Muskogee Inn: Behind the Scenes with Leroy Tullis
From basic repairs to remodeling rooms, the maintenance team at Muskogee Inn does it all. They are not your average crew, either. This team of three tackles everything that needs addressing and then some.
As team leader of the crew, Tribal Member Leroy Tullis is the longest standing employee of the maintenance department at Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority (CIEDA).
“I’ve been at this now for 30 years,” Tullis said. “I love it. Every aspect of my job is rewarding, and I am blessed to be here.”
Muskogee Inn is the only CIEDA property that has an in-house maintenance team. The CIEDA maintenance department as a whole takes care of all the economic businesses as projects arise, but the team stationed at the hotel is a special one.
“This team gels very well together in addressing the needs of Muskogee Inn,” Procurement Officer Billy Hunt said. “And I can’t say enough about them. Mr. Leroy is knowledgeable of every inch of Muskogee Inn. He brings years of irreplaceable experience not only about Muskogee Inn but of several other Poarch and CIEDA properties as well.
“He is a valuable asset to CIEDA and Muskogee Inn.”
Tullis said his crew does work at other locations from time to time, but their first priority is the hotel grounds.
“We help out in a pinch at a couple different businesses, but we are specifically here because there is just so much to do … every day, there is something new,” Tullis said. “It’s not always big stuff, though. It’s the small things that keep us busy. Things that happen over and over that the other businesses don’t have to deal with.”
Hunt speaks fondly of each of his employees at Muskogee Inn, saying they are all in sync and handle every situation quickly and responsibly.
“Brent Bell is our ‘skills’ maintenance technician under Mr. Leroy’s direction,” Hunt said. “And James ‘Shelton’ Sells is our ‘muscle’ when the job requires a little more grip and hands on action. These men are one of a kind, and we are lucky to have them at Muskogee Inn.”
Hunt’s construction crew was recently at the hotel building a wall along the top of the parking lot and having the hotel’s name predominantly placed with the Poarch Creek logo so guests can see it when they pull in.
General Manager Rochel Martin also praised her team for their hard work.
“They are constantly on the go. They take pride in making Muskogee Inn succeed for the Tribe,” Martin said.
“Mr. Billy and Mrs. Rochel are good managers to work for,” Tullis said. “Being able to give back and work for my Tribe is beyond words. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
By Jen Peake
CIEDA Marketing Specialist
Muskogee Inn wins Best of 2015 Atmore for fourth straight year
Muskogee Inn recently was honored with the Best of 2015 Atmore business award by the Atmore Award Program. This is the fourth consecutive year the hotel has won the award. Muskogee Inn now qualifies to be in the Atmore Business Hall of Fame.
Every year, the Atmore Award Program, an active member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chooses the businesses it feels has gone above and beyond in the local community and exemplifies success. It was established to recognize the best of local businesses in the area. Consistently for the past four years, Muskogee Inn has proven to be a staple in the small business community and has thrived even in a down economy.
“Our staff is very excited to be a part of welcoming guests to our city,” said General Manager Rochel Martin. “To receive this honor is a testament to our commitment of providing great hospitality to our customers, and making sure they are comfortable is our top priority.”
According to program officials, “various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Atmore Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Atmore Award Program and data provided by third parties.”
Muskogee Inn renovations on target for completion
Muskogee Inn in Atmore, Ala., is getting a facelift. Owned by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians since the 1980s, the hotel is within walking distance of Wind Creek Casino, right off I-65 at exit 57.
The remodel of Muskogee Inn, which began in October 2014, is halfway complete, said General Manager Rochel Martin. All 88 rooms are being renovated with new paint, bedding, drapes and carpet. Hallways and wall décor also are being updated to include tribal history and photographs relevant to the Tribe.
The CIEDA maintenance and grounds team, led by Duke Bradley, has been working on the project and is on schedule for the completion. The team is meticulous on the site and is making the property look more upscale, both inside and out.
In addition to inside renovations, Muskogee Inn has upgraded the landscaping on the property. Martin said each spring, the hotel refreshes the outdoor areas and keeps it up throughout the seasons. About 55 rooms have been done, and the entire remodel should be finished during the next offseason in the fall.
“We had a busy February,” Martin said. She said the hotel sees the majority of its traffic during the months of April through August.
“Most people stay about two to five days with us,” Martin said. “We get a lot of business travelers who are in town for conferences or have other business in the area, and they choose to stay with us and enjoy the amenities we have to offer.”
Budget-friendly lodging at its best, this hotel offers everything a traveler wants at a fraction of the cost. Free Wi-Fi is available on the property, so guests are able to surf the Internet as they lounge by the pool, eat in the lobby or relax in their rooms. HBO and cable TV service is in every room, as well as a microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, ironing board and hair dryer.
Whether you are looking for just a place to crash after a long day of driving or you plan to stay and enjoy the sights and sounds of Atmore, the staff at Muskogee Inn will make sure you are comfortable and enjoy your stay, each and every time.