After Miss USA moves on, Mayor blames Trump
BATON ROUGE - The Miss USA Pageant is not returning to Baton Rouge this summer, and East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden blames Donald Trump.
Baton Rouge hosted the competition in both 2014 and 2015, but mayor says the city didn't submit a bid for 2016 because of chaos caused by Trump's comments about illegal immigrants. Hosts dropped out and both NBC and Univision decided they weren't going to carry the contest.
"The bottom line you have to understand is, it was not so much the people," Mayor Holden told News 2. "It was Donald Trump that made the decision that really wreaked chaos. They were scurrying to find a sponsor."
This summer's show will be broadcast from Las Vegas, Nevada. Holden says you can't ignore the impact hosting has on a city.
"Your hotel taxes roll in, a lot of restaurants, I can tell you a lot of people had to wait in line," he explains. "The overall fiscal impact to our city-parish was tremendous. But at the same time, because of the controversy last year, we saw some people hesitant about doing some sponsorships and those things."
The pageant itself missed out on money last year too. Following the show, $75 thousand wasn't paid by VisitBR. Tuesday the mayor did say if Miss USA comes off clean this year, Baton Rouge could attempt to play host again in the future.
"We're watching and waiting to see what happens there," Holden explains. "Then from this point we'll proceed to making another bid for next year. But I feel very, very good that for two years in a row, Baton Rouge was able to pull off this major, major event and we are still celebrating."
Trump owned Miss Universe at the time the comments were made but sold his ownership to a talent agency in September.