ATLANTIC CITY (AP) — The Miss America Organization has moved its headquarters back to Atlantic City.


Kira Kazantsev walks the runway after she was named Miss America 2015 in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Miss America Kira Kazantsev cut the red ribbon Wednesday outside the Claridge Hotel to celebrate the return of the national office after eight years in Linwood The Press of Atlantic City reported.

"As we look for a vision of a better Atlantic City, you build on your past. You want to keep what was great," Mayor Don Guardian said. "Certainly, the home of Miss America is something that Atlantic City is known for."

The pageant started in Atlantic City and returned in 2013 after eight years in Las Vegas. Talks are ongoing between the Miss America Organization and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to keep the show in Atlantic City, when the contract expires this year.

"While negotiations continue, it is my hope we stay in Atlantic City," said Sam Haskell, executive chairman of the Miss America Organization.

"This city has a future. It has a better future today than it did last year. It has hope, and Miss America is a vital, critical part of that," Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno said. "So we will continue to fight to convince Miss America that Miss America and the competition should stay here."

Miss America events generate an estimated $45.8 million in economic activity for Atlantic City.

A contract extension for the pageant is likely to be complicated by a new legislative package designed to stabilize Atlantic City's finances. A key part of the plan would divert $25 million to $30 million in casino authority funding each year to the city to help pay off its debts.


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