After three years of holding its event in Parker, the Miss Colorado competition plans to make the town a permanent home for Memorial Day weekends.
The organization, which is a feeder for the Miss America competition, held their event at Parker's PACE Center in 2019 and 2021 and is set to do so again this year.
The Parker Chamber of Commerce initiated the agreement after hearing interest in the idea from the organization.
“It’s just an easy economic development win because it brings attention to Parker that week every year,” said T.J. Sullivan, president and CEO of the chamber.
While there is only a contract in progress for this year’s event, the organization’s “intention is to keep it in Parker,” said Mette Castor, co-executive director of Miss Colorado.
PACE Center rates for rentals show the contract will bring in about $11,000 in revenue for the center. The event center can seat up to 500 people per day of the event.
“Hopefully it’s financially beneficial to the town and businesses,” Castor said.
The contest also incorporates the Miss Colorado’s Outstanding Teen competition during the same weekend. The teen competition is for girls ages 13 to 17 and the Miss Colorado event is for 18- to 26-year-olds.
Both competitions include private interviews with the panel of judges, a talent portion, on stage questions and evening wear. The adult contest also includes a 60-second presentation on a social impact initiative.
“It’s not just a beauty pageant,” Castor said. “Or just a bunch of pretty girls. That’s really not what it is.”
This year’s winner of the Miss Colorado competition will receive a $10,000 cash scholarship. The winner of the teen contest will receive $2,500 in cash and several options for scholarships, such as a full ride to the University of Alabama. The organization hopes in future years to offer scholarships to local universities.
“These are really smart women who have identified this as a path to reach their goals,” Castor said.
As part of the deal, the Miss Colorado Scholarship Organization has joined the Parker chamber as a member. The chamber will be the “Local Host Sponsor” for the event.
Miss Colorado became interested in continuing their relationship with the PACE Center and the town after having a positive experience there during past events.
“They were so accommodating and patient and so great to work with,” Castor said of the PACE Center. “It felt more like they were going to be partners in making our show successful, not just there to do a job.”
The organization also hopes to create a relationship between residents of Parker and the competition.
“For us we want it to be more of a partnership and feeling of community,” she said.