Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Dreaming Big: Gary Greff on the Future of the Enchanted Highway

Arts | November 17th, 2022

By Sabrina Hornung

sabrina@hpr1.com

If you’ve ever driven down the Enchanted Highway, the 32-mile ribbon of road connecting Regent to Gladstone in western North Dakota, home to the world’s largest salvaged metal sculptures, it’s no secret that their creator Gary Greff dreams big.

When he realized that this dream of his would become a destination, he knew that the town of Regent would need a hotel.

“I went to a bank and asked them if they would fund a hotel in Regent North Dakota, and the bank sort of laughed at me saying, basically, we're not going to stick a million dollars into a hotel in a town of 100 people– that's not going to work out.”

Once the Regent high school shut its doors the building eventually went up for bids.

“I wanted a hotel that was unique. I didn't want a hotel that was like Motel Six or Super Eight or whatever. I wanted something that was different and tied in with the Enchanted Highway. So what type of hotel ties in with it? When I designed each of the rooms I thought, Well, okay, what kind of hotel comes to mind when you say the word ‘enchanted?’” Gregg said. “What ties in with enchanted.. CASTLE! Okay. There's two types of castles, the Disneyland castle and the medieval castle. I thought well, the Disneyland Castle look would not fit North Dakota at all. But the medieval castle just might at least blend in and look like it should be here.”

The tavern and castle both incorporate stonework in their decor. The decor includes suits of armor and metal chandeliers depicting knights jousting and fighting dragons. The hotel has 19 rooms that are spacious, clean, and comfortable. There’s a continental breakfast. The high school gym is even intact, so guests can walk laps, shoot hoops or utilize one of the two hot tubs in the back of the gym. Plus the gym is no stranger to events and parties.

The menu at the steakhouse includes bar munchies such as mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fried mushrooms etc. The dinner menu included steak, seafood options and even frog legs.

“At one time, we were gonna do menu items that tied in with each of the sculptures; long and short of it, we don't get enough people down here at the present time to justify that, so we had to scale back. Our menu depends on the volume of people.” said Greff.

His most recent sculpture is a 40-foot knight defending the Enchanted Castle from an even larger dragon. It has been a work in progress for the past 5 ½ years, he says that on average his sculptures take at least six years to complete.

“I would like eventually to have three more sculptures on the Enchanted Highway, there's a 12-mile stretch that was supposed to have three more sculptures on it. And right now the landowners aren't being real cooperative in leasing me a piece of land. So that's why I can work on the knight and dragon. And after that's done we'll see where I can put the next sculpture.” he said.

What does the future hold for the enchanted highway? Greff is hoping that the state will get involved.

“At the present time, it's been basically my show,with a very, very minimal budget. But when I pass on, they're gonna have to hire people and hire a welder. Our nonprofit foundation is only funded by a little gift shop that doesn't make enough money to justify hiring... The long and short of it depends on the State of North Dakota coming on board to help fund the project. I've got lots of dreams, I’ve got a lot of things to do, I want to see three more sculptures down on the highway. I'd like to see possibly a theme park behind the Enchanted Castle that has a couple of sculptures that have things for kids to do, So there's a lot of things that can be done.

So the Enchanted Highway, I'm hoping, doesn't die when I die. But if I don't get help from the state or other agencies and so forth. I'm afraid that the Enchanted Highway will die when Gary Greff dies.”

YOU SHOULD KNOW

The Enchanted Castle 607 Main St, Regent, North Dakota (701) 563-4858 http://enchantedcastlend.com

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.edu Gerald Briggs, the Warren County Mississippi Fire/EMS chief, was at a festival in February 2020 when a local law enforcement officer asked him if he had heard about the explosion…

By Michael M. Millermichael.miller@ndsu.edu Dwight Herr interviewed his father, Julius E. Herr of Wishek, North Dakota, in June 1979. Dwight provided a transcription and donated the “Life Story of Julius E. Herr” to the Germans…

Saturday, March 1611 a.m.Downtown FargoWear something green and celebrate spring during Fargo-Moorhead’s premier parade. Thousands of spectators line the streets, so arrive early to snag a prime spot. This community celebration…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com When one googles “What traits are desirable in a new employee,” some of the first words that pop up “from sources around the web” include “communication,” “team player,”…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comPoliticians could learn a lot by watching dung beetles work for a livingThe 400,000 species of beetles is the largest order of insects discovered on Planet Earth, so far. Insect researchers believe…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

The Aquarium, 226 Broadway North upstairs, Downtown FargoFriday, December 8, 7:30-11pmDoors 7:30 pm // Music 8 pm21+ // $10 advance // $12 DOSOver two decades, Christmas songs have appeared throughout Owen Ashworth’s recorded…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the pursuit of knowledge has directed humankind to new horizons – the ocean depths, the infinite reach of space, and the hidden secrets of cells and microbes…or to Artificial Intelligence, which…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Faye Seidlerfayeseidler@gmail.com On the first day of the month I ask people to thank a journalist they know or someone who contributes to papers in some meaningful way. When I grew up, my best friend's father was a journalist…