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Leaders Hope Return Of Miss America Pageant Helps Atlantic City’s Bottom Line

By Jenn Bernstein

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., (CBS) – It’s night two of preliminaries at the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City.

Political and business leaders hope the return of the event will help the resort’s bottom line.

Wednesday the contestants were busy rehearsing for the show.

After nine years away, they aren’t just bringing a tradition back to the city, but also a shot in the arm for businesses.

Paul Brown is with Philly Pretzel Factory on the boardwalk.

He says he’s already seen business pick up since the competition came to town starting on September 3rd.

“It is getting better every day,” said Brown, “Saturday should be monster on the boardwalk for us, it will be great.”

While contestant delegations, as well as production crews have been here for more than one week, the city expects the biggest economic impact to be felt this weekend.

Miss America is hosting their “Show Us Your Shoes Parade” on Saturday in cooperation with the city.

The pageant is then on Sunday.

“It means we are reclaiming an important event,” said John Palmieri with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.

Palmieri says they expect up to 200,000 people to attend the parade, and 12-14,000 to attend the actual competition on Sunday.

CRDA commissioned an independent study to estimate the cash flow potentially generated by Miss America.

“They expect an upwards of $32 million dollars in direct economic impact to take place, not to mention the indirect, the so-called multiplier, other things that ripple through the economy,” said Palmieri.

The indirect impact from the Miss America adds an estimated $12 million dollars to that.

Businesses say it can only help, especially after Labor Day.

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