By Mike DeNardo

By Mike DeNardo

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) – The 53 women who will compete for the Miss America crown arrive this afternoon in Atlantic City.

It’ll be the first time in seven years that the Miss America contestants will be introduced in front of Boardwalk Hall. The pageant left AC for Las Vegas in 2006, but Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell says it wasn’t the same there.

“Las Vegas was very good to us in terms of finances and tradeouts and all sorts of things to make it easier for us to come. But, it wasn’t home. And, we all found ourselves saying, ‘See you next year in Atlantic City — I mean, Las Vegas.'”

Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell says, “They’ll all be presented and tell you a little bit about themselves and again, we have a couple of surprises that are going to happen that I can’t tell you about.  I can just tell you that you won’t be disappointed.”

It’s the beginning of nearly two weeks of activities putting Atlantic City in the national spotlight.  The contestants will attend rehearsals, tour various Atlantic City sites and interview with pageant judges leading up to next week’s preliminaries and the September 15th finals.

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