Highlands Ranch is an unincorporated area in Douglas County, Colorado. With an estimated population of 88,273 as of 2007, Highlands Ranch is one of the largest unincorporated areas in the United States. Once home to nomadic tribes including the Cheyenne, Ute and Arapho tribes, this area was part of the land sold to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The Highlands Ranch Mansion, which was built in the years from 1891 to 1904 is known for it's unique architecture. Built as a private residence, the mansion is now used for special events and festivals.
The Colorado Gold Rush brought people to Colorado in droves. Nearby cities, such as Denver, flourished and grew rapidly during this time. Today, some would consider Highlands Ranch a bedroom community to Denver, but the growing number of local businesses would indicate that Highlands Ranch is a community unto itself, although many do commute into larger cities such as Denver to work.
The arts and entertainment offerings in Highlands Ranch show the true diversity of the area. The Highlands Ranch Arts Festival and the Highland Ranch Rodeo are but a week apart. The city also hosts events such as “Film in the Park” and the “Arts Festival Wine Tasting,” two great summer events for locals and tourists alike. The Colorado Scottish Festival and Rocky Mountain Highland Games are also held in Highlands Ranch each year. This festival showcases competitions in Scottish dancing, drumming, piping and traditional Scottish athletics as well as featuring Scottish food, beverage and entertainment. Given the rapid growth rate of the area and the number of local events, it's no wonder that Highlands Ranch has achieved a reputation for being a “promising community.”