Subsidies tripled to get Miss America back to Atlantic City

Contestants compete in the Miss America 2013 pageant on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

April 16, 2013 9:11:58 AM PDT
The Miss America pageant will get triple the amount of subsidies it previously received to return to Atlantic City this September.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and Atlantic City's convention bureau have agreed to provide a total of $7.3 million in financial aid over three years, with $2.5 million earmarked for this year's pageant.

Officials say the pageant got $720,000 in aid in 2005, the last year it was in Atlantic City.

Even with the big boost in subsidies, economic development officials told the newspaper it's a small amount to pay for an event expected to generate tens of millions of dollars in visitor spending.

Nearly $5 million in funding, approved Monday, will come from the casino industry-financed CRDA. The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority, a business-funded organization that is merging with the CRDA, will provide $2.3 million.

The CRDA's executive director, John Palmieri, characterized the authority's contribution as a "small investment" given the economic impact of the event and "the psychological benefit that is achieved in having a pageant return to the city where it belongs."

High labor costs and sliding TV ratings were among the factors cited in the pageant's move to Las Vegas.

The entire pageant will span 13 days from the end of Labor Day weekend through the broadcast finale Sept. 15.