Archive for January, 2007

«Alpika Service» stops its operations

Sochi News January 23rd, 2007

The biggest news of the day yesterday, and it was a bad one, was that the only winter resort in Krasnaya Polyana, operated by “Alpika Service”, has stopped its operations by the court order. Yesterday morning all lifts were stopped, cafés and restaurants closed. Why? Official reasons – violations of health and fire safety rules. But according to general manager of “Alpika Service”, Petr Fedin, regional administration has put a lot of pressure on them and wants to take the land away. According to Mr. Fedin, pressure on “Alpika” has increased after administration changed in Krasnodar Krai, and after Sochi had become an Olympic candidate city. Numerous fire, health, tech, ecology, and financial inspections occur a lot more often now then usual. Fedin says “Alpika” recently had 24 inspections in 10 days :-O Apparently all this pressure come over land dispute, between “Alpika-Service” and “Ecotur” – company headed by Krasnodar Krai governor’s assistant. The topic of the dispute is 10 hectares of land next to the downhill ski trails.

All this smells dirty, as it most likely is. Meanwhile weather in Krasnaya Polyana is perfect for skiing/snowboarding, lots of fresh snow, yet many tourists have to leave since no lifts are operational. The lifts are still not working, though the resort is expected to resume its operations tomorrow, Jan 24th.

Sochi is part of “tourist-recreational zone”

Development January 20th, 2007

Recently Russian federal government agreed to establish several so called “tourist-recreational zones” – popular tourist areas that will have considerable tax breaks. It was done to make those areas more attractive for the investors. I knew Black Sea coast region was one of few zones selected, but I wasn’t sure if Sochi would be on the list, since there is a separate federal program to turn Sochi into year-round resort.

However, today I read in an article on RBC Daily that Sochi’s going to be in one of those zones. According to the article, this Black Sea coast zone will include Sochi, and our neighbours Anapa, Gelendzhyk, and Tuapse region, and will require more investments then other zones in Russia. 181 billion rubles (US $6.8 billion) will be invested into the region (that’s both federal and private investments) over the next 20 years through this federal program. The biggest projects here will be hotel constructions for 110 000 people. The “numbers” are still unsigned plans, however.

More Greek myths for Olympics bid

Olympics 2014 January 20th, 2007

I found following copy of an AFP article on forums, but oddly enough I couldn’t find the original. Anyway, this goes together with my previous article about Sochi Bid team’s idea of using ancient Greek mythology during our Bid and Olympics.

PARIS, Jan 16, 2007 (AFP) – Russian Black Sea resort Sochi are hoping that their bid to win the rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics will be aided by an unlikely source – Greek mythological hero Jason and his band of merry Argonauts.
Dmitry Chernyshenko, the bid’s chief executive, told AFP there was a ship taking the same path from the ancient kingdom of Thessaly (in eastern Greece) to Sochi or Colchis as it was known then, as Jason did to pick up the Golden Fleece, as part of their bid to persuade the majority of IOC members at the vote in Guatemala City on July 4 that they deserved to host the Games.
“Basically the gold for the Golden Fleece was taken from the River Mzymmta,” said the charismatic 38-year-old Russian former advertising magnate, whose bid faces off against Austrian resort Salzburg and Pyeongchang in South Korea.
“It is not a bad thing to have such an historical link to the originator of the Olympic Games (Greece) and we have organised for a boat to sail the same route as the original ship the Argo did as part of our campaign to win.” ….

Direct Sochi-Frankfurt flights open soon

Sochi News January 20th, 2007

Starting February 7, Aeroflot Russian International Airlines opens regular direct flights between Sochi and Frankfurt, Germany.

Flights on the route will be performed once per week on Wednesdays:
– flight SU103 Sochi (Adler) – Frankfurt – departure from Adler at 11:50 a.m., arrival at Frankfurt am Main at 01:35 p.m.;
– flight SU104 Frankfurt – Sochi (Adler) – departure from Frankfurt at 03:00 p.m., arrival at Adler at 08:35 p.m. (local time).

Opening of the regular air communication between Sochi and Frankfurt will make it possible to connect the actively developing resort with the largest transportation hub of Europe, which will imply the increase of tourist traffic to the Black Sea coast of the country, secure the growth of investments into this region, and enhance the Europeans’ interest in the South of Russia.

From official Aeroflot press release.

World’s deepest cave is near Sochi

Other stories January 20th, 2007

Ok, I didn’t even know this, but just found out that the Voronya Cave (aka Krubera-Voronia Cave) located in neighbouring Abkhazia is the deepest known cave in the world! Yesterday, a group of Russian speleologists on their expedition already hit mark of 1770 meters.

Austrian Airlines considering flights to Sochi

Sochi News January 20th, 2007 reports that Austrian Airlines are looking to add new routs from Vienna to Russia. Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Voronezh, and Sochi are the destination cities that are being considered.

Investments into Sochi’s communications

Development, Olympics 2014 January 20th, 2007

15 billion rubles (~US $565 mil) will be spent on improving communications infrastructure in Sochi, if the city Olympics bid wins. If not, then 4 billion rubbles (~US $150 mil).

The completion of seven out of ten planned projects does not depend on IOCs decision on where 2014 Winter Olympics will take place. The remaining thee, most expensive ones, will only be completed if Sochi gets the Games. More fiberoptic lines, HDTV and digital radio projects, A Tetra mobile radio communication network for 100 Olympic family user groups (10,000 subscribers), and electrical and postal communications projects are part of program federal government is committed to. Read the rest of this entry »

“Supernova” film festival is moving to Sochi

Events, Sochi News January 20th, 2007

Organizers of the Moscow International independent film festival “Supernova” are planning to move the festival, which takes place during summer, to Sochi. Sochi is already a home to one of the Russia’s biggest film festivals – “Kinotavr”.

Another high-level guest

Sochi News January 20th, 2007

A little addition to my previous “High-level talks in Sochi” post: the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel will visit Sochi for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin tomorrow, January 21. Main topic of discussion will apparently be energy security and EU-Russia partnership agreement. You can read more on this on your favourite news portals. Here are a couple of links: Merkel and Putin will spend a weekend in Sochi (RIA “Novosti”), Energy but No Chemistry for Merkel’s Visit (The Moscow Times).

Sochi’s Olympic bid improves

Olympics 2014 January 16th, 2007

Ves’ Sport” quotes Ed Hula, the Editor of the Around The Rings – american analytics agency, saying that Sochi’s bid, unlike Salzburg’s and PyeongChang’s bids, got a lot stronger due to better lobby on international level.

Past October’s Power Ranking by ATR looked like this:
1. Salzburg (87)
2. PyeongChang (76) tie
2. Sochi (76) tie

I wonder if they’ll post new ranking after examining the Bid Books, or they’ll wait for Evaluation Commission to tour the candidate cities…

By the way, here is Power Index their October ranking was based on:

ATR October 2006 Ranking

Read the rest of this entry »

High-level talks in Sochi

Sochi News January 16th, 2007

Prime Minister of Italy Romano Prodi will visit Sochi for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on January 23rd. Main topic of their discussion will be bilateral economic relations, including energy.

Sochi has always hosted presidential “summer residence”, however only with President Putin our city became more then President’s “dacha“, and now, at times, looking like a center of world politics. Read the rest of this entry »

Sochi 2014 Bid Books are available online

Olympics 2014 January 16th, 2007

Sochi 2014 Bid Books are available online in PDF format at!

More Sochi photos uploaded

Sochi-Travel.Info January 14th, 2007

I uploaded more of my and my friend’s photos from Sochi to Flickr. They all tagged, so you can see them in My Sochi Photos section.

Will Prometheus bring Olympic fire to Sochi?

Olympics 2014 January 13th, 2007

Prometheus (clipart)The base for Sochi Olympic Games theme will be ancient Greek myth about Prometheus – the Titan who took fire from the gods of Olympus and give it to mortals for their use, for this he was chained to Mount Fischt near Sochi. This became know after IOC allowed the three candidate cities to make their Olympic plans public.

In Wikipedia, and many other sources, you’ll read that Prometheus was chained to Mount Caucasus, but where is this mountain today? Why do they think it is Fischt Mountain, near Sochi? Here is what I found on the internet: Read the rest of this entry »

Sochi residents protest against Olympics plans

Events, Olympics 2014, People, Sochi News January 13th, 2007

In December 2006 some Sochi residents rallied against holding the Olympic Games in Sochi. The major concerns that they brought up were dense building constructions, ecological impact of the rapid development, and already overloaded transportation infrastructure, writes “Novaya Gazeta Kubani” newspaper.

December is not today, but this is recent, and still is of current importance. Read the rest of this entry »