The Miss America beauty pageant ended the swimsuit competition, but contestants will still participate in photo shoots and promos in swimwear on the beaches of Atlantic City, New Jersey, where the event will be televised live on ABC on September 9 at Boardwalk Hall.
But Atlantic City is much more than just the home of the famous pageant. It's an affordable beach town with a glamorous past. And after years in an economic downturn, the city is now being revitalized.
Miss America originated in Atlantic City on the Jersey Shore in 1921 as a bathing beauty contest. It ran there for 85 years before relocating to Las Vegas from 2006 to 2013 because of rising costs, according to The New York Times; the bill was more than half a million dollars every year.
Atlantic City wooed the pageant back in 2013, then the state offered $12.5 million dollars in subsidies in 2016 for another three-year deal. NJ.com reports that Miss America would promote Atlantic City during her appearances at awards shows, and Dick Clark Productions would have to promote Atlantic City during productions like Billboard Music Awards and New Year's Rockin' Eve. Miss America is under contract to promote the city as well.
Though this comes at a time when Atlantic City has been struggling as a tourist destination for years, the local tourism board is betting on Miss America to bring attention (and tourists) back to the Jersey Shore beach town known for its glamorous past.