UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WTNH)– A crowning achievement is putting Connecticut on the Miss America map.
For the first time, the competition comes to Mohegan Sun and with it will be candidates from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, along with family, friends, and fans.
“When I competed in the 1980s, we had over two hundred people just come from Arkansas,” said Regina Hopper, President of the Miss America organization.
Hopper says Miss America 2.0 will hold preliminary competitions in the week leading up to the December 19th main event.
When the arena is all set up for the competition it will seat about 7,400 people. That’s in addition to the preliminary competitions earlier in the week in the Expo Center which will bring in a couple thousand people as well.
Tens of thousands are expected to come to the casino for the competition but they are also expected to explore the greater community.
“Our folks tend too want to branch out,” said Hopper. “They want to see the community that’s welcoming them here.”
Jack’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in Norwich often sees a boost in business when big events come to the casinos.
“When they have the car events the auction going on we… seems like we get more business,” said owner Jack Djonbali.
The Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction brings in more than 70,000 visitors over four days and Miss America could bring in 25,000.
Already 70 percent of the casino’s 1600 hotel rooms are booked for that week.
The local chamber of commerce says it sees an economic impact from casino events.
“Oh absolutely absolutely,” said Angela Adams, Executive Director of the Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce.
Nearby hotels, restaurants, and breweries expect to be hopping.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for people to get out and explore what we have right over the bridge,” said Adams.
When the competition was in Atlantic City it was estimated to have between a 23 and 36 million dollar impact on that area.
For more information and to buy tickets click here.
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