Editor's Note: Columnist Philip Potempa is reporting from Atlantic City while traveling this weekend.
Even though I've usually stayed with my parents in the past at Caesars hotel properties (mom and dad are traditionalists!), for this trip, I'm staying at the newest property along the Atlantic City shoreline called Revel Casino, Hotel, Spa and Resort anchored on 20 acres of beachfront land adjacent to the Showboat Hotel & Casino.
Carrying a price-tag of $2.4 billion, it is the northernmost casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. It was on March 26, 2012, Revel was issued a casino license by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and it opened to the public on April 2, 2012, with its grand opening on May 25. Revel's hotel tower, spanning 57 stories (I'm on floor 39), is the tallest structure in Atlantic City and the second tallest in the state of New Jersey. It also ranks as the second tallest casino tower in the United States. (Design plans originally had the resort with two towers, but in the summer of 2008, the project was scaled back to just one hotel tower with ONLYL 1,900 rooms.)
Also standing tall
Besides Revel Casino, there's an even more recent new addition to the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
On Monday, in Kennedy Plaza in front of Boardwalk Hall, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri assisted Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian with unveiling a new 6,000-pound bronze Miss America statue created by Toms River sculptor Brian Hanlon, who confirmed Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan was a model for the stature, but also clarified the statue's look also draws from other contestants, including Miss America 1984 Suzette Charles, who was the first-runner up asked to wear the coveted crown after Vanessa Williams resigned the title.
While strolling the Boardwalk Friday, I snapped photos of tourists from Poland who were excited to pose with the new favorite photo op focal point. Read my column tomorrow about the Bert Parks bronze statue that also anchors as a top attraction near the Boardwalk.
Some famous beauty queens became even bigger names after their turn with the Miss American Pageant. They include: Delta Burke, who at age 17 was a former Miss Florida in the 1974 Miss America pageant; Anita Bryant, who was first runner-up for Miss America 1958; Lee Meriwether, crowned Miss America 1955; Bess Myerson, crowned Miss America 1945; Mary Ann Mobley, crowned Miss America 1959 and Phyllis George, Miss America 1971. I interviewed Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone, just shortly after she was crowned at age 22, for The Times in April 1995 when she spoke to more than 400 guests at the Valparaiso University Student Union. Whitestone, who is deaf, ranks as the first Miss America with a disability to be crowned in the pageant's history.