Wow! Miss America is back in Atlantic City, and the vast majority of people in our area are delighted that she has come home. Did we miss her? You’re dang right we did.
How did we get her back? Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson learned the Miss America contract in Las Vegas was completed and that the pageant was looking for a new home. Levinson had a meeting with Gov. Chris Christie, but before the meeting started he told the governor that Miss America was available and suggested we do what’s necessary to get the pageant to return to Atlantic City.
An hour later, Levinson received a call from Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno informing him that Christie had assigned her to make this happen.
At the news conference last week announcing the pageant’s return, Guadagno told us that she knew the man who was the head of security for the Miss America Pageant. She said she called him and asked if he could arrange to get pageant Executive Director Art McMaster and board Chairman Sam Haskell on the phone so she might speak with them. He did, and within six weeks the call brought about the commitment to return Miss America to her home.
Thank you, Lt. Gov. Guadagno, for a job well done. We are truly indebted to you, Gov. Christie and Dennis Levinson. We hope that you and Gov. Christie will honor us by being the grand marshals of the Miss America Parade.
For your information, as of today there has been no set date for the pageant nor the parade. We do know it will be in September. According to Haskell, there will be an exciting parade that kicks off the various events. This will be followed by three nights of preliminary competition and then two days of rehearsals for the grand finale. Sounds good to me.
Last week’s press conference drew many members of the media — who normally do not get too excited about the event they are covering — smiling as they will have another great show to cover. The coverage given to Miss America’s return was nationwide and hit all of the major news networks and cable stations that have news programs. The Associated Press story was in most newspapers around the nation.
The Las Vegas Sun had a column written by Robin Leach that had a quote from several hotel employees that said this was a “slap in the face” to Las Vegas. They seemed surprised. Obviously, they did not realize that Miss America was uncomfortable in an atmosphere that had sexually explicit billboards, nightclubs and people handing out advertisements for sexual activities.
Leach, who several years ago had been a frequent visitor to Atlantic City and spoke highly of it at that time, wrote a paragraph denigrating just about every facet the resort, now that he is employed in Las Vegas.
There has been some concern about the fact that there is a three-year contract among Miss America and the representatives of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority and the Atlantic City Alliance. With this formidable group of concerned citizens, there is little doubt in my mind that Miss America will be here for a long time.
Trump Plaza to be?
Back in November, a representative of Trump Entertainment stated that the deal to purchase the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino would be completed in the first quarter of 2013. And that it was.
The new player in town is the Meruelo Group. It has stated it will invest more than $100 million in refurbishing and developing the Trump Plaza into a first-class casino. Paul Steelman, a renowned casino architect, has developed a Chinese theme for the property that will be most attractive. It will be unlike any other building in Atlantic City.
It is expected that the site will have a direct connection into The Walk. It will be a part of the commercial district, according to sources. It is anticipated that it will be really good for Atlantic City. One would expect nothing less from Steelman.
Herman Zatt 90
Herman Zatt, one of Atlantic City’s finest and most dedicated citizens, has completed nine decades. He moved to Atlantic City in 1978 and has been involved in a variety of activities for the 35 years he’s lived here. Zatt started collecting yesterday’s bread from various bakeries and delivered them to entities that provide food for the homeless and those in need.
He also is involved in Contact Cape May, which has local citizens making 50 to 60 phone calls a week to those who are lonely and hardly ever receive a call. He is one of those who was involved in the establishment of the Chelsea Neighborhood Association. The organization selected him as its Man of the Year in 1987 for all of his endeavors to make Atlantic City bigger and better.
Zatt, at 90 years old, continues to go out and make deliveries, make those phone calls and keep his neighborhood in good condition. God bless you, Herman! Thank you for being the gentleman you are. Happy belated birthday.
Atlantic City boat race
The 2013 Atlantic City Race Week will be held July 20-21. Profits from the regatta will be donated to Hurricane Sandy relief. The success of last year’s races will bring many more participants this year.
The new pro will be Jim Walsh, and the new race committee chairmen will be Eric Dunn and Mike Pinto. Participating this year will be Metedeconk River Yacht Club and Brigantine Yacht Club, as affiliated yacht clubs joining the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May and the Avalon Yacht Club.
Atlantic City Race Week will be a PHRF-MA-sponsored event and part of NJ0 RC. There will be a significantly reduced fee for extra tickets for the barbecue dinner or cocktail party for the crew or family.
Please register early and encourage others to sign up to avoid a late fee. Final payments do not have to be made until July 1. This was a successful event last year and it’s going to be even bigger and better this year.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky,” airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. E-mail Pinky at: firstname.lastname@example.org.