Founder & CEO
Gary Tharaldson, founder of Tharaldson Commercial, began his hospitality career by purchasing his first hotel in Valley City, N.D., in 1982. Over the next few years, Tharaldson began to build additional hotels in smaller, regional markets. In 1987, he sold nine Super 8 motels for a combined net profit of over $5 million.
After the sale, he continued to acquire and build hotels, eventually exceeding 350 total properties and earning himself a spot on the Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America in 1997.
In 1999, Tharaldson Motels, Inc., became one of the largest Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) companies in America when Tharaldson and his family sold the holding company to the Tharaldson employees.
In 2006, Tharaldson sold a second portfolio of 140 hotels to Whitehall Global Real Estate (Goldman Sachs) for approximately $1.25 billion. Prior to the sale, Tharaldson’s company was the largest privately held hotel company in the United States. Tharaldson Commercial was born with the reinvestment of a part of the proceeds from this sale into a variety of real estate holdings and developments.
Tharaldson has appeared in a number of national publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. In 2010, he was given the first Hunter Conference Award for Excellence and Inspiration, an award created to celebrate an owner “who has exemplified high standards in leadership, citizenship and innovation and who has been an inspiration to the industry,” according to Hotel Business magazine.
Tharaldson resides in Fargo, North Dakota and Las Vegas, Nevada, and continues to operate and develop new hotels under his family of companies, in addition to managing land holdings and other investments.