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The Million Dollar Inn offers the luxury of home while staying in Pawhuska

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.


Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2017-04-17 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty is the editor of the Osage News. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Legal Studies, Indigenous Peoples Law from the OU College of Law. She served on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) from 2013-2016 and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee from 2017-2020. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED). In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive the Elias Boudinot Free Press Award, NAJA’s highest honor. An Osage tribal member, she and her family are from the Grayhorse District. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and six children.

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