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Atlantic City Casinos Step Up for Miss America Pageant

10 September 2002

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Associated Press: "Casinos, restaurants and other local businesses have agreed to ante up in hopes of keeping the Miss America Organization solvent and the pageant in its original home.

"A task force set up to help the organization's bottom line has made arrangements for new sponsorships, fund-raisers and perks that will help reduce the pageant's costs, its chairman reported last week.

"…`A lot of people have stepped up to the plate, and it's really gratifying to see the city come together for this specific goal,' said Mark Juliano, who also chairs the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority.

"…The panel was formed after then-CEO Robert M. Renneisen threatened to move the pageant from Atlantic City because of rising production costs at Depression-era Boardwalk Hall.

"In December he asked the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority for $1 million in new aid, in addition to the $678,000 subsidy the pageant already gets from the state.

"The authority rejected the offer, but agreed to drum up community support aimed at easing Miss America's fiscal problems.

"…Casinos have agreed to cut room rates for Miss America judges, buy program book advertisements, hold special events in the week of the pageant and sponsor floats in the Miss America parade…"

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