Suddenly Suburbs

May 2005

Surprise-some of the hottest hamlets are outside the city limits. Why the Denver 'burbs are cooler than you think, plus our picks for top neighborhoods.

If you mention the word "suburbs" to Denverites, most immediately think of Highlands Ranch. And to hear Denverites talk about Highlands Ranch, you'd think it exists not off C-470 but in the Ninth Circle of HellĀ­, with hellfire licking the wheels of cul-de-sac jogging strollers and brimstone raining down on the strip-mall Applebees.

Well, Lucifer must have done some remodeling, because Highlands Ranch and a few other metro-area suburbs are exploding with growth. Between 2000 and 2003, the population in Douglas County (home of Highlands Ranch) boomed by 27.1 percent, making it the third fastest growing county in the entire country.