Written by Kaija Swisher and reprinted by permission of the Black Hills Pioneer
SPEARFISH — Those looking to host an event — large or small — will soon have a new venue to consider near Spearfish.
A groundbreaking celebration takes place at 3:30 p.m. today for The Barn at Aspen Acres, a new multiuse event venue located on 40 acres off of Kellem Lane, north of Exit 10 off of Highway 85. The modern farmhouse-style building will be approximately 8,000 square feet, with a 4,900-square-foot open-air banquet hall.
Tia Ferguson, owner, along with her fiancé Dr. Daniel Berens, a primary care physician in Spearfish, explained that when the couple got engaged in February 2018, they started looking for the perfect wedding venue. They scoured the Black Hills first for a venue that was big enough to host their large families and personal styles, and then moved outside of the area, looking east toward Sioux Falls, as Berens grew up in Iowa and they considered a venue closer to a halfway point, as well as looking at possibilities in Colorado.
Through their search, Ferguson, a Black Hills State University graduate with a degree in marketing and management, realized that the quest showed a need for such a venue in the area.
“When we started looking elsewhere, and we saw the opportunity and how big the industry was outside of the Hills, we decided to look and see if my entrepreneurial spirit and business plan work would work and come to life. So that’s what we did,” she said, describing that with the help of Berens, family, friends, and the Small Business Association, the dream of building The Barn at Aspen Acres was born.
Ferguson said that the couple considered various locations for the venue. Since they live in Spearfish, when they found the property at Kellem Lane, which features the views of the Black Hills and is close enough to lodging and other amenities groups celebrating events need, as well as offers space to host a variety of events, they knew it was a great fit.
Designed to encompass the unique qualities that Ferguson and Berens sought in a venue, The Barn at Aspen Acres will featuring the wide-open spaces of Spearfish; clean lines; minimalist landscaping; and modern aesthetic design features, Ferguson said.
The indoor/outdoor venue will be able to hold events year-round, and Ferguson said that the idea is to host a variety of events in addition to weddings, such as holiday events, birthday parties, family reunions, vendor shows, etc., as well as community events that may have grown beyond the capacity for their current venues.
In addition to its size, The Barn at Aspen Acres has a few other features that set it apart, Ferguson said. Designed by Williams and Associates, the hall would provide a customizable space to hold large or small events, featuring chandelier fixtures, numerous windows, and large doors to enhance the hills and the fresh air concept.
The barn would include a bridal loft, ideal for brides preparing for their special day. With natural lighting from large windows, the loft would also be ideal for photographs, Ferguson explained, as well as allow space for the bridal party to enjoy together before the ceremony in a modern asesthetic.
An outdoor ceremony site would be surrounded by aspen trees, with plenty of seating to accommodate the wedding or event, and a warming kitchen, fully-equipped with sleek, modern, and well-maintained appliances would provide space to prepare for serving events. Additionally, the Barn at Aspen Acres will include a cash or hosted beer, wine, and wine-based liquor bar outside of the kitchen, as well as an outdoor patio covered by an overhang of the building’s roof, with seating and a fire pit.
Ferguson explained that following today’s groundbreaking, the hope is to have the venue open for tours and open houses by the end of July and beginning of August – and she and Berens will be the first to use the venue for their wedding ceremony on Aug. 10, with weddings available for booking from there on out.
“I think being a bride myself has definitely engulfed into knowing what all of the other brides are going through, and being able to have great relationships with all of the vendors of the Hills, have been really exciting, and a lot of positivity about this barn, so I think that’s what fuels me and makes me excited, is all of the energy of something new and something that’s been really needed,” she said.
“The Barn at Aspen Acres will be a tremendous addition to Spearfish and the surrounding area,” Kory Menken, Spearfish Economic Development Corporation executive director, said. “In addition to creating new employment opportunities and tax revenue, the open-air concept of The Barn at Aspen Acres will balance nicely with the beauty of the surrounding area. Blending economic growth with the natural attributes of our region is an important component of the Spearfish Economic Development Corporation’s development strategy.”
More information about The Barn at Aspen Acres is available at blackhillsbarn.com.