The Best of the Best

How Tharaldson Hospitality Management uses guest messaging to make their properties No. 1



November 3, 2022

At Tharaldson Hospitality Management, it’s all about staying current with hospitality technologies, finding the best people to work at their properties, and overall providing the best hotel experience possible. 

One of the best examples of this is their Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Tempe ASU Area property — by engaging with customers via hospitality guest messaging and going above and beyond every day, General Manager Aaron Franklin brought this property up to the No. 1 hotel in the entire Phoenix/Tempe metro.

A deep history in hospitality 

Starting with just a few dozen hotels and working their way up to 82 properties in 20 states across the U.S., Tharaldson Hospitality Management has a decade of experience owning and managing top-notch properties. 

“We have a really deep foundation and roots to our organization,” Misti Garcia, Director of Learning and Development, said. Under the fearless leadership of CEO Aimee Fike, Tharaldson is not done growing anytime soon.

Misti Garcia, Director of Learning and Development at Tharaldson Hospitality Management.

Describing them as a “very progressive company,” Garcia explained that Tharaldson is passionate about staying up to date with tools and technology in the industry. “We are definitely trying to use the latest and greatest tools to stay current with the type of associates that we have at the hotel,” she said.

Speaking of associates, not just anyone is employed at Tharaldson. “We are super invested in trying to find the best people,” Garcia said, mentioning recruiting efforts, investing in travel time for staff to attend classes, and leading general manager training. 

An up-and-coming area 

At Tharaldson’s Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Tempe ASU Area, everything from service to digital messaging is higher than average. 

Led by Aaron Franklin, who has years of experience in hospitality —from housekeeping and maintenance to managing the front office—the property is right next to Arizona State University, the largest school in the country. 

“It’s insane how fast Tempe is growing, we’re getting so many new businesses and it’s definitely a growing town,” Franklin, who has worked in the area his whole career, said. It gets a bit quieter when the 150,000 students aren’t on campus, but new attractions like the Tempe Marketplace keep families coming year round. “It’s an excellent location.”

Getting into hospitality right after high school, Franklin has excelled in the industry. “Every day is different,” he said “There’s always something different going on, it keeps you motivated.” As an area general manager, he not only gets to help this HGI run smoothly, but check in on other properties in the area.

Garcia mentioned since she met Franklin, year over year he has been successful and shown a well-rounded balance of performance.  Spring 2022 Misti shared with Aaron, “it’s time for you to share your expertise,” he was promoted to area general manager. 

Setting their guest messaging goals higher than the industry average, Garcia describes Franklin and his team as “overachievers.” 

“He and his team have embraced tools like guest messaging, and have seen much success this year.”

Aaron Franklin, Area General Manager at Tharaldson Hospitality Management.

Getting the best scores with guest messaging

Garcia first heard about hotel texting with Kipsu pre-COVID-19, she was excited to share this service recovery tool with the Tharaldson portfolio.  After a rough period that involved closing 25 hotels during COVID-19, Tharaldson revisited the software as things started to open up again.

“Kipsu was high on my list,” she said. “We like to think of our company as the best—we want to have the best guest scores, the best satisfaction scores, and so on.” 

With the ability to track guest scores within Kipsu for their Hilton properties, Tharaldson has seen steady improvement. “It was fantastic to see guest scores and how they grew, month over month we’ve been in the green,” Garcia said.

Expanding into their IHG properties, she mentioned that the tool is an added bonus to an already great customer experience. “Kipsu is so user-friendly, so easy to train people on, and the easy to read reports for everything are great,” she said. 

As someone in the training world, it’s good to know they have the best of the best tools, Garcia said. At the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix/Tempe ASU Area, Franklin and his team use hospitality texting with Kipsu to check in with the guest at every stage of their stay—from check-in to check out.

“We’re constantly communicating with guests, and it makes it very easy to follow up with the guest if there was any sort of issue or something we could have done better,” Franklin said. “It’s really helped us ensure that their whole stay is great.”

It’s working for guests, too—since using hotel guest messaging under Franklin’s leadership, the property has risen to the number one property out of 58 hotels in the Tempe area on TripAdvisor.

Tharaldson Hospitality Management and the success of the HGI Phoenix/Tempe ASU Area is just one example of how hospitality texting can improve the guest experience. Learn more about hotel texting or schedule a conversation with the Kipsu team today.


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