Darwin Horan

Colorado Real Estate Professional

About Darwin Horan

A professional in the field of homebuilding and land management, Darwin Horan studied business at Arizona State University before coming to Colorado to serve as the president of the North Division of Writer Homes. Subsequently, he joined the largest homebuilding company in Colorado, D. R. Horton, as the president of its Denver Division. Then Darwin Horan launched his own real estate firm in the city of Englewood known as Ventana Capital, Inc.

As the president and CEO of Ventana Capital, Mr. Horan manages more than 35,000 lots, which includes more than 20,000 development projects and 15,000 new constructions. He has also expanded his portfolio to include metropolitan district management, oil and gas, real estate brokerage, water storage development, and other services.

Darwin Horan contributes to his local community, including serving as a coach for several children's football and track teams. He supports nonprofit organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Service Employment Redevelopment, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Challenge Foundation, the Special Olympics, and the Battered Woman's Shelter.

About the Challenge Foundation’s Five-Part Program

A graduate of Arizona State University, Darwin Horan is the president and owner of Ventana Capital, Inc., a land development and entitlement company. Additionally, Darwin Horan contributes to a number of charitable organizations, including the local battered women shelter, the Special Olympics, and the Challenge Foundation (CF).

Established more than 20 years ago, the Challenge Foundation works to provide education opportunities to students from low-income households from sixth grade through college. Dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty that can keep promising students from achieving their potential, the foundation takes a whole-student approach to academic success. With services such as mentoring, tutoring, therapeutic intervention, and college preparedness activities, CF’s scholars are more likely to perform well in high school and enter college than they otherwise would be.

The backbone of the Challenge Foundation is its five-part program, the components of which address different areas of student needs. A long-term commitment, the program begins with early intervention based on comprehensive evaluations, recommendations, and standardized testing. Through scholarships, students are admitted to college preparatory schools so they may learn in an individualized, academically rigorous setting. The foundation also provides academic, social, and emotional advising to students, in addition to key resources that promote academic success. Over the course of the program, students are paired with a community professional who mentors them before and, often, after the program. Finally, the Challenge Foundation ensures success for its students by helping them prepare for and apply to colleges and universities. After students enroll, CF continues to support them with annual assistance with the financial aid process. Through these key initiatives, the foundation has achieved a 90 percent student retention rate.

Robust Demand for Condos and Homes in Denver Area Market

Darwin Horan is a veteran real estate executive who leads Ventana Capital, Inc., a firm that owns properties for planned community development throughout Colorado. Darwin Horan stays current on market trends, and current trends indicate residential housing demand is on a path of sustained growth. In particular, the Denver-area market is reaching a level of demand where low residential housing inventory is the "new normal."


A report by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR) in early 2015 revealed there were fewer than 4,400 condos and single-family homes available throughout the 11-county market. With only a 1.04-month supply of listed condos and a 1.29-month supply of listed single-family homes, the market is extremely tight. Compared with December, 2013, this represents a remarkable 45 percent fewer properties available. Along with this trend, DMAR reported higher than usual foot traffic for new homes, with the report posing the question, "Will builders have enough skilled contractors to keep up with demand?"

A Brief Overview of the Denver Nuggets Franchise

Darwin Horan, owner and president of Englewood, Colorado's Ventana Capital, follows several professional sports teams from Colorado. Darwin Horan is a particularly avid follower of the Denver Broncos and the Denver Nuggets.

The Denver Nuggets is one of 13 teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) to have never won an NBA championship. For seven seasons between 1967 and 1974, the team competed as the Denver Rockets in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and qualified for the postseason playoffs five times. Following the 1973-1974 season, the team took on its current name and went all the way to the 1975 Western Conference Finals and the 1976 ABA Finals.

The Nuggets’ success continued after merging with the NBA in 1976. They reached the second and third rounds of the 1977 and 1978 playoffs, respectively, although they would never make it to the finals again. Between 1981 and 1990, the team reached the postseason nine times, including three trips to the second round and an appearance in the 1985 Western Conference Finals.

After an eight-season playoff drought, extending from 1995 to 2003, the team began another string of postseason runs that lasted from the 2004 playoffs through the 2013 playoffs. The team only progressed beyond the first round once during that period, however, when they made the 2009 Western Conference Finals.

Colorado Water Plan Approved by Official Body

Through his company, Ventana Capital, Inc., Darwin Horan invests in and develops land in Colorado. Under the leadership of Darwin Horan, the firm has expanded its portfolio to incorporate water storage interests in the state.

In late 2015, the Colorado Water Conservation Board voted to approve the Colorado Water Plan, a project years in the making. Experts and policy stakeholders compiled the nearly 500-page plan in the face of a disturbing trend: the continuing rise in the state population and the dwindling supply of the state’s water resources. Projections indicate that the state will face a massive water shortfall by mid-century.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper set into motion the water plan in 2013 in the face of worrying demographic trends and drought. The plan primarily aims to conserve those resources. Key aspects of the plan include annual water conservation targets for municipalities and businesses of 130 billion gallons. Moreover, the document calls for the creation of new water-storage space capable of accommodating 130 billion gallons.

Nuggets Believe Draft Pick Murray Will Be Able to Play Soon

Darwin Horan serves as president of Ventana Capital, Inc. in Englewood, Colorado, where he oversees a diversified portfolio that encompasses real estate, energy, telecom site brokerage, construction, and water storage development. Outside of his professional life, Darwin Horan follows the NBA and is a fan of the Denver Nuggets.

The Denver Nuggets believe first-round draft pick Jamal Murray will be able to compete immediately for playing time in the backcourt.

The Nuggets chose Murray with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Playing collegiately for John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats, Murray averaged 20.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game during his only season in Lexington.

During his freshman year, Murray showed flashes of creativity in generating his own offense. In particular, his skills away from the ball showed scouts that he has a knack for fighting through screens and getting open to shoot. While Murray can attack the rim, analysts believe he is more ideally suited to a game that features him as a pick-and-roll type shooter.

The Denver front office hopes that Murray, along with last year’s early round draft pick, Emmanuel Mudiay, will form a strong backcourt to serve as the team’s foundation for years to come.

The Challenge Foundation’s Summer Program

Operating from Englewood, California, Darwin Horan has achieved numerous land investment and development successes since founding Ventana Capital, Inc. Beyond this, Darwin Horan supports a number of organizations, such as the Challenge Foundation.

Each year, the Challenge Foundation operates its summer program, which provides additional cultural and academic opportunities to its Challenge Scholars. Completion of the summer program is a requirement for all Challenge Scholars attending middle school, as it prepares them mentally and intellectually for the increased demands placed on them in later, more independent educational environments.

Over the course of a number of weeks, summer program participants take part in an academic program overseen by experienced teachers. In addition to developing reading, math, writing, and critical thinking skills, summer program participants visit local colleges and businesses. They also take part in artistic and athletic activities, in addition to group adventures that focus on building core skills in leadership, teamwork, and community building.

The Challenge Foundation Teaches Scholars to Give Back

As the president of Ventana Capital, Inc., in Englewood, Colorado, Darwin Horan helps raise capital for the investment firm while handling land development and entitlement issues. To give back to the community, Darwin Horan supports several national and local charitable organizations, including The Challenge Foundation, which provides mentorship and scholarships to promising students from low-income backgrounds as a way of breaking the poverty cycle.


A key aspect of The Challenge Foundation’s program, service learning is a requirement that challenges the program’s scholars to recognize and work to satisfy community needs. This requirement helps train scholars to become real change agents for the future by teaching them the impact that one person can make and give them real-life experience with community organizing.

Challenge scholars must complete service-learning projects during their middle and high school years. In addition to participating in school-sponsored projects, the scholars are expected to pursue their own, individual projects. Scholars also work in their local communities through the required summer program for those in middle school, and many in high school choose to travel within the United States or abroad to complete their service work.

The Career of Denver Broncos Legend John Elway

Darwin Horan is the president and owner of Englewood, Colorado’s Ventana Capital, Inc., and serves on numerous metro district boards. Outside of his professional endeavors, Darwin Horan is an avid fan of the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos have won three Super Bowls throughout its history, two of which were won with Hall of Famer John Elway serving as the team’s quarterback. The first overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, Elway played 16 seasons with the Broncos and led the team to five Super Bowl appearances. Denver reached the Super Bowl in 1987, 1988, and 1990, but lost to the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, and San Francisco 49ers. However, in his final two seasons in the league, Elway led the Broncos to back-to-back Super Bowl wins over the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. He announced his retirement following the 1998 season, finishing his career with 300 touchdowns and 51,475 passing yards.

Elway’s success on the field has since translated to his role as the team’s general manager. He joined the Broncos’ front office as director of player personnel in 2011 and was officially named general manager two years later. In Elway’s six seasons as an executive for the team, Denver has a regular season record of 67-29 and won the Super Bowl in 2015.

Reducing the Risk Involved with the Development of Raw Land

A real estate investment and development professional, Darwin Horan serves as the president of Ventana Capital, Inc., in Englewood, Colorado. As such, Darwin Horan has overseen the development and entitlement of more than 20,000 and 35,000 lots, respectively. As with any investment, the development of raw land comes with certain risks. However, individuals can take steps to mitigate these risks.

Time is one of the most important factors to consider relative to the development of raw land. The more time projects require, the greater the risk associated with them. A longer period between initial investment and cash flow means more time for economic conditions, interest rates, zoning laws, and the like to shift and adversely affect outcomes. Typically, raw land development requires months, if not years, but individuals should try to reduce the time frame as much as possible.

Before making a major investment, individuals need to complete their due diligence and look at market conditions thoroughly. While this research does not make investments failsafe, it can highlight potential problems and identify pathways for mitigating the likely risks. Moreover, individuals should research the local legislative environment in addition to economic conditions.

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