The crown is coming home.
Today, acting Gov. Kim Guadagno announced the Miss America Pageant would return to Atlantic City in September, with supporters hopeful it will bring a $30 million economic impact along with it.
The pageant was held in Atlantic City until 2006, when it shifted to Las Vegas, and boosters hope its return puts the national spotlight on the work being done in Atlantic City. NJBIZ first reported the possibility of the pageant's return in a State Street blog post Tuesday.
"You can't put a dollar figure on two things. First, the impact to Atlantic City in terms of rebirth, and the impact to the state of New Jersey in terms of rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy," Guadagno said. "It's a great fit on every level."
The Miss America Pageant started in the 1920s as a way to extend the summer season past Labor Day, and was vital to merchants looking to create more busy sales days. Wanting to emphasize the history and importance of the pageant to the city's economy, the Convention and Visitors Authority flipped its "Do AC" website background to photos of the pageant as soon as the relocation was announced.
Larry Sieg, vice president of marketing for the CVA, said the organization already is looking into hosting familiarization trips for people involved with the show, and he hopes Miss America winners will travel with the CVA to trade shows around the country, as was the tradition for many years.
Guadagno said no state incentives were used to lure the pageant back, though the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the Atlantic City Alliance were working on finalizing a financial package with organizers to cement the deal.
Jeff Guaracino, chief strategy and communications officer of the ACA, said he could not discuss the details of the package for the pageant, but said many organizations and corporations are coming together to ensure the event is a success.
Guaracino added that the national broadcast of the pageant will show a new Atlantic City to viewers around the country, "reinforcing that Atlantic City's Boardwalk is up and running, and beautiful as ever."
Clarification: The 2014 Miss America pageant will be held in September 2013, as the event returns to its regular position on the calendar.
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