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4 years are left until the major building in Sochi is over. Winter Olympic Games are going to last for about two weeks followed by Paralympic games. What will happen to Sochi after the end of all sporting competitions when all the guests leave and all the stadiums become empty?
At present, Sochi Olympiad is one of the most discussed topics in press. Not the Games themselves but their costs are in the focus.
Under the various data, Olympic Games in Sochi are going to cost from $1 billion to $35 billion. The sum is huge. These are going to be the most costly Games in all Olympic history ever.
In the come millennium, two cities have already hosted the Games – American Salt Lake City and Turin in Italy. Canadian Vancouver is also preparing to welcome the Olympiad in the coming year. On average, expenses were 3-4 times less than ones planned in Sochi.
Olympic costs/billion dollars
Salt Lake City 1,3
Amount of sports objects built for Olympics
Salt Lake City 11
Amount of hotels built for Olympics
Salt Lake City 4
Amount of Olympic visitors/ million people
Salt Lake City 1,19
Why are expenses in Sochi so high?
Of course, we need to take into consideration that Olympic building in Sochi started from almost nothing. Not only sports objects for competitions, hotels for visitors and Olympic village for participants are necessary to be constructed. It is also important to improve transport system in Sochi as at present there is only one road connecting central Sochi with Adler. Moreover the growing city will need objects to supply it with power.
In total, 12 sports objects are planned to be built, construction of 6 arenas has already started. Roads and railways along with an extra runway in the airport are also under active construction.
Apart from sports objects in Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana it is planned that 50 hotels are built with total capacity of 21 thousand rooms.
And still Vice President Putin states that prices are too high. It as difficult not to agree with it as in Turin, for example, they constructed the underground from nothing. However total expenses are three times less then Russian. Economists give three possible reasons explaining this fact: 1) corruption, 2) absence of competition and 3) absence of modern technologies.
What will happen to all the grand facilities of postolympic Sochi?
We need to take into consideration that Sochi is prepared not only to host the Olympic Games but also to become an international summer and winter holiday destination.
After 2014 the city infrastructure will allow to welcome crowds of tourists. Sochi International Airport will have a new runway and there will appear brand new seaports on the one-hundred-and-forty-five-kilometer seashore.
Certainly new skiing resorts such as “Rosa Khutor” Complex and “Alpica Service” Resort are going to attract tourists. However developed infrastructure, comfortable hotels and modern resorts are not enough for the well-being of tourist industry without advertising. Olympic Games will definitely draw everyone’s attention to Sochi and show the best of it. It will also prove that Sochi is ready to welcome, impress and entertain both Russian and foreign tourists. Prospects and tourist leaflets should contain information concerning Sochi ski resorts. Collaboration with foreign tourist companies should move to a new level. Not only tourists but also travel agencies should be attracted which requires developed communication connection in the sphere of international tourism.
By the way Barcelona became one of the most popular resorts exactly after Olympics of 1992.
In this case construction of new hotels and development of new ski resorts is quite righteous.
So what is going to happen to sports objects?
The government intends to do the following:
1.Usage of the Olympic Stadium as a football arena
This arena can host matches of Russian Football Championship as well as different matches of World and Europe Championships.
2. The Grand Ice Arena and the Minor Ice Arena - multipurpose sports and concert grounds, entertainment centres.
Sochi population is not large compared to population of Russian million-citizen cities and possibly until the city expands it will not be attractive to foreign celebrities. The new arena, constructed in accordance to the latest tendencies in architecture and fashion will meet all necessary technical requirements. Many Russians come to Moscow to hear and see their idols. Why don’t they come to Sochi? If the Grand Ice Arena is too big Minor Arena can be used.
3. Ice-skating centre - an exposition centre.
4. Ice Stadium - a business and exposition centre.
Many people are used to the fact that Moscow is the basic business centre of Russia. However after new objects appear in Sochi, the city can host some expositions and events on different topics.
5. Curling Arena - training base for Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committees.
6. Sledge and bobsleigh track will serve for international competitions and as a national training base.
7. “Khrebet Psekhako” - national training base.
8. “Rosa Khutor” Complex and “Alpika Service” Resort – international competitions centre, national training base and as mentioned above – tourist complex.
9. Mountain skiing centre can serve as an international competitions centre and as a national training base.
Many regard these plans as utopian, but after a deeper insight they seem to be quite real. Sochi will become more transport-available, its infrastructure will develop. Newly built objects will serve for development of business, culture, tourism and economy in Sochi. This would help take a bit of weight from Moscow. Sochi development will also solve unemployment problems of the city.
What has been done for the citizens?
After announcing Sochi as future Olympic capital, not only state money started flowing to the city. Non-state investment funds and private investors started putting money into development of city facilities hoping for growth of tourists and migrants.
Many construction companies banked on the “new” city. Olympics will provide Sochi with new roads, resorts, hotels, sports objects. So it is quite probable that many people will choose traditionally beautiful but new in terms of facilities city for their summer and winter holidays. Housing acquisition was always relevant. Now Sochi offers all facilities necessary for living and more residential housing appears year after year, which will also help Sochi citizens improve their living.
There was 1400 thousand square metres under constriction in 2008. The largest amount of housing was under construction in economy-class segment (39%), business-class segment shared 34% of all construction amount and 27% were noted in first-class segment. Among deluxe houses the following newly-builts stand out: “Millenium Tower”, “Novaya Alexandria”, “Korolevski Park”, “Ideal House”, “Krasnaya Ploshad” and “Premier”. According to socio-economic development forecast, more than 2,1 million sq.m. are going to be erected in Sochi in 2009-2011. Thus in 2009, 618,5 thousand sq.m. were intended to be constructed, 714,7 thousand sq.m – in 2010 and 769,8 thousand sq.m. n 2011. As a result housing per capita in Sochi will rise from 18,2 sq.m. in 2007 to 20,8 sq.m. in 2011, compared to Moscow 21 sq.m per capita in 2008. So housing problems in Sochi are gradually improving.
Thus, the main thing is that the government does not leave the new facilities to sink. It is difficult to imaging that officials would leave idle all the objects that can give profit both to city and federal budgets.