Virgin Hotels in Chicago

Enjoyed a visit to what will soon be our firstVirgin Hotelin the US. It is an historic Chicago building filled with character - you can see the view from the roof above. Walking around it on a crisp, blustery Windy City day left us with tremendous inspiration to see it transformed into a beautiful new hotel.

I could already envisage how it could soon be turned into one the friendliest, most stylishhotelsaround. We are starting work on it in the next month and it should be open within 15 months. Meanwhile,hear what people are saying about it alreadyand send us your own#virginrumors.

While in Chicago we also raised more than $800,000 for good causes withVirgin Unite, and took part in some interesting Q&A discussions that really involved the audience. Loved hearing answers from others, they often answer far more eloquently than I could ever do.

Had the privilege to speak to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who previously served as the White House Chief of Staff to President Obama. It was great to talk to him about the need to get America self-sufficient in fuel over the next few years. It was good to hear that he is committed to getting the country using more clean energy rather than dirty energy.

Also enjoyed spending time with the Pritzker family, who were good enough to make a big contribution to Virgin Unite despite the fact we are going to be competing with Hyatt in a very small way with Virgin Hotels.

It was my perfect type of day - a little bit of business, lots of money raised for good causes, and hopefully at the end of the day lots of smiling faces.

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