The Houston Chronicle has just posted a story story about the Tee Pee Motel in Wharton, Texas. Monica Rhor writes:
For years, however, Wharton's Tee Pee Motel was little more than 11 gutted shells engulfed by a tangle of overgrown weeds and a broken sign that once beckoned guests with neon lights and an image of an American Indian chief.We had the pleasure of staying at the Tee Pee this summer. A renovated piece of Americana, this site is a treasure, and a bargain to boot.
Then, a diesel mechanic named Bryon Woods won $49 million in the Texas lottery in July 2003.
Four months later, Woods and his wife, Barbara, were driving by the ruins of the Tee Pee Motel, about 50 miles west of Houston, when Barbara Woods piped up.
"I want to stay there. Let's buy it and renovate it."
Barbara Woods had dreamed of staying in the Tee Pee Motel ever since she was a little girl. And now, she was an adult with nearly $50 million to spend.
After waffling for a few months, Bryon Woods gave in. He bought the 10-acre property for $60,000 — and spent the next two years and $1.6 million sweeping away the cobwebs and debris, remodeling, painting and fixing the neon sign.
"This wasn't about making money. It's having something no one else has," said Woods, 42, whose grandmother was Comanche. "This is a piece of Texas history."
(Photo by Andrew Wood)