I expected Lace Morris to show up at Kona Grill in the Cherry Creek Mall with her flowing long hair and a bright, summery sarong. I was just watching the premiere of “Bachelor in Paradise” two days ago. She shows up right on time. Her hair is short now and pulled into a bun and she’s wearing black workout leggings and a black top. To my surprise, she’s not wearing any makeup. Between her photo shoots and carefully crafted selfies, not to mention two appearances on “The Bachelor” (including her appearance on season 20 with Ben Higgins) franchise, I sometimes forget she’s a real person.
Morris has a charisma that keeps you locked in. When she’s talking to you, you listen. When she’s near you, you stare–including our waitress who asks for our IDs when we order a glass of wine and I can tell her eyes widen ever so slightly after she confirms with the ID that this is the real Lace Morris, that Lace Morris. When we’ve both gotten our wine and she settles on the spiciest sushi roll on the menu, I ask her if she is ready to start and slide my phone across the table to record her. I have the questions scribbled in a composition book in front of me and a pen to cross them off as we go along. I jump into the deep end of the pool –
303 Magazine: What was dating like in Denver before the show?
Lace Morris: I feel like I’ve always been in a relationship, I’ve been in a lot of relationships. But, I think a year or two before the show I started to find pretty good men, but I just found things about them I didn’t like, and I feel like everyone in Denver has hooked up with everyone in Denver. That made it really hard for me. I think it got overwhelming because you try to find someone you like and then you’re like, ‘oh wait, you already hooked up with my friend.’ I don’t know, maybe dating in Denver is hard, but I was lucky enough to find some decent guys.
303: So if it wasn’t the dating scene, why did you apply?
LM: I actually applied when I moved back from Vegas. A year before [“The Bachelor”], or something, and they just came across my thing and started bugging me to come and I thought, actually I still want to do this, let’s do it, but I was with Gabe at the time. So, I was supposed to be on a different season and I said no. Then I let them know when I was single again and they said, ‘You have to come on this season,’ and they just got me on. I was so excited to start real estate, of course, my luck right when I get it [the license] I go on the show, so I knew that was going to take away from me actually disciplining myself and actually doing real estate. But I am not complaining now.
303: Has the show changed your goals for the future?
LM: Yes, I have kind of dismissed real estate at this point. I’m just putting it on the back burner. I just feel like there [are] more opportunities from the show now for me. More that are up my alley, more that I’ve dreamed about.
“ I was portrayed, at first like a villain, then just a crazy girl that is super insecure, right?”
303: What was your reception coming back from “The Bachelor”? Do you want to also talk a little about how you were portrayed on the show?
LM: I was portrayed, at first like a villain, then just a crazy girl that is super insecure, right? So then, luckily, I was self-aware and I let myself leave so I wouldn’t be made a bigger fool. But the first week, once the show aired, was miserable for me … I didn’t leave my apartment for a week, I literally didn’t, I was so nervous, people were so mean. But then by the third episode when I had left on my own, people just started respecting me and I had so many fans and support so it felt really good.
303: What’s it like having fans in Denver?
LM: I feel like the fans in Denver respond pretty well, I take a lot of selfies with people coming up to me, recognizing me, I have a lot of people say they respect how I handled things. But you get those few people who just stare at you and know who you are but don’t say anything so it’s a little awkward sometimes because Denver is kind of smaller, but getting bigger.
303: Has it been hard to go back to daily life after filming?
LM: No, I’m back to daily life, you just get those little here and there paparazzi moments, you know, but I’m back to normal life, I do whatever. It has changed a lot, being in the spotlight, but it’s normal still.
303: Where did you grow up?
LM: I grew up, how do I explain that? So every year until middle school, I went to a different school in a different city. But technically through middle school and high school I grew up in Arvada.
303: When you were younger were you in Colorado?
LM: Yeah, we did Texas for one year, but other than that we were in every different city in Colorado.
303: Where did you go to high school?
LM: I went to Arvada West high school. My family is still in Arvada.
303: Are you planning to stay in Denver?
LM: How do I answer that? I mean, I think there are some opportunities in another city, another big city, that I am excited about. San Francisco. [Laughs]
303: When you are in town–you’re obviously very fit, part of your image–where do you workout?
LM: I workout at 24 hour [Fitness] and I do love going there when it’s not too busy, I don’t like when it’s too crowded, but I’m a big fan of the incline down in Manitou Springs. It is the hardest workout, you have to stop so often because you think you’re going to throw up. It’s such a good leg and cardio workout, it’s like a mile straight up, and then my other favorite hiking spot is the Flatirons. I love hiking the Flatirons.
303: When you go out in Denver what is your favorite neighborhood for food?
LM: Favorite neighborhood for food? That’s tough. [..] Ok, so one of my favorite go to spots is Pinche Tacos, Tequila and Whiskey, it is my favorite taco place in Denver hands down, I go there by myself constantly and with friends. I really like Postino in highlands, their sandwiches are so good. I’m a big fan of everything in Cherry Creek, I just always love being in Cherry Creek. There is just so many new restaurants I’m dying to try!
303: Where do you like to drink?
LM: If I’m doing a happy hour I like the little Cherry Creek places, but if I’m going out on the town, I honestly really enjoy Roosevelts and Front Porch, and I love, what is it? Pickle shots?
303: Retro room?
LM: I love Retro Room, I always make a pit stop at Retro Room! I will say, though, my new favorite hang out spot is Mile High Spirits, in the summer I love Mile High Spirits. It’s so fun, they play good music. It’s hard to get a drink but you gotta double fist it.
303: Tell us about your love affair with the Broncos?
LM: So I am one of the biggest girl fans of the Broncos that you will ever meet and it surprises a lot of men, and women. I even went to the extent of buying a $130 pair of shoes that were decked out in broncos, this girl made them for me and I absolutely love them, that’s how big a fan I am…I get emotional for the games and if they lose I get emotional the next day. I’m just a diehard fan and I love football. I wish I could play. Yes, that’s my one big thing, I played flag football and powder puff in high school and I was so good at it and I know how to throw a football, like I really know how to throw, I love football!
303: Who is the first person you call when you’re back in town?
LM: Obviously I call my mom, because my mom is my best friend, but Michelle, my best friend is someone I call after my mom.
303: Is Denver always going to be home?
LM: Denver will always be home and I rave to everyone about Denver who doesn’t live here.
Catch Lace Morris every Monday and Tuesday on ABC at 7 p.m. Central
Note from The Author – The author had known Lace Morris from previous employment unrelated to the show.