Venue Spotlight: Buffalo Ridge in Gary, SD

Photo by Tyra Gefroh Photography

Buffalo Ridge Resort is truly best described as a hidden gem. Located in small town Gary, SD, Buffalo Ridge is the perfect all-inclusive destination. We have a number of unique aspects that set us apart. Our stunning and historic buildings and breathtaking scenery serve as the perfect backdrop to any function. From weddings and family reunions to business retreats and dinner parties, Buffalo Ridge does it all. 

Location: Buffalo Ridge Resort is located on the Minnesota and South Dakota Border in Gary, South Dakota at 1312 Coteau Street Gary, SD 57237. The resort is 30 acres equipped with an event center, hotel, bar and grill, campground, lake and river! We also have a disc golf course, sand volleyball court, racquetball court, and fitness center! Your wedding guests can stay on-site!

History:  Buffalo Ridge Resort and Business Center was once the first South Dakota School for the Blind which was a collection of nine buildings on 37 acres in Gary, SD. For more than 60 years it served as the state’s educational facility for blind children. The school opened in 1900, average enrollment at the school was 55 to 60 students per year. In 1961, the school was moved to Aberdeen and the main buildings were then used as a supervised living home for the elderly. Since the early 1980s, the buildings had been vacant. Although vandals, weather, and vermin had taken a toll on the structures, none of the buildings have been altered and are considered structurally sound and in good condition. The beautiful neoclassical – and classical-revival designed complex included classrooms, administration offices, dormitories, barns, boiler building, playground, unique water fountain in an old flower garden, and a gym/auditorium with a stage. In December of 2008 a local entrepreneur, purchased the campus from an estate. Restoration of the buildings and the reestablishment of Lake Elsie began in December of 2008 with a completion goal of Gary’s annual 4th of July celebration in 2009. The project started in phases which began with the first two dormitory buildings which were built in 1910 and 1924. The boiler and administration buildings were able to be renovated at a later date.
On July 3, 2009, the Herrick Hotel, Woodbury Hall, and the Talking Waters Campground were opened. In July of 2010, the Rock Room Bar and Grill was established on the bottom floor of the Administration Building.

Indoor Capacity: We have multiple event spaces! Two smaller rooms that are great for rehearsal dinners as well as business meetings and birthday parties! Our main event space is the Sundance Ballroom. The Ballroom is a completely refurbished, beautiful room with a maximum capacity of 160. Tables and chairs are provided in the rental with the options of round or long tables with chairs to seat 8. With rental of the Ballroom you also get outdoor use of the adjunct courtyard space!

Outdoor Capacity: We have hosted weddings up to 500 people in outdoor space! Options are limitless. With a tent rental you can insure that rain won’t stop your big day. There is plenty of beautiful yard space as well as the courtyard!

Reception Rentals Include: With the reservation of the Sundance Ballroom you receive both indoor and outdoor reception space. Table and chair set up and tear down is included. Linens and cloth napkins are provided as well as water glasses and pitchers for each table. There is a full bar set up with a bartender within the ballroom with outdoor options as well. All set up and cleanup is done by Buffalo Ridge to make sure that you can fully enjoy your day!

Ceremony Rentals Include: With the reservation of a ceremony location, you have the option to choose anywhere on the 30 acre campus! There are many beautiful areas to choose from. All chairs are included and we will set them up and tear them down ourselves!

Catering/Alcohol Policy: Buffalo Ridge caters all events that are hosted at the resort! We have a very wide array of options on our catering menu. We host a tasting each year so that couples are able to choose the options that fit their taste and style the most. We also have many appetizer options to choose from. We serve all alcohol that is consumed in event space. There are several options for how that alcohol is served based on the couples budget and preferences! We have options for a full bar including beer, wine, and liquor.

Lodging: Buffalo Ridge Resort has several lodging options to choose from that cater to a variety of needs! Talking waters campgrounds are located right on the resort property with over 30 sites! Sites with electric, water, and sewer are available as well as tent sites. Over the campground shower house we have the bunkhouse. It can sleep 10 people and is equipped with its own bathroom and kitchen. Our hotel has 19 rooms on two floors! In the Admin building we have the family suite which is a shared unit that can host up to 38 guests. It is perfect for wedding parties and families to spend time together! It has 16 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, and two large living areas!

Parking: There is plenty of parking at Buffalo Ridge Resort. There are spaces for hotel guests, and campers as well as street parking for any overflow!

Handicap Accessibility: We have handicap accessible bathrooms as well as a hotel room specifically for those needs. We also are able to put ramps out so everyone can enjoy the ballroom and courtyard! We aim to be able to respond to every need and request!

Contact Info: Check out our website for more information at or check out our Facebook page, Buffalo Ridge Resort and Business Center. Or you can give Abby a call for questions or booking at 605.272.7777, or send her an email at

Photo by Tyra Gefroh Photography

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