Osage owned and operated, The Million Dollar Inn is the dream of Cheryl Potts.
The two-story “old Tolson House” is located on Grandview, across the street from the Osage Nation Museum. Potts said she spent her inheritance renovating the four-bedroom house to make each bedroom a Bed & Bath suite equipped with a kitchenette, full bath and rooms that come with DirecTV and free WiFi.
“I started out slow, but when Ree Drummond’s place opened – boom,” she said. “I’ve had visitors from all over the country stay here, as well as production crews who are here to film her Food Network show.”
Potts, who is a retired mother of six living in Sand Springs with her husband, is an avid collector. The house is full of antiques and touches of Osage style. The beds are big and luxurious and she spared no expense on comfort. “The beds and pillows are my favorites,” she said.
She’s been open for business since March of 2016. Prices start at $129 to $159 a night, but she’s negotiable if guests aren’t planning to cook.
“Each bedroom has a lock and key, it’s private,” she said. “Let’s say you have family coming in for Christmas, they can rent the whole house and stay here and have their Christmas party here if they wanted to.”
The view from the windows overlook the town and she is currently working on turning a ceiling top on one of the lower floors into a terrace. There is an outside patio with a grill so her guests can cook out and relax. She said she had the trees in the backyard trimmed down by 10 feet so her guests could see the view.
The house has a main common room with plenty of electrical outlets in case people want to hook up their devices and relax. She said many of her guests get to know each other and hang out in the main common room. She is currently working on renovating a bar area for her guests that sits next to the sun room with a view. There is a washroom for linens and the four suites are two King beds and two Queen beds.
She said she is busy on the phone most days from 7:30 a.m. till about noon, and most of her guests say they’ve never been to Pawhuska. It’s usually the same story, she said, they just heard about The Mercantile and they want to stay one night. However, once they get here she tells them about the Osage Nation Museum, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, and the Waterbird Gallery downtown and they end up staying for two to three nights and they tell her they’re coming back.
Her favorite part of her business has been meeting her guests and hearing their stories. She’s not always there to meet them but she said when she does its makes all the hard work worth it.
“It’s just so exciting, not only for the Inn but for everybody in town,” she said. “People keep saying we need a Holiday Inn Express in town. You can stay in those anywhere. Come stay in a place like The Million Dollar Inn, someplace special, something you can’t see anywhere else.”
She said she keeps the month of June available for Osages coming for the dances. For more information or to make your reservation, call (918) 604-5041.