Creating Relationships at the Avid Hotel Roseville-Minneapolis North

Why this Minnesota property loves connecting with guests via hotel texting



August 25, 2022

Whether it’s letting guests know about their essentials-focused brand, or dealing with sold out weekends during the Minnesota State Fair, the avid Hotel Roseville Minneapolis-North stays on top of whatever comes their way with hotel guest messaging.

Falling into place

With 13 years in the industry, General Manager Clinton Heino has seen many of the evolving changes to hospitality in recent years. “It’s amazing to see where we’re at compared to when I started in the business,” Heino, who was previously in restaurant management, said.

While he got into the industry on a fluke, he has found his calling. “Hotel management has ultimately become what I want to do for a career,” he said. From his first position at a 200-room Holiday Inn Express where he was “thrown into the fire,” to his most recent position at a Staybridge Suites in Eagan, Minnesota, he’s found that this industry is for him.

Having used hospitality texting at his previous hotel, Heino knows firsthand how much it can help when times get crazy. “Looking back [at the Holiday Inn Express job], I would have killed for something like Kipsu,” he said, mentioning running up and down from rooms and answering the phone.

The essentials done right

The avid Hotel Roseville Minneapolis-North is part of a line of IHG’s newer brands that was 100% developed by IHG OneRewards member feedback. 

“It’s the essentials done ‘just right’, every time,” Heino said of the avid line. While it doesn’t have suites, or any of the extra bells and whistles, it does have a focus on tech and efficiency.

“Think Holiday Inn Express meets IKEA, [it has] a very European feel,” he said. During the week, his team sees mostly business travelers staying one to two nights, and on weekends most guests are traveling into town or families from the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.

Guests are overwhelmingly IHG One Rewards members, Heino said—this property is only one of two IHG properties in the Roseville area. Their prime location right off a main interstate in the northern metro isn’t just good for those passing through: It’s also prime for the Minnesota State Fair. 

“We’re expecting record numbers this year,” he said, explaining that the city of Roseville put out a notice to businesses in the area with projected turnouts. This avid property is already completely booked for the first weekend of this year’s fair.

“I foresee us being booked at 70 to 80% occupancy during the weeks [of the fair], and sold out during weekends,” Heino said.

Shout outs by name

During this upcoming busy season, using a hotel text messaging system will help his team manage requests and communicate with guests on aspects of the hotel they might not otherwise notice.

“A big thing that Kipsu has helped us with is telling guests how our brand is a little different,” Heino said, mentioning that their rooms don't have microwaves or dressers and guests often inquire about them. “Instead of having to answer a phone call, it’s a click,” he said.

At his previous Staybridge property, they saw a significant jump in both member recognition scores as well as overall guest satisfaction scores. “I think we jumped five points within three months of bringing it on,” he said.

Heino deemed hotel texting with Kipsu necessary going forward, saying the platform made changes you could see. 

“One of the best things I’ve seen at both hotels is the increase in named shoutouts on surveys,” he said. Having correspondence via hotel texting allows guests to form relationships with the people who are helping them have the best stay possible, and it shows—just the other day, Heino got a response on a survey that stated: “The general manager Clinton sent me a text right after check in, and it was awesome to get that!” 

These relationships that are created through hospitality messaging can be quite meaningful. Once, while Heino was working at the Staybridge location with a lot of regulars from the MSP airport, he had to take a personal leave for a week or so. The regulars inquired about his absence multiple times, and upon returning to work, Heino had multiple messages and condolences waiting for him on the hotel messaging platform.

“I came into my shift that day with a “been thinking about you” text message, saying they hoped everything was okay, that one kind of pulled at the heartstrings a little bit,” he said. 

Another instance that warmed his heart was when a team member was working a double shift, and a guest noticed. After texting back and forth—and the team member refusing any special treatment—the guest bought the team member dinner. 

In addition to creating special moments, using guest messaging for hospitality via Kipsu overall “saves a lot of headache,” Heino said.

The avid Hotel Roseville Minneapolis-North is just one of over 3,000 hospitality partners elevating the guest experience with hotel messaging. Learn more about hotel texting services or schedule a conversation with the Kipsu team today!

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