Sochi hotels are an Olympic-sized failure


The Olympics have a way of bringing a sharp focus on an area that isn’t usually there. I had never heard of Sochi before it became a $50 billion made-in-Russia boondoggle. Yet now it looks set to be Putin’s chance as dictator to have his day as a conquering hero on the world stage. We’ll see about that…

Reporters can be snarky when they’re at big events like the Olympics. But a lot of what they’re griping about is legitimate. I mean, here we are just 2 days away from the Opening Ceremonies and they’re still building the hotels!

You can really feel the media’s pain on a legitimate level with what they are saying on social media about the hotels in Sochi for the Olympics.

Only 6 of the 9 hotels for media were done in time for Olympics, but that’s only the beginning…

Water is generally not available for toilets, showers, or sinks. When it does come out of a sink or shower, you can’t wash with it because it has some pollution in it that you’re being warned not to get on your face!

No heat and no Internet are common. Some hotels are so behind on construction that they have no lobbies. You have dogs walking around the hotels and the Russian military shooting to kill these wild animals. It’s a not ready for primetime Olympics.

Even so, I assume the opening ceremony will have the normal pageantry, and that the coverage will have a lot of feel good stories about the athletes of each country.

But wow. $50 billion is the most expensive Olympics in history. I mean, I had to look on a map to see where Sochi sits in Russia — and I’m a former travel agent!

Meanwhile, the real fear people don’t speak about is the concern about terrorism. Let’s knock on wood and hope these Olympics are safe.

I remember the 1972 Olympics in Munich when terrorists killed athletes. Now a new CNN polls show some 60% of us expect a terrorist attack during the Sochi games. We hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does, just like in Munich, the games will eventually continue.


The games will have to. We allow the terrorists to win if the only story being played out is what might happen if they kill innocents. The reality is we live in a world where we have to consider a possibility far more serious than a hotel being a dump.

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