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Council Hears Duck Tour Request

A Massachusetts couple want to bring duck boat tours to Newport.

The Newport City Council received a communication from David and Kris Kososki, a Massachusetts couple, requesting to bring duck tours to Newport during Wednesday night’s meeting.

Newport Duck Tours would start at America’s Cup Avenue, travel down Thames Street, onto Wellington Street and launch into the water at King Park or Fort Adams for a 25-30 minute water tour, according to their proposal.

During the meeting, Councilor Kathryn Leonard pointed out that commercial boats may not operate out of King Park.

Duck tours use refurbished WWII Dukw amphibious vehicles and operate in more than 20 cities nationwide. 

David Kososki said two duck boats, which are smaller than Newport trolleys, would run tours from spring through fall. 

“We have a harbor that is very congested, I don’t know if it’s possible to operate them,” Leonard said. “From the phone calls  I’ve received it seems like Newport is quite small and I’m personally saying I don’t know if it’s a good fit.”

Kososki said he had spoken with Newport’s Harbor Master, who had been willing to discuss the tours.

He added that the duck tours are some cities’ number one attraction to families.

“Newport is the perfect place,” he said. “It has a rich history on land and water.”

“It would bring more tourists and offer a fun, unique family-oriented tour of Newport.”

C. Hovey November 16, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Council needs details re: proposed route and scheduled daily trips proposed fares parking plans for customers who will police ducks activities? police and/or harbor master? how will Newport Duck Tours compensate Newport Town for expenses related to administering duck activities
Mary November 16, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I believe the idea of duck tours in the harbor was already voted down once. Not only is the harbor crowded and streets congested, but duck tours have a history of accidents, many of them fatal. In 2010, a duck boat was rammed by a barge in the Delaware river, sending 37 people into the water; two drowned. In 1999, 13 people drowned when a duck boat capsized in Arkansas. In 2002, four people drowned in Canada when the duck boat on which they were passengers sank. In 2011, a Seattle motorcyclist, waiting at a red light, was run over and dragged by a duck tour vehicle. Is the city ready to take on this liability?
Tom November 17, 2012 at 12:38 AM
I do believe that the last time this was proposed the state shot it down because they would not allow them to use the ramps at Fort Adams. Drive wheels going in and out of a boat ramp causes allot more damage than boat trailers.
Joe Sousa. November 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Sounds like a great idea to show off the water front. It will create a couple jobs as well.
5th ward November 17, 2012 at 03:34 PM
A horrible idea for our already very congested streets in Newport. Please do not let this happen!!!

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