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      Entrepreneurs want you to 'Experience Rhode Island'

      Three brothers, convinced that Rhode Island has great features that most people don't know about, are showcasing what they're calling the state's charms through entertaining excursions.

      They're behind a new company called Experience Rhode Island.

      "The idea is we want to create unique excursions that are special to Rhode Island that show people what's unique about the Ocean State," said Ted Stricklin of Experience Rhode Island.

      The tours started Memorial Day weekend. There are four packages, beginning with Explore Providence and Dine around Providence.

      "Three of the highest-rated restaurants in the city, you get a four-hour experience, includes appetizer, entre and dessert," Stricklin said.

      The other packages are Newport for a Day and the WaterFire weekend shuttle.

      Stricklin says there are economic benefits for the state.

      "No doubt about it. Tourism is the No. 2 economic driver of the Rhode Island economy," Stricklin said.

      The pickup and drop off spot for the excursions is at the Rhode Island Convention Center.

      The tours are designed to capture history and culinary lessons at once, and they are intended to serve not just tourists but residents.

      "We hope down the road we can develop more experiences where each day of the week, we have a different event that you can experience in Rhode Island," said Jonathan Stricklin, envisioning an ocean tour or a fall tour.

      Experience Rhode Island has two new 25-passenger buses.

      The WaterFire shuttle costs $5, and the most expensive package is Dine around Providence for $79.