Avricore Health (TSXv:AVCR | OTCQB:AVCRF): transforming modern healthcare

CEO Bob Rai

Let’s face it, when we go to the doctor and we are prescribed a drug we assume the medicine will work because a study was done on some people, somewhere, and it generally had an effect on them.

But do drugs work the same on everyone? Science says “no,” and that our DNA is what makes the difference.

This is where the importance of pharmacogenomics, the study of the genomics drugs and the patient, and personalized medicine comes into play. If the physician knows how the patient will metabolize certain drugs, they are then able to deliver the right medicine at the right dose.

And, while understanding the role genetics play in medicine has been a major focus for drug makers in recent years, health providers have had challenges accessing the types of blood test required in a quick and reliable manner.

But one company, Avricore Health, thinks it has the solution: your community pharmacist. These healthcare team members are on the frontline in terms of drug knowledge and administering medications. They play an important role in educating patients and have the ability to administer POTC (Point of Care) Technologies.

Avricore plans to do this with its HealthTab technology, a revolutionary platform for blood testing using a simple finger stick sample. By using a NASA developed analyzer called the Piccolo, HealthTab can deliver up to 21 bio-marker tests in less than 15 minutes. The test provides consumers with real-time data on their health which they can share with their physician.

More than that, HealthTab can act as a platform for even more POTC tests, such as pharmagenomics targeted at medicinal cannabis. This year, Avricore and personalized digital health company MolecularYou have partnered to release a pilot program called myCannabisPGX. This test will allow consumers to chose medicinal cannabis strains which best match with their metabolism and health concerns. Shedding real scientific light on this emerging healthcare segment.

Given that Ontario has recently mandated training for pharmacists and doctors with respect to cannabis prescription, Avricore has already been redeveloping its highly successful online pharmacist educational and sales platform to include modules and product information – including genetic testing of patients. This education for physicians, pharmacists and consumers will reduce the risk of negative drug interactions between current and potential medications and the THC and/or CDB’s they are introducing.

In fact, the drug interaction tool included in the product allows health providers and consumers to check 40+ over-the-counter and prescription medications for potential negative drug interactions between current and potential medications — and 10,000 prescription and POTC drugs including cannabis, THC and CBD.

Leading the way into these major developments at Avricore is CEO, Bob Rai. With over two decades of pharmaceutical experience, Rai first joined VANC Pharmaceuticals’ board of directors before becoming interim-CEO. With Avricore’s new vision, Rai is excited to revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry.

Avricore’s HealthTab technology is a revolutionary platform for blood testing using a simple finger stick sample

 

The company, formerly known as VANC Pharmaceuticals, has pivoted its focus away from generic pharmaceuticals and is now a biotechnology company focused on delivering the best healthcare to consumers through the pharmacy counter.

The company is taking a look at how pharmacies and pharmacists currently operate and identifying potential opportunities to enhance services. The company feels the pharmacy counter is greatly overlooked and harbours the most potential in delivering personalized healthcare. Given the rise of on-demand retail testing, like 23andMe and Ancestry, which are purchased online – the logical next step is for pharmacists to take on a larger role and be able to help consumers with their healthcare concerns face-to-face.

Of course, you can not mention drug therapies today without discussing the opioid crisis. When it comes to opioids, the company can look at a consumer’s pharmacogenomic and drug interaction data so that health providers will be able to safely prescribe cannabis and other medications. This type of testing would provide an important opportunity to offer patients other choices and steer away from unnecessary opioid usage.

Technological innovations have given shape to the study of pharmacogenomics and how genetics play a significant role in an individual’s response to drugs. Data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows that over 260 therapeutic agents have information on how genes affect them, especially when it comes to labelling — and this number will likely continue to grow.

These advancements also have the pharmacogenomics market on track to reach $10.2 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 8.6% until then, this is an important and growing industry to tap into. It is also one that has received a lot of attention from health providers based on its potential to better serve patients and consumers.

An improved understanding of this science will help companies in the healthcare space expand their offerings and improve the future of healthcare. It will also reduce inefficiency and expense in the healthcare system.

Avricore’s role is expected to grow significantly as the company works to further revolutionize direct to consumer healthcare.

Find out more about Avircore Health (TSXv:AVCR | OTCQB:AVCRF) by visiting www.avricorehealth.com.

Oakwyn Realty: ascending Vancouver’s real estate market

Michael-Uy-CEO-Oakwyn-Realty

The founder of Oakwyn Realty faced some indomitable challenges on his way to becoming a highly successful entrepreneur in Vancouver. The untimely and unexpected death of his father caused Michael Uy to drop out of university classes without any knowledge of how to support his family during a trying time. He recently told The Canadian Business Quarterly that the tragic circumstances propelled him into a career that he had never even remotely considered. His company, Oakwyn Realty, ranks as one of the top five real estate brokers in the Vancouver area.

Launching a career without training

With no acquired skills as qualifications for employment to provide support for his Philippine family, he discontinued his studies and accepted the advice of a friend to get a real estate license. He soon realized that the environment in the city offered very few programs for new cultures or for young professionals either. Selling properties for a couple of Vancouver’s top firms for seven years gave him the opportunity to devote his entrepreneurial strengths to co-founding Oakwyn Realty as CEO in 2013.

Taking an innovative approach to selling real estate

While most Vancouver real estate brokerages hire agents in the over 50 age group,  found those in their early 30s provided the spirited and motivated workforce that he prefers. His company profile reflects a reliance on putting people first with the purpose of treating agents and clients with the utmost respect. Oakwyn’s innovative ideals brings freshness and dynamism to real estate brokerage transactions with its industry-leading agents. From its inception, Oakwyn has chosen a path that incorporates a collaborative model with innovation in all aspects of its operations. The company intends to “reinvent real estate,” and it wants everyone to work together. The path has led to extraordinary success.

The innovative approach that has brought Uy’s company to the pinnacle of real estate in Vancouver rests on the motivation to “change the way the industry works” as well as the way that company employees work. With the assurance of mutual support for each person, the company encourages questions and “rethinking the norm.” To establish the concept of mutual support and the importance of helping each other, Oakwyn’s offices depart from traditional office centers. The design creates an environment that resembles a family setting that enhances the goal of collaborating openly and freely.

The young people whose energy and innovativeness define the company profile make no apologies for promoting the studious and committed image of “nerds.” While the company encourages agents to rest and get a good night’s sleep, it also welcomes the kind of passionate interest that may keep them up on occasional nights. Along with collaboration and innovation, agents develop traits that they like to see in others, and they believe that modeling them can help others adopt the practices as well. The company values transparency, passion, trust and humility. A desire to learn characterizes the young people who devote their days and some nights to show the way to think that does not involve ego.

Oakwyn Realty, ranks as one of the top five real estate brokers in the Vancouver area

 

Perhaps a consequence of having no access to growt\h opportunities when he started in the real estate field, Michael Uy’s endorsement of education inspires the employees at Oakwyn Realty. His enthusiasm for learning may stem from the necessity for him to leave his university studies and find work to provide support for his family. A decision to not further his education may spark his interest in encouraging his employees to “seek out and incorporate new learning” in even the most ordinary activity. He wants everyone to listen, learn and share information that may interest others. An open mind provides a basis for accomplishing a task that the CEO regards as an important one. The consequence of incorporating the values that Uy recommends leads to creating an atmosphere that welcomes change.

Providing a different kind of offerings

With the principles and work ethic that Michael Uy instills in his employees, the company can pursue offerings in the real estate field that make it unique. An emphasis on selling buyers a home instead of a house marks a huge difference between the Oakwyn approach and its competitors. A review of the market occupies Uy for an hour or two every evening providing the basis for a thoughtful way to treat every client with respect. The company’s media campaigns promote a mutually beneficial relationship between agents and clients that involves lifestyle as a bond or unifying interest. The personal aspect of the relationships helps establish an appropriate use of advertising media that contrasts with the prevailing tone and content. Uy’s company understands the importance of the humanizing influence that minimizes statistics and dollar signs. The respectful and innovative approach to commerce seems to work very well for Oakwyn Realty. Uy recently explained his company sold $2.7 billion in real estate across British Columbia in 2018, contributing to its standing as the largest and highest selling brokerage.

Showing significant growth

The extraordinary success that Michael Uy enjoys with the company that he co-founded attests to the validity of his innovative and collaborative approach. After less than 10 years in operation, he has achieved levels that many companies never reach. Clients who choose to work with Oakwyn Realty account for its highly significant growth rate, and they express their opinions and appreciation. The qualities in Oakwyn agents that they regard highly include excellent communication and negotiating skills among honesty, professionalism, knowledge, politeness and patience. Attention to detail wins approval from clients who may never have seen the level of efficiency that Uy makes sure his company provides. Clients often think of Oakwyn agents as family members for their willingness to give helpful advice with enthusiasm and personal concern.

For more information on Oakwyn Realty visit www.oakwyn.com.

Ventripoint Diagnostics (TSXV:VPT): diagnosing heart disease faster, safer and more affordably

Dr. George Adam

Toronto-based Ventripoint Diagnostics Ltd. is on the verge of revolutionizing how heart patients receive cardiology care. Its Ventripoint Medical System (VMS) is the first cost-effective and accurate AI tool for measuring whole heart function using conventional ultrasound. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, Ventripoint can offer the global medical community a revolutionary device that makes diagnosing and monitoring heart diseases faster, less expensive and with equivalent accuracy to MRI.

In his recent discussion with The Canadian Business Quarterly, CEO Dr. George Adams shares how Ventripoint’s novel system has the potential to transform the multi-billion dollar cardiac care industry. As the VMS product line enters the international market, Ventripoint is attracting widespread attention from top cardiologists, investors and distributors.

“The company is focused on precise, rapid, inexpensive ways to get information on what is happening in all parts of your heart,” explains Dr. Adams, who is a pioneer in developing life-improving tools as well as a serial entrepreneur and financier. “Changing standard medical practices is difficult, but we have leading cardiac centres purchasing our current system, a number of key sites promoting it, regulatory approval and scientific publications saying it works. Now we are in the pre-launch awareness campaign stage bringing our next-generation VMS+ system into the market.”

Revolutionizing the heart imaging industry

According to Dr. Adams, there is a huge need to shake up how heart patients receive care. While the cardiology community has numerous tools to assess the volume and function of a patient’s heart, none can easily provide information about the whole heart. Additionally, the American Heart Association recommends MRI scans every three months for significant heart conditions, but he says MRI is not realistic for several reasons.

Imaging methods including CT scans, ventriculography and angiocardiography expose patients to radiation. MRIs require patients to stay completely still for up to two hours at a time, which is difficult for adults and impossible for children without requiring sedation. Sedation introduces new risks, plus doctors spend at least an hour analysing the results. “That’s both inconvenient and very expensive, so they don’t do it,” he says. Insurance plans, he added, may only pay for one MRI every two years.

As a result, most cardiologists rely on echocardiography equipment to reveal the severity of the disease and track treatment effectiveness. While this non-invasive ultrasound procedure is safer and faster for the patient, it only generates two-dimensional images. Physicians make a visual diagnosis based on their knowledge of deformities to the heart’s shape. Chest anatomy characteristics, image quality and skill of the sonographer can all affect the doctor’s ability to make an accurate diagnosis.

“Ventripoint’s VMS+ system is focused on a better way to look at all four chambers of your heart with the convenience of 2D ultrasound,” explains Dr. George Adams, who describes the VMS+ technology as absolutely transformational. “There’s no need for children or adults to be traumatized by going for an MRI or having to wait months to get another MRI.” With this system, patients can see their doctors every three months for a quick analysis of what is actually going on with the heart.

The science behind the technology

Ventripoint’s technology is a leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) approach known as Knowledge-Based Reconstruction (KBR). The breakthrough device builds a complete 3D model of the heart using the KBR algorithm from standard 2D ultra sound images. This is done through an expansive MRI database, which contains data for all four chambers of the heart with a variety of normal and diseased states. The precise image is used to show volume, shape and how much blood the heart is taking in and pumping out.

The innovative concept here, notes the company’s website, is using AI to harness the collective knowledge about heart size and shape. The patented AI technology used in the VMS+ is based on an invention created at the University of Washington in Seattle, which has granted an exclusive use license to Ventripoint. After obtaining regulatory approvals worldwide, numerous clinical studies, and two dozen reviews in scientific publications, the VMS+ method is producing results that are equivalent to MRI without any of the costs or risks associated with MRI. The ultrasound imaging takes just five minutes, and the analytics provide answers within 15 minutes.

The much-needed technology can be used in a wide range of applications, including pediatrics, heart diseases and currently being evaluated for use on patients undergoing cancer treatments, and is readily accessible. “Every cardiologist in the world has a 2D ultrasound machine, even in Third World countries, because that’s what you need to look at hearts. So, everybody has the core technology,” Dr. Adams says. “We can give them the analytical techniques to take that same information and actually get answers.”

Dr. George Adams explains a complete 3D model of the heart using the KBR algorithm from standard 2D ultra sound images

 

Founded in 2005 in Seattle, Ventripoint is now headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and led by an impressive group of experts in commercialization of ultrasound inventions. The executive team consists of President Desmond Hirson, CFO Ellen Briant and Regulatory Affairs/Quality Assurance Director Dr. Alvira Macanovic. Dr. Adams joined the team as CEO in 2010 to share his dual expertise in developing cardiovascular devices and global investing relations.

With degrees in mechanical and biomedical engineering, along with a Ph.D. focused on blood and cardiovascular diseases, Dr. Adams has spent his career pushing the current boundaries of medical knowledge. His experience spans serving as the CEO, director or chair for more than 30 public, private and start-up companies that have raised over $100 million.

Under this dynamic leadership, Ventripoint has grown rapidly. The VMS+ system is already being used in many of the top cardiac centers throughout North America and Europe. Last summer, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, became the first U.S. customer. They are using the system to assess cancer patients, as it is well known that chemotherapy agents are cardiotoxic and lead to a significant number of chemotherapy patients acquiring heart dysfunction.

Spearheaded by Dr. Roberto Lang, the University of Chicago Medical Center in Chicago will be installing the VMS+ system to be used for 3D volumetric analysis of the whole-heart. St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto purchased the system in December 2018, and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute will be receiving a system soon. Dr. Leong-Poi of St. Michael’s Hospital notes “Artificial intelligence holds a great deal of promise for many clinical imaging applications and we are very excited to participate with this leading-edge technology to more accurately assess cardiac chamber volumes and function by echocardiography.”

The prestige that comes with working with the preeminent cancer hospitals and echocardiographers in the world is rapidly opening new doors for Ventripoint. “We are in full commercialization mode now, booking onsite demonstrations for clinical evaluations at major centers across the U.S. and Europe,” Dr. Adams shares. “Our marketing team is working to build awareness within the cardiology community to tell doctors it is now possible to get additional information to figure out what’s wrong with all of the different chambers of the heart. No one else has been able to achieve this. We have no competition in the marketplace.”

Continued innovation and expansion into the world market

In the meantime, the team continues to innovate the equipment, finalizing the patent-pending position sensors that allow patients to move during the imaging exam. They have also added an interactive workflow to guide clinicians through the imaging procedures. Although it is not yet commercially available for sale, the next-generation VMS+ 3.0 made its public debut at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session & Expo in mid-March. This global marketplace for cardiovascular innovation attracts more than 20,000 heart specialists, providing an opportunity to give live hands-on demonstrations in the Ventripoint booth to a highly captivated audience.

Ventripoint’s forward-thinking leadership team aims to develop a suite of applications for all major heart diseases and imaging modalities using the VMS technology platform. The company is also exploring ways to expand its business model beyond device development. “It’s a multibillion-dollar opportunity that we have to sell the equipment and move into a SaaS model,” Dr. Adams explains, “where we actually do the reconstructions for the doctors and give them back the results and charge them for that service.”

As a publicly traded company on both the TSX Venture Exchange (VPT) and OTCQB Exchange (VPTDF), investors can buy and sell shares every day. The $10 million market cap company landed on the 2018 TSX Venture 50 due to its tremendous 384% market capitalization growth, 258% share price appreciation and trading volume of 206 million shares in 2017.

“Heart diseases are still the number one problem worldwide, so we look forward to growing all over the world,” Dr. Adams says. “We will continue into Europe and North America with direct marketing and signing up distributors. We are open to looking at global strategic partnerships to bring this system to everyone.”

The March news that Ventripoint is now cleared to sell the VMS system (QAS-R in China) for analysis of the right ventricle in the Chinese market opens up a $77 billion market that is rapidly growing. Dr. Adams explains that hospital admission rates for cardiac issues are almost twice as high in China than in North America and echocardiograms are routinely given before any surgery.

“Not only is the market huge,” he notes, “but they have a much higher prevalence of heart disease in China. It’s going to be a very interesting year in China. The Chinese market can open very quickly because of the way it’s structured and our joint venture partner is very well connected there.”

Find out more about Ventripoint Diagnostics (TSXV:VPT) by visiting www.ventripoint.com.

Destination New Orleans: Experience Southern hospitality

Stay Alfred New Orleans

A former French colony, New Orleans, often referred to as ‘The Big Easy’, is a truly unique city, not just in the United States but across the world. With a proud cross-cultural and multilingual tradition, this one-of-a-kind city situated alongside the great Mississippi river is a growing tourist destination, welcoming close to 18 million visitors in 2017.

Marketing itself as a state of opportunity, Louisiana offers a business environment built for success, combining an extensive collection of competitive advantages, including customized workforce training, low business operating costs, and robust infrastructure. As a major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the Gulf Coast region.

Founded in 2004, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce helps members build mutually beneficial partnerships within the city, and currently boasts around 1,300 members. This focus on business has helped Louisiana rank among the top ten business climates in the nation across three independent sources.

The recently revamped New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center plays a major role in the success of the city’s business events. The center is the sixth largest convention facility in the United States, boasting over a million square feet of exhibit space, and regularly ranks in the country’s top ten facilities holding the most annual conventions and tradeshows.

In New Orleans, both business and culture are abounding. Steeped in a proud musical tradition, there is never a night in New Orleans where one can’t see the finest jazz and blues musicians lighting up a stage, along with a host of other performances that give a real flavor of the city’s historic music and arts scene.

If one is lucky enough to visit the city in carnival season, then the Mardi Gras celebrations across New Orleans are less of a ‘must see’ and more of a ‘cannot miss’. For two weeks in February or March, the city is transformed into a cornucopia of celebration, hosting parades, balls and many more vibrant community events that get the streets dancing and singing.

Stay Alfred New Orleans
New Orleans has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most culturally rich destinations

Those visiting outside carnival season are still in for a treat. The French Quarter is the city’s historic heart, famous for its vibrant, around-the-clock nightlife, and colorful buildings resplendent with cast-iron balconies. The center of activity is famous Bourbon Street, packed with such crowd-pleasers as jazz clubs, Cajun restaurants and rowdy cocktail bars.

Head down to the Toulouse Street Wharf and one can see the city differently by taking a ride on New Orleans’ only steamboat, the Steamboat Natchez. This two-hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter will take you around the beautiful crescent of the lower Mississippi River, with food, cocktails and wine available on board to help you float in style.

A short walk further south, in the CBD, is the National WWII Museum. Designated by the U.S. Congress as the nation’s official National WWII Museum in 2003, it offers a range of fascinating special exhibits and events, as well as museum tours across its six-acre campus, interactive features, oral histories, and personal vignettes.

A visit to Louisiana wouldn’t be complete without exploring the New Orleans plantations, which provide insight into some of America’s most interesting and tragic stories. The history of slavery in the state, and the nation, is not always comfortable to learn about, but these tours give a fascinating glimpse into both the opulence and exploitation of plantation life.

New Orleans has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most culturally rich destinations, and the sense of excitement and joy that permeates this great city is infectious.

Stay Alfred New Orleans

Our accommodation provider of choice when staying in New Orleans is Stay Alfred, offering short or long-term stays right in the downtown core. Find out more at www.stayalfred.com.

Destination Dallas: Everything’s bigger in Texas

Stay Alfred Dallas

There’s a well-known saying in the United States regarding the nation’s second largest state, declaring that “everything is bigger in Texas.” Located in the huge Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the city of Dallas is the most populous city in the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country. It’s fair to say that big is what Dallas does best.

The city’s location in the middle of the United States makes it ideally placed for travel to and from other US cities, coast to coast, as well as offering significant global appeal, with Dallas Fort-Worth being one of only a dozen or so airports in the world offering service to over 200 international locations.

Over the years, the region has hosted the headquarters for a diverse range of firms, with household names such as ExxonMobil, American Airlines, Toyota, and Dr Pepper all calling the region home. The Dallas Fort-Worth area boasts 22 Fortune 500 company headquarters and 42 headquarters from Fortune 1000 companies.

Global business is welcomed in Dallas. Situated in the heart of downtown, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas is one of the nation’s largest convention centers, with over a million people passing through its doors each year to attend major national and international conventions, meetings, concerts, and much more.

In nearby Fort Worth, north of the downtown core, are the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. These 98-acres of land contain a former livestock market and celebrate the area’s long tradition as part of the cattle industry. The Stockyards are now used primarily for shopping and entertainment, promoting the image of Fort Worth as America’s Cowtown.

Stay Alfred Dallas
Dallas Fort-Worth is one of only a dozen or so airports in the world offering service to over 200 international locations

When visiting Dallas, you won’t to miss out on sampling the region’s famous cuisine. The taste for great BBQ permeates the city, with restaurants such as the Lockhart Smokehouse on West Davis Street offering an authentic Texan BBQ experience. Equally sought after are the city’s unique Tex-Mex dishes, which can be sampled at Herrera’s Cafe on Sylvan Ave.

Heading into the Dallas Arts District will quickly quench any thirst for the city’s artistic culture. The Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Garden and the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center are all located here, in an area offering music, performances, exhibits and tours, along with a wide selection of dining and shopping venues.

As far as sports are concerned, Dallas doesn’t disappoint. Home of the world famous Dallas Cowboys, the AT&T stadium in Arlington is the fourth largest in the NFL, offering an exciting match-day experience. If soccer is your thing, then MLS team Dallas FC is located in nearby Frisco, at the Toyota Stadium.

Dallas is most famous for the mystery surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. In downtown Dealey Plaza, the Sixth Floor Museum is extremely popular, hosting special exhibits that explore the impact of this historic event. Whether or not you believe in the conspiracy theories, the museum is a fascinating place to spend an hour or two.

While here you simply must take a closer look at its incredible skyline. The historic Reunion Tower is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks, and its 470-foot-high GeO-Deck offers 360-degree panoramic views that will take your breath away. With a selection of dining, cocktails and private parties also on offer, the view is just the start.

Whether you are staying for a day, or a week, or even a month, Dallas promises to provide you with plenty of big experiences.

Stay Alfred Dallas

Our accommodation provider of choice when staying in Dallas is Stay Alfred, offering short or long-term stays right in the downtown core. Find out more at www.stayalfred.com.

Destination Chicago: Winter in the Windy City

Stay Alfred Chicago

As the third most populous city in the United States, Chicago is an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation. Known around the world as The Windy City, Chicago is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the area’s five Great Lakes.

Chicago’s O’Hare airport is one of the busiest in the world, offering non-stop flights to 218 destinations in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The Windy City is also known as the railroad capital of the US, with more than 1,300 trains carrying freight and passengers going in and out of the city each day.

Chicago boasts one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies, and is a key national player in a variety of sectors. Employing in excess of four million people, and generating an annual Gross Regional Product of over $609 billion, the city is home to more than 400 major corporate headquarters, 36 of which are in the Fortune 500.

The city’s McCormick Place Convention Center on the shores of Lake Michigan is the biggest of its kind in the United States. Comprised of four state-of-the-art buildings, the center offers 2.6 million square feet of exhibit halls, as well as two four-star hotels, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and the Marriott Marquis Chicago.

In 2012, the city’s Mayor launched a new tourism organization called Choose Chicago, with the aim of restructuring all tourism sales and marketing activities under a single agency with clear objectives. In 2018, Chicago tourism saw an all-time high of over 57 million visitors, making it second only to New York City as the most-visited city in the nation.

Chicago is well known for the architectural boom that rose out of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, helping usher in the skyscraper era. The city’s Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower, is the second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The tower’s skydeck on the 103rd floor is open to the public, providing spectacular views that span four states.

Stay Alfred Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks, one of the original six NHL teams, play at Chicago’s United Center

A highlight of any Chicago visit is a boat tour down the river. Wendella boats is Chicago’s original architecture tour, offering a range of distinctive narrated tours, all focused on the city’s rich architectural heritage and history, including a lake and river tour, sunset cruise, and summer fireworks tour.

The range of exciting tours around Chicago doesn’t stop there. Head to East Pearson Street in the city’s Magnificent Mile district and board the Chicago Crime Tours bus to escape into Chicago’s underworld on a crime and mob tour, exploring the lives of criminals such as Al Capone and John Dillinger, and visiting historic landmarks like the Biograph Theatre.

Sports are something of a big deal in Chicago. In the North Side community area of Lakeview is world-famous Wrigley Field, home to the Chicago Cubs and the second oldest baseball park in the Major Leagues. The city also homes the Cubs’ fierce rivals, Chicago White Sox, who play in southern area of Park Boulevard at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Equally important in the city’s sporting calendar is ice hockey, which sees the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the original six NHL teams, play at nearby United Center. The arena is also home to basketball team Chicago Bulls, which enjoyed a period of sustained success in the 1990s with world-famous players such as Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.

Chicago has long been at the forefront of American economic, cultural and political history, with a standing as one of the most dominant Midwest metropolises.

Stay Alfred Chicago

Our accommodation provider of choice when staying in Chicago is Stay Alfred, offering short or long-term stays right in the downtown core. Find out more at www.stayalfred.com.