Chicago offers a wide selection of lodging options, from five-star luxury hotels and intimate boutique offerings to choices for the budget conscious traveler. Just in the Chicago Central Business District alone there are approximately 135 hotel properties, offering 43,881 rooms. These hotel options appear very different, but most likely they all have one material in common – concrete. And, many of these beautiful hospitality venues are possible thanks to the hard work of the Northern Illinois Concrete Contractors.
Over the last two decades, online retail sales have grown rapidly in the United States. In 1998, ecommerce represented only $5 million in retail sales while annual online sales topped $474 billion in 2018. Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. online sales have risen even more dramatically. In just September alone, online sales were $60.4 billion, representing a 43 percent jump from the previous year. Growing online sales can be attributed to ecommerce retail giants, such as Amazon and eBay. However, retailers, such as Target, Walmart, and Home Depot, which, have both an online presence and brick and mortar stores are experiencing a tremendous increase in ecommerce also. To accommodate these online sales, massive distribution centers are being built in Illinois and other states across the country. Many members of the Northern Illinois Concrete Contractors have been instrumental in constructing these facilities.
As the weather warms up across the country outdoor activities thrive. Often, these outside endeavors, such as walking, skating, bicycling, and running, happen on concrete sidewalks. These outdoor walkways may be the way to get you from one place to another, but they are not all created equal. Plain gray concrete used to be the only option. Even though this type of sidewalk may still be the most widely installed, other more decorative concrete alternatives are readily available and growing in popularity. Embellished concrete options are being used throughout many outdoor shopping centers, river walks, and downtown streetscapes, resulting in a more aesthetically appealing environment. And, these decorative choices are not only being used for new pavement, but they also are being applied to existing sidewalks, turning them from drab to fab.