BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - With the 2015 Miss USA Pageant more than three weeks away, Baton Rouge officials are trying to make sure all upgrades and renovations are completed in time.
At the River Center, crews are working outside to finish extending Repentance Park and upgrade the billboards for advertising and event showcasing. Also some pressure washing and a paint job are expected before the pageant guests arrive. On the inside, bathrooms will be upgraded, the lighting system will get updates, and some of the old glass doors will be replaced.
"When you have something on the international stage, you want to make sure the city is prepared for that for whatever footage they shoot," said Downtown Development's Davis Rhorer. "The city has been doing a lot of infrastructure improvements, sprucing up, painting, fixing lights, just getting the area around the River Center ready because that's kind of the showcase area."
Last year, the glitz and glamour not only put Baton Rouge on the international map for future tourists, but it also brought in some big bucks for the city.
From Thursday, June 5, 2014 to the pageant itself on Sunday, June 8, there were 5,150 hotels rooms booked for a total revenue of $2,610,205.
Viewership of last year's pageant increased over years past with 5.5 million viewers overall tuning in from 7 to 10 p.m. Plus, the pageant showed in 60 to 70 countries. This year, the pageant is expected to show in Spanish as well.
The pageant is slated for July 12. The pageant girls are expected to arrive in Baton Rouge on June 29 and spend their Fourth of July holiday
in the city.