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$50,000,000,000 down the Russian drain?

Many people, Russians and foreigners alike are wondering what will happen to the infrastructure created to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Over $50,000,000,000.00 was invested to “develop a whole city, basically, and that was far more than they needed for the Olympic Games”. Next week, the host of Alpine racing, sliding events, and extreme snow sports, Rosa Khutor ski resort will be closed to the public. The railroad from Sochi to the mountains is new. The highway from Sochi to the mountains is new. There are 20,000 new hotel rooms that were built just for the Olympics. And with no significant history of Russian tourism in the Caucasus Mountains for winter sports, (Sochi has been a destination for summer holidays historically, but has very limited winter travel to it) what will become of the many new hotels, restaurants, etc. which are far less than half full during peak dinner hours even during the Olympics? Many think that “after Putin leaves or if he changes his mind or priorities and they pull out money or pull out marketing strategy, then we’re going to come back and see it all as a wasteland.” We will see after all if putting $50 billion into developing the infrastructure (much of which is not finished even with the Olympics ending shortly) of a historically non-existent winter destination can create a demand on its own. Or if, as I believe, the engrained habits of millions will overpower the will of one (Putin) who wanted to create a destination on previously unused soil.

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  1. gjeong gjeong

    This post is similar to what I said in my previous post:
    The cost of hosting Sochi Olympics was 50 billion dollars. I am not sure if the profit or economic benefits will be greater than the cost.
    Investing in infrastructure might have long term effects. However, I do not think it will make a big difference after the Olympics is over. Many people already say this Olympics was one of the worst winter Olympics ever. I do not think Russia will be able to attract many tourists (after the Olympics) relative to its 50 billion dollars cost.

  2. dillard dillard

    As the Olympics ensued, accounts from many visitors headed to Sochi have expressed angst, frustration, and an overall negative attitude towards their experiences. Twitter was blowing up concerning mal-managed hotels, restaurants and business put there using this 50 billion effort. Sochi’s bad press has most definitely permeated the twittersphere and media all over due to the general high demand of sportswriters and their expensive tastes but I am hoping there is still some promise to future years in Sochi. Afterall new management always has its kinks and adversity.

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