Thursday, March 13, 2014 | 10:55 a.m.
Despite the Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors, the 2014 Miss USA Pageant won’t be here in Las Vegas in June.
The annual competition is heading to the Louisiana bayou, and our new Miss Nevada USA Nia Sanchez will be packing her bags to travel there to compete against 50 other hopefuls.
Donald Trump, the owner of the parent Miss Universe Organization, revealed this morning on NBC’s “Today” that this year’s contest will be in Baton Rouge on June 8 and broadcast live on NBC from 8 to 11 p.m. ET.
“It’s just a place that really wanted us,” The Donald told host Matt Lauer. “We had about 12 places that were fighting for the rights, and we just decided that’s sort of the home of pageantry.
“It’s sort of the home of the whole beauty thing. They’re terrific people, and they’re going to put on a great show.
“Usually we go to Las Vegas. We never fail in Las Vegas. It’s great, but we thought we’d move it.”
In the past few days, there were rumors that Las Vegas was in the lead over Miami to have the pageant return to the Strip, so this morning’s news of its relocation to Baton Rouge was a surprise to all involved.
Baton Rouge hosted a Miss Teen USA competition in 2005, but the pageant couldn’t return in 2006 due to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, “when the population doubled overnight due to people in damaged areas seeking safety and shelter,” Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart said in a later release.
“The sense of community that Baton Rouge has is incredibly inspiring, and the hospitality shown to us while we were there was second to none. I am looking forward to bringing an event back to Baton Rouge to experience the charm of the Capital City.”
The competition will feature contestants from all 50 states, including Nia representing Nevada, and the District of Columbia. They will be judged in the categories of swimsuit, evening gown and the dreaded interview segment.
Miss Connecticut Erin Brady is the reigning Miss USA, and she will crown her successor in just over two months.
Miss Nevada USA Pageant director Shanna Moakler, Miss USA 1995 and the ex-wife of Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, is hoping that Nia will take the crown and the title as the pageant’s first winner from our Silver State.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Catering to the young and modern crowd, Planet Hollywood is a one-stop shop for entertainment with its massive shopping mall, slew of restaurants, spacious casino and clubs.
The ambiance of the casino is retro-chic meets high-tech with black granite floors throughout and colorful LED lights throughout the space. The theme carries into the 100,000 square-foot casino with 250 flat screens topping off slot machines. The casino is also home to 87 tables, a sports book and a poker room.
There's also the Miracle Mile Shops, one Vegas' largest malls, with 140 stores including BCBG Max Azaria, bebe, Urban Outfitters and The Discovery Channel Store.
Following an afternoon of shopping, guests can satisfy their appetites at one of the gourmet restaurants in Planet Hollywood, like the non-traditional approach to steakhouses at Strip House or check out the exotic Far East motif at KOI restaurant and lounge. And if guests are still looking for more, they can spend the after hours at Privé, Triq or Krave nightclubs.
Perhaps one of the resorts biggest attractions came in March with the addition of "Peepshow." The naughty twist on the story of Little Bo Peep is modern-day spin on the run-of-the-mill Vegas topless review. The "Peepshow" stage has seen visiting celebs like Scary Spice Mel B, "Dancing with the Stars" Kelly Monaco and Playboy's Holly Madison.