Miss America Final

Council President George Tibbitt said representatives from the Miss America Organization contacted the city about a potential return in 2021. Tibbitt made the unexpected announcement during City Council's public meeting Wednesday night.

ATLANTIC CITY — As the 100th anniversary of the Miss America Competition draws near, the organization is reportedly looking to return to its roots.

Council President George Tibbitt said representatives from the Miss America Organization contacted the city about a potential return in 2021. Tibbitt made the unexpected announcement during City Council’s public meeting Wednesday night.

A spokesperson for the Miss America Organization did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority had subsidized the competition for several years after it returned to Atlantic City in 2013. But in 2019, the CRDA declined to renew an agreement with MAO and the 2020 competition was held at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.

“There’s been no formal request from any representative of the Miss America Organization to CRDA,” Executive Director Matt Doherty said.

Between 2013 and 2019, MAO received more than $20 million from CRDA, as well as several thousand free and discounted rooms and suites, meals and transportation for the organization.

In a state audit of the CRDA, the state agency was criticized for failing to “develop and institute monitoring controls” to gauge performance measures when it came to its agreement with MAO.

“Performance should be measured, when applicable, and reviewed to determine whether funds were spent in an efficient and effective manner and used as a basis for future contracts,” the audit states.

The Miss America pageant started in Atlantic City in 1921. Besides an eight-year absence between 2006 and 2013 when the competition moved to Las Vegas and last year’s pageant in Connecticut, Atlantic City and Miss America have been nearly synonymous.

Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall had been the host facility for the pageant since 1940. Boardwalk Hall is owned by the CRDA.

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Staff Writer

I cover Atlantic City government and the casino industry since joining The Press in early 2018. I formerly worked as a politics & government reporter for NJ Herald and received the First Amendment: Art Weissman Memorial NJPA Award two years in a row.

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