Arthur S. Robbins

Inducted: 2016
Born: 07/17/1932
Died: 02/20/2024

Arthur Robbins is widely known as a highly creative, intelligent, skillful, and successful hotel developer. He is also recognized by all for his generous, caring, and humanitarian spirit.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts on July 17, 1932, Arthur grew up and went to school in Woonsocket and then at Wilbraham and Monson Academy. He received a BA in Economics in 1954 from the Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania and served for two years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He married his wife, Judy, in Washington DC in February, 1957 and moved back to Woonsocket where he worked with his father in manufacturing until the family moved to Providence in 1969.

After studying the motel industry, Arthur saw the development of the new TF Green Passenger Terminal in Warwick as a good opportunity for hotel development nearby. In 1959 he and a partner built the 36- later 84-room Warwick Motor Inn, now the Radisson Inn.

As his love for the hotel industry grew, Arthur saw the potential that existed in Rhode Island. A competitive bidding process with the Providence Redevelopment Agency in 1974 gained him the right to develop a hotel at Randall Square. In 1975, together with partners, he built the Providence Marriott which has grown to 345 rooms. Other developments followed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island: the Worcester Marriott in 1982; the Lowell Hilton in 1988; the Newport Marriott in 1987; the Springhill Suites in West Warwick in 1997; and the Providence Courtyard Marriott in 1999.

Arthur was equally interested in community service. In 1975, he co-founded (together
with Mayor Vincent Cianci) the Greater Providence Convention & Visitors Bureau. Arthur became its first president. In 1995, he co-founded the present Greater Providence/Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Arthur received a mayoral appointment as co-chair of the plan to implement the PROBE Report (Blueprint for Excellence in Education) in 1990. Thereafter, education became his focus. In 1996, he and two school teachers started the Textron Chamber of Commerce Academy, the first charter school in the state.

Medical care has been another of Arthur’s priorities. Involved with Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island since the early 1980s, Arthur served as chairman of its board from 1992 to 1995, years in which the Philip Hulitar Center in Elmhurst and a new home office were opened. Arthur is also a Life Governor of the Miriam Hospital and a member of the Butler Hospital Foundation.

A big brother in the Rhode Island Big Brothers Organization since 1968, Arthur is still very involved in the life of his little brother. As a leader in the local Jewish community, Arthur was instrumental in the founding of the Rhode Island Holocaust Museum in 1981, and he has served on the boards of the Jewish Federation of Rhode Island and Providence Hebrew Day School. He is a member of Temple Emanuel.

Arthur has received many awards for his service for which he is grateful beyond measure. Proud of his wife, their three children and their spouses, and their eight grandchildren, he is thankful for every day of his life and for the countless blessings he has received–which now includes induction into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

Mr. Robbins passed away at the age of 91 on February 20, 2024 in White Plains, New York.

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