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About Us


Thanks for taking the time to visit our website. Here is a brief history of our business's beginnings to the present. Merritt Trading Post Resort started out as a small bait shop below the dam shortly after the reservoir was impounded in 1964, moving to its present location a few years after that. In 1978 the business was purchased by partners Jon Davenport, Dick Jeffers, and Cork Young. At this stage the business consisted of a store about 1/3 the present size, one gas pump, a mouse infested trailer, and two tin Sears & Roebuck Boats. About a year later, Jon Davenport bought out his partners and began expanding the resort. The store was enlarged and 16 cabins were gradually added through the years. In 1999 the WatersEdge Restaurant and Lounge were completed along with a guest shower and laundry facility. In March 2005, John and Regina Bauer purchased the resort and together with their children Stacy, Erin, and David, manage the business.


"The University of Merritt" has and continues to attract a wide variety of outdoor sports enthusiasts. The area's beautiful vistas, abundant fish and wildlife, unique geography and location off the beaten path are the main attractions. Whatever the season, there is always plenty to do and see at Merritt and the nearby or adjoining public lands totaling over 200,000 acres. Bird watching, geocaching, outdoor and nature photography, hiking, and mountain biking are just some of the activities available to you Night skies with near zero light pollution and low haze attract astronomers the world around, Mid-summer white sugar sand beaches that surround Merritt's 44 miles of shoreline rival those found anywhere in the world. The Nebraska Game & Parks Commission manages the lakes 200+ campsites and 5 boat ramps. At the resort we welcome families and outdoorsmen the year round for reunions, weddings, family vacations and more! Our 15 rental cabins have 42 beds along with 7 reservable campsites with hook-ups that can accommodate good sized groups and extended families. Come experience a Sandhills vacation at The Merritt Trading Post Resort.

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Merritt Trading Post Resort

88337 State Hwy 97
Valentine, NE 69201
Trading Post (402) 376-3437
Water'sEdge Restaurant (402) 376-1878

Fax (402) 376-5934