everything worked out great.”