Amanda Simmons, firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss USA and Teen USA contestants have started their journey to the crown in Bossier City.
Contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as camera crews, choreographers, and hair and makeup teams all began arriving today at Margaritaville Resort Casino, the official host hotel of 2018 MISS USA.
Margaritaville collaborated closely with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau to bring the show back to Shreveport-Bossier in 2018. Josh Robinson, vice president of Marketing and Hotel Operations for Margaritaville Resort Casino, said they are excited and eager to welcome all 51 of the Miss USA contestants to the property.
“Margaritaville is something we’re very proud of,” Robinson said. “We’ve got over 1,100 committed and dedicated crew members that really bring our brand to life on a daily basis.”
Miss USA contestants will be housed at Margaritaville for the next 11 days, along with their chaperones and some of the Miss Universe Organization executives and volunteers.
Barry Regula, SVP and general manager of Margaritaville Resort Casino, said they will also accommodate space for registration, rehearsals and other necessary events leading up to the pageant finals.
In total, Margaritaville has donated more than 800 room nights valued at more than $180,000 to the organization, Regula said.
He explained the worldwide exposure alone will be worth a lot more than that.
“Specifically, during the telecast, we’re going to receive exposure that we couldn’t afford any other way,” Regula said. “People will see video footage shot on our property and contestants interacting on the property. We’re looking forward to receiving that exposure regionally, nationally and internationally.”
The Margaritaville packages, pre-filmed segments which air during the live show, will include intimate one-on-one interviews as contestants describe the “Woman That Changed My Life.” In addition, contestants will go live daily from the MISS USA Facebook Live Lounge, held in one of Margaritaville’s suites.
Margaritaville Resort Casino is approaching its five year anniversary in Bossier City and has been committed to furthering the local economy since opening.
“We always want to support the community that we work and live in,” Robinson said. “If there’s an event that has national and international prominence, such as Miss USA, we want to help support that event because it will bring millions of dollars in economic value to the city. We want to make sure that happens for our community.”
Regula is enthusiastic about the immediate and long term impacts the pageant will have on the community.
“Everytime our community comes together to bring an event of this magnitude, we’re raising the profile of Bossier City and Shreveport,” he said. “That makes it easier for us to secure future opportunities, whether it’s other events or pageants or businesses looking to relocate to northwest Louisiana. We want to be part of raising the positive image of these two cities.”
The Miss Universe Organization announced in March that the 2018 competitions were coming to Shreveport-Bossier. Although both pageants will be held in Shreveport’s Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, Bossier City will play a key role in the days leading up to the televised events as the Miss Teen USA preliminary pageant will be held May 16 at the Horseshoe Riverdome.
The Miss USA pageant, hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, will be held May 21 at 7 p.m., airing live on FOX. The two-hour special will conclude with the reigning Miss USA 2017 Kára McCullough crowning her successor.
Women representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete for the opportunity to become the next titleholders. Shreveport native Lauren Vizza will represent the state as Miss Louisiana USA 2018.
This year’s Miss USA show marks the 20th anniversary of the competition’s first appearance in the sister cities of Shreveport-Bossier. Shawnae Jebbia from Massachusetts was crowned Miss USA 1998.
The Miss USA pageant has been held annually since 1952. The winner goes on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant.
The Miss Teen USA pageant will be held May 17.
Shreveport hosted the Miss USA pageant in 1997 and 1998. The city also hosted the Miss Teen USA pageant in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Tickets are on sale for the four main competitive events: the MISS TEEN USA® 2018 Presentation Show, Wednesday, May 16, 7 p.m. at Horseshoe Casino & Hotel Riverdome; the MISS USA® 2018 Presentation Show, Thursday, May 17, 7 p.m. at George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum; the MISS TEEN USA® 2018 Finals, Friday, May 18, 4 p.m. at George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum; and the MISS USA® 2018 Finals, Monday, May 21, 7 p.m. at George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. Ticket prices vary from event to event and VIP experience packages are available.
Visit www.Shreveport-Bossier.org/MissUSA and select “Tickets” to see a page displaying links to official ticketing sites for all four events. Tickets can also be found by visiting www.SBFunGuide.com and selecting the event date.