BEDFORD – Southwest Iowa welcomes a new year-round, state-of-the-art event center in the most unlikely place – Bedford in rural Taylor County.
The Deer Ridge at Lexington hosted its grand opening Aug. 29, where owners and Bedford natives John and Angela DeMott treated guests to food and music as they toured the facility and adjoining lodge, all of which overlooks 80 acres of rolling hills and a farm pond. More than 300 guests attended, which included a surprise visit by Sen. Joni Ernst.
Angela said the grand opening was also a way to help showcase other event vendors, such as catering by J Bruner’s from Clarinda, Bar X from Albany, Missouri, and DJ Dawn Davidson of New Market.
“It was our first big tryout of the place, electrical, septic, everything worked perfect,” said John.
“It was a really good time,” said Angela.
An idea realized
John said the idea first came to them after attending the wedding of a close family friend in Columbia, Missouri seven years ago. It took place in a rural area of the county and featured a farm pond. The beauty found within the natural backdrop of the countryside is what inspired the DeMotts to begin thinking about opening a venue back home.
“Everything was outside in a tent and it was really hot,” said Angela. “They had a lot of little cabins and it was really nice.”
“It was a neat setting, but it was hot that day,” John added.
With weddings happening at Lake of Three Fires, less than a quarter of a mile away all summer long, each year, the DeMotts continued to think about the potential of building a venue on their land. As owners of a local hunting lodge business, the DeMotts knew there was also an opportunity, and a need, for additional rentals and space for corporate meetings and retreats.
Deer Ridge at Lexington
The DeMotts broke ground on the Deer Ridge at Lexington last fall and hosted its first wedding Saturday. The name “at Lexington” stems from the land’s history, as it rests near what was formerly the village of Lexington. The DeMotts said the villagers once fought the residents of Bedford to become the county seat and lost. An old wives tale told by some in the area is that the village was burned down after a group of women stormed the town to burn the bar down as their husbands spent too much there. However the fire started, the Lexington name remains.
Deer Ridge at Lexington is climate controlled and features all the bells and whistles of modern technology an event planner could want. It features WiFi, four 75-inch and one 85-inch TVs, climate control, glass garage doors that open to the adjoining patio, accent and uplighting and a surround system with speakers hidden within its landscape.
“So if someone wanted to roll in and Bluetooth to the TVs ... we’re pretty up to speed on that,” said John.
The capacity of the venue is 450, with enough table seating inside for 300 and enough outdoor wedding chairs for the same.
“We are really close to Lake of the Three Fires (State Park), so there’s a lot of potential there for outdoor activities and we have plenty of space on grounds for quite a few people,” said Angela.
The DeMotts said wedding equipment can be rented for weddings at Lake of Three Fires.
The amenities at Deer Ridge at Lexington include “The Lexington Lodge,” which can sleep 16. At the lodge, four rooms, each with a private bath, open up to main living quarters complete with a full kitchen. Two of the four rooms are hotel style, which can be closed off to the rest of the lodge, so that the lodge can accommodate multiple groups or one large group.
For more information, to schedule a tour or to book an event at Deer Ridge at Lexington, visit deerridgeatlexington.com.