Break out your bathing suits, New Jersey. Miss America is coming home.
After a seven year absence, the 92 year old pageant and parade will once again take place in Atlantic City.
Right before Christmas, New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno got a call from the Atlantic County County Executive saying that the Miss America Pageant’s contract with Las Vegas had just expired.
Guadagno consulted with Jersey’s tourism agencies, reached out to the pageant and within days, the two sides struck a deal.
Without any direct assistance from taxpayers, the pageant is coming back to Atlantic City for at least three years. State and local tourism groups have promised to promote the event heavily.
Guadagno estimates this will generate at least $90 million for the region, but says the deal is about much more than money. It’s about sending a message.
“The beaches are open. Atlantic City itself is open,” said Guadagno. “It’s a post-Sandy success story that is going to come back to us and give us the shot in the arm that we need after all these horrible storms we’ve had in the past couple of months.”
The Miss America Scholarship program proclaims itself as the largest provider of scholarship money to young women in the United States. According to their website, last year they gave more than $45 million in assistance.
Exact dates are not yet set, but Guadagno says the event will take place at some point in September and be broadcast on ABC.