May 09

[ARCHIVED] Life in Parker: The Whole Package

The original item was published from May 9, 2019 9:51 AM to September 15, 2022 4:28 PM

Farmers Market-8

Parker, Colorado’s population has more than doubled in the last couple of decades as more people discover that it’s a terrific place to live, work and play. Parents can have successful careers, their children have access to a wealth of educational options, and everyone can enjoy a superb quality of life.

Finding Opportunity in Parker
Leanne Naso relocated to Parker in 2002 from Texas to help build and open Parker Adventist Hospital.

A native of Houston, Naso never thought she’d leave her home state. But when she was asked to help build a new hospital in Parker, she couldn’t turn down the opportunity.

“Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I ever made,” says Naso, who serves as the chief operating officer at Parker Adventist Hospital. Naso’s daughter was one of the first babies to be delivered in the new hospital, which just celebrated its 15-year anniversary. She jokes that she birthed a hospital and then birthed her first child in Parker.

Sarah Stott has a slightly different story. She grew up in Parker and graduated from Ponderosa High School. Stott moved away for a while but found her way back home to Parker because she appreciated its quality of life and wanted to raise her children near their grandparents.

Initially, Stott was driving to Denver for work. A little over a year ago, she was thrilled to find a job right in Parker. “I don’t have to drive downtown anymore. Not having to commute is fabulous,” she says.

As the human resources director for about 900 people at ET Investments, a parent company for a group of title insurance agencies, Stott has noticed workers moving from Denver to outlying suburbs like Parker to take advantage of the slower pace of life. She has found it easier to fill positions lately with local people, which has been a positive shift. “Five years ago, people didn’t know where Parker was,” she says.

Stott’s husband Aric also landed a job opportunity not too far from home. He works for Trimble Navigation, a company that specializes in developing global satellite navigation systems. His office is in the Denver Tech Center, which is a convenient 20-minute commute from Parker.

A Great Place to Raise a Family
Both Naso and Stott have found Parker is an appealing place for families. It’s a safe, active and healthy community with abundant choices in terms of housing and education.

“I like the community feel. It’s a great place to raise a family,” Naso says, noting that physicians looking to relocate to Parker to work at the hospital find the diversity of neighborhoods and housing options attractive.

The Town has public, private and charter schools. Parker is in the Douglas County School District, which is known for exceeding Colorado state averages in every grade and subject tested on the Colorado Student Assessment Program.

Stott agrees that the “small town feel” of the community and its family-friendly atmosphere are key Town attributes. There’s a reason many of her friends from high school never moved away. From the festive Christmas decorations to the family-owned restaurants, shops and breweries, Parker’s hometown character is hard to beat.

Outstanding Recreation, Awesome Arts & Culture
Life and work become dull without play. That’s why Parker puts a priority on its parks, recreation, arts and culture.

Residents have access to state-of-the-art recreation facilities as well as 30-plus miles of trails and 250 acres of developed park land, which helps people of all ages stay active year-round. According to Stott, her father is 85 and “still rides his bike along the Cherry Creek Trail system, which we love.”

Stott participates in the indoor adult soccer league at the Parker Fieldhouse. The 100,000-square-foot facility supports a wide variety of sports and fitness offerings, from inline skating to running, climbing and flag football.

Naso points to the Parker Recreation Center as an outstanding resource for families, complete with an indoor pool and a diverse range of fitness facilities and classes to appeal to everyone.

Family-friendly arts and cultural events also happen in Parker. Naso has fond memories of taking her daughter to the annual Parker Fine Arts & Music Festival. Stott and Naso are both fans of the Parker Days Festival, which draws thousands of people with its concerts and carnival-like atmosphere.

Parker has some wonderful arts organizations and venues. “I love the addition of the PACE Center,” Naso says, noting that her family feels fortunate to have the ability to see top-notch arts performances right in town.

The amenities and activities in Parker rival that of a much larger town. “It’s nice not to have to drive into Denver,” says Naso. “I love that you can pretty much get what you need right in our backyard.”

Find Your Place in Parker
Parker is a place where family and community are valued. It’s a setting where small-town charm abounds, yet there’s still potential for growth.

Whether it’s starting a business or finding a quality job with an established company, there are opportunities in Parker spanning the retail, healthcare, professional services, education and technology sectors and more.