Kirsten Haglund

missamerica.org

The Miss America Organization is putting all of its chips on neon.

The pageant proprietor announced Thursday that Miss America Live! will be returning to Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for the next two years.

The hotel on the famed Vegas Strip was also the scene of 2008 Miss America Live!, TLC's revamped take on the festivities, which now include a series of competitions leading up to the main event and plenty of online interaction.

To combat flagging interest in the nearly century-old tradition, the competition also made a brief foray into reality TV last year, when CMT aired the seven-episode Finding Miss America.

"We are thrilled to be returning to Planet Hollywood again for this year's telecast," Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, said. "We are continuing to build on new traditions here in Las Vegas, and we are so pleased that Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino has chosen to be a part of Miss America’s continuing history in the entertainment capital of the world."

"We are delighted to have 52 of the most beautiful girls on the planet returning here to their home at Planet Hollywood," added hotel president Michael Mecca.

Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund will pass her crown on to another gown-and-swimsuit-donning beauty on Jan. 24, 2009. TLC will broadcast the ceremony live from Planet Hollywood's Theatre for the Performing Arts.

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