Art McMaster, the president and CEOO of the Miss America organization has announced that the pageant will be returning to Atlantic City, NJ, the site where it debuted 93 years ago. The event moved to Las Vegas in 2006 due to financial reasons.
"It was always my dream that this would return here," McMaster. "Sadly, this organization went west for a while. That sadness is over. We are back to the city where the Miss America pageant began, where the Miss America pageant was raised, and where the Miss America pageant belongs."
Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, who together with NJ Gov. Chris Christie's office encouraged the pageant to return to the Garden State, said having Miss America anywhere but Atlantic City just felt wrong. "Can anyone separate the Mummer's Parade from Philadelphia, or the Rose Bowl from Pasadena? Miss America is Atlantic City, and she's coming home."
The official announcement was made by New Jersey's lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno yesterday morning inside Boardwalk Hall, the historic arena in which the pageant will take place in September.
Guadagno believes the return of the pageant will generate at least $30 million in economic activity for Atlantic City and the surrounding region. "We will be showcasing all the attractions we have in Atlantic City...The amount of free media for us is great."
The current Miss America, Mallory Hagan, was crowned in January at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.