Miss America Pageant Big Boost for Atlantic City [AUDIO]
Pageant week has kicked off in Atlantic City as the new winner of the Miss America Competition is set to be crowned on Sunday. For Atlantic City, there's more at stake than just a tiara and sash.
The pageant's return to Atlantic City after a six-year absence will be a powerful revenue and public relations boost for the recreation destination which has been trying to reinvent its image as a trendy place for gamers and non-gamers alike.
The 53 contestants will be participating in a week long string of promotional events highlighting the city's hotspots and destinations before the weekend's nationally televised competition and parade.
Several hundred thousand visitors are expected to converge onto the city, mainly for the parade, however Liza Cartmell, president of the Atlantic City Alliance, said the business community will benefit from the event.
"You have all of the people who are coming into the city who are looking for dining or other entertainment or going to the steel pier while they're here. So we see a very strong ripple effect of people doing things around the parade."
She said an economic study predicted the pageant will bring in $40 million into the city.
"That's basically dollars spent in the market place and the ripple effect of those expenditures, that has nothing to do with the image issues and the broadcast value that we also get."
The first eight minutes of the televised pageant will feature various contestants at popular locations throughout the city and Atlantic City will be receiving lots of exposure throughout the night. Cartmell said that kind of publicity is priceless.
"This is about impressing people and giving them a chance to see us in a different way. We think this will follow up on our campaign messaging that there is a lot to do in Atlantic City and it's a great destination," said Cartmell.
The pageant has a contract with the city until 2016, and each year the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority will underwrite $2.1 million.