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CRDA approves Hard Rock gas station, tables beach development and stays mum on Miss America

CRDA approves Hard Rock gas station, tables beach development and stays mum on Miss America


ATLANTIC CITY — The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority met Tuesday to discuss their $12 million contract with the Miss America Organization.

But the meeting was held behind closed doors in executive session and no public decision was made, according to CRDA Executive Director Chris Howard.

The CRDA is on the final year of a three-year contract with the Miss America Organization, but public opinion has shifted in favor of ending the contract after an email scandal and beliefs that the organization has not fulfilled its obligations of promoting the city.

Many have been vocal asking the CRDA to rescind the state subsidy, including former CRDA Director John Palmieri, who previously told The Press the Miss America Organization did not uphold their end of the deal.

“Miss America Organization did very little to market and promote the pageant,” he said.

While shots of Atlantic City were highlighted during the pageant night broadcasts, producers Dick Clark Productions were included in the contract to include live performances from Atlantic City during “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” through 2019, which never occurred.

In December, emails between Miss America CEO Sam Haskell and staff criticizing former pageant contestants’ appearance and lives outside of the organization, using vulgar language. Dick Clark Productions officially dropped the pageant broadcast and Haskell and several board members resigned following the scandal.

Former Fox News Channel anchor and Miss America 1989 Gretchen Carlson has been named the executive chair and CEO of the Miss America Organization Board of Directors.

But while information was scarce on Miss A, the board did make approve the preliminary and final site plans for Hard Rock International’s Rockstop Gas and Wash. The gas station and convenience store at the corner of Virginia and Pacific avenues and would be part of the full Hard Rock Casino and Hotel project, set to open this summer.

Also approved was a more than $742,000 project by Spectra Venue Management to replace 192 doors and framing at Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center.

The CRDA board was set to review the redevelopment plan for the beach and Boardwalk between Montpelier and Morris avenues, though the discussion was tabled after several residents of the Ocean Club condominiums voiced concerns over noise from a proposed beach bar expansion and loss of the public beach in front of their homes.

“We are a community that loves the beach in front of our building,” said condo owner Misha Alkiyal. “Who are you serving with this project? Not the families.”

The redevelopment was also tabled during the Dec. 13 Atlantic City Council meeting.

The CRDA board explained that the process for the redevelopment was multitiered and as of right now, no site plans or have been introduced.

“This board, despite what you may say, is very sensitive to what the people say. We’re here to make Atlantic City better,” Director Robert Mulchay said before calling for the motion to table the discussion.

The board’s next meeting is Feb 20.

Contact: 609-272-7286 Twitter @ACPress_LC

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Staff Writer

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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