NEWPORT CITY â€“ For years, Newport had grand, beautiful hotels on its Main Street, as seen in the yellowed photos from the Richardson-Cartee photo collection that have been printed on paper placemats and distributed throughout the area.
If Frank and Michelle Richardi, owners of Lago Tratoria, have their way, a hotel will once again grace Newport's downtown.
The Richardis want to open a 20-room hotel and restaurant on top of their existing restaurant.
The plan calls for renovating the second floor and adding two additional floors to the business, which is located at the corner of Main and Coventry streets.
The hotel will have a mixture of suites and rooms. The top floor will have French balconies that over look Lake Memphremagog.
â€śItâ€™s going to be an upscale, boutique hotel,â€ť said Frank Richardi. â€śItâ€™s also going to have a roof top bar and Iâ€™m going to introduce a new style of food to the area.â€ť
Richardi is being tight lipped on what type of food he will serve at the new restaurant. However, he does promise that Lago Tratoria is here to stay.
â€śWeâ€™re looking to fit in with the new downtown renaissance,â€ť he said. The hotel, once opened, will be close for guests to walk on Main Street and the boardwalk and will be a short driving distance to the Newport State Airport. â€śItâ€™s really part of what is happening here on Main Street.â€ť
The hotel will be a private venture and will not be part of any chain. However, Richardi might be looking for a local investor. The target customer is the tourist market. He feels the hotel fits into expansions that are taking place in the region.
The hotel means about a dozen new jobs for the area.
Richardi hopes to start the project next spring and be finished within a year.