Archive for July, 2007

Real estate prices skyrocketed overnight

Sochi News July 7th, 2007

Land sizes: 1 sotka = 100 sq meters
Apartments: typical “one room” apartment has a single room, separate kitchen, lavatory+bathroom, sometimes balcony.

Nobody had any doubts that real estate prices would jump high if Sochi was to be selected to host the Olympics. You have expected it in your comments, so here are some numbers.

Land prices in Krasnaya Polyana, where skiing and sliding events will take place, rose from $45-$70 000 to $70-$100 000 overnight. Same thing happened in Imeritinskaya Valley by the sea – home to all other Olympic events. One room apartment in “Blinovo” micro-district (neighborhood), which is located less then five minutes away from Imeritinskaya valley, now costs $180 000, a $50 000 jump in two days. And let me tell ya, these and not brand new modern buildings we’re talking about, all these were built back in the good old Soviet times. And even though the future of the area looks bright, right now this is city’s outskirts, and it is rather underdeveloped.

Also, many people who were trying to sell their real estate are pulling it from the market to see how the prices will change. Some real estate agencies predict that there will be tougher laws for the construction companies now, which will rase prices for newly build apartments 100% or more.

Some Olympics related news

Development, Olympics 2014, Russia, Sochi News July 7th, 2007

News stories that caught my eye; some are new, some are updated:

  • Over $622 million are allocated for Sochi program for the rest of this year from federal budget. Next year this sum will be $1.2 bln, and in 2009-2014 around $1 bln every year. Additional funds will be allocated in Krasnodar Regon’s and Sochi’s budgets, and more money will come from private investments.
  • Business delegation from Belgium and Luxemburg will visit Sochi in May 2008 to learn about the opportunities in preparation for the Olympics. They are interested in construction, construction materials and hi-tech infrastructure projects.
  • Second hydroelectric power station in Krasnaya Polyana will be completed by 2010 and will comply with all environmental requirements, including requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, three billion dollars – a quarter of the promised 12 billion dollars investments, will be spent on upgrading Sochi’s energy sector. And this is a good thing, if you’ll remember this year’s (and every year’s) power outages in Sochi. All planned energy related projects are promised to be completed by year 2012.
  • Around $117 million will be spent on four telecommunications projects in Sochi.
  • Over 50 000 police officers will be ensuring safety in Sochi during the Olympics — that’s three and a half times fewer than during Summer Olympics in Moscow in 1980. Large role will be given to the hi-tech tools, such as state of the art video surveillance systems and new systems setup around the city with direct lines to the police.
  • Three backup airports will be built for the Olympics in Russia’s South: in Gelendzhyk (another Back Sea resort north of Sochi), Mineralnye Vody (“Mineral Waters”, a … mineral waters resort :)), and Krasnodar (region’s capital). Sochi’s airport will be upgraded to accept any size aircraft in almost any weather conditions.

Backup airports for Olympics in Sochi
Backup airports for 2014 Winter Olympics

Three days later: news overview

Events, Olympics 2014, Russia, Sochi News July 7th, 2007

Wow! As you can imagine the news media of all sorts as well as regular people in blogs and forums are talking about our Olympic bid’s success. The win’s Pros and Cons arguments seem even more heated than before the vote: new infrastructure vs environmental worries, higher salaries vs high inflation, pride and recognition vs prospects of weaker foreign policy, ability vs inability to complete construction on time, international spotlight vs corruption – you name it, its been talked about. Whose shares went up? What will happen to people who live in and around the areas of constructions? What will happen to the “Olympic” money? Will the Olympics be profitable? Will it become’s Putin’s project for the upcoming years (after he leaves office next year after second term as President)? Both optimists and pessimists know all the answers, and they are completely opposite :) The truth, as always, lays somewhere in between. But everybody agrees – making this Olympics a success is a big exam for Russia.

I’ll try to avoid covering the arguments about all this questions as right now all of it is just speculations and personal views, and will stick to the facts.

So, how did Russia react to Sochi’s win? Mostly with shock and cheer! A lot of people, even the one’s who really wanted the win, did not believe in it. I’ve read that Russian betting offices lost over 10 million rubles (~$390 000). Betting is not that popular in Russia, but the point is they burned on this. A lot of people feel pride (so do I :)), and most are lost in guesses on how and how much this will change Russia’s South, and people’s lives.

July 5th (because of the time difference, it was 5th in Sochi when results were announced in Guatemala) will very likely become an official holiday in Sochi, this idea is already being proposed by Sochi’s mayor, Viktor Kolodyazhny. Russian businesses celebrated this victory with enthusiasm and introducing “olympic” sales. For example Russia’s biggest online store introduced 20% off almost all items for purchases on July 5th ans 6th, several travel agencies introduced lower rates to Sochi for those who’ll order next 10 days, “Ural airlines” introduced special “Olympic” rate for people going to Sochi for it’s development — from construction workers and engineers to sportsmen and their trainers, etc.

Anyways, I’ll keep an eye on the developments and keep you posted ;)

Sochi: Day of work on July 5th

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 4th, 2007

Sochi’s mayor, Viktor Kolodyazhny, has officially declared July 5th a day off!

As a reminder, the July 4th was also official day of work in Sochi. Enjoy while it lasts, Sochi, ‘cause considering amount of work that needs to be done to get ready for the Olympics, this maybe the last day off you’ll have in years! : )


Sochi residents are awating 2014 Olympics Host election
July 4th: Sochi residents awating for the election time, several concerts and other events around the city juced up the anticipation.
Photo (C)

President of IOC announces Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics winner
President of the IOC announces official Host City of the XXII Winter Olympic Games — it is Sochi!
Photo (C) AP

Sochi Is Official 2014 Winter Olympics Host City!!!

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 4th, 2007

Ohhhh yeeeeaaaaahh!!!! :o)

The 2014 Olympics Host City is selected – which one is it?!

Olympics 2014 July 4th, 2007

The Salzburg has been eliminated and the second voting round is complete. The winner will be announced in less then an hour. Which one is it — Sochi or PyeongChang?!

Elections day: Presentations are over

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 4th, 2007

Watched most or Sochi’s presentation, passed out right before Salzburg presentation and woke up to see second half of the PyeongChang presentation. I’ve never seen final Olympic bid presentations before, but it looks to me like they mostly focus not on Olympics, but on the effect of the Games and what it will leave behind. Sochi’s focus is region’s development for the future, as well as legacy (mostly material, venues and such) it leaves for the children for sports, and for Winter Sports to have another great place to held competitions.

The PyeongChang focused on unification of Koreas. I wonder what Salzburg’s team was focusing on? The Korean point of peace between 2 Koreas is awesome, I agree. But I don’t see any reason this will significantly improve relationship between two Koreas, and it‘s not just competitor’s talk. Yes, I know that South Korea is always trying to take steps toward improving relationship with North, if I remember correctly they even had US military base moved away from the border with North Korea. And they also agreed with North to march as single Korea during opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympics – but that’s it! South Korea recently hosted Soccer World Cup (together with Japan), which some argue even greater event then Olympics itself! (I’d disagree on this, though) How did that change the relationship with North? Unfortunately, it didn’t. And looking on their recent reaction on North Korean missile tests, I can’t say I believe the borders can open in seven years, even under pressure (and there’s really no pressure. The only pressure is on South Korean government which takes this promise upon itself).

As far as presentations, I liked Sochi’s presentation better than PyeongChang’s, more pictures and maps of what it will be like, and they even made a nice “one day at the Olympics” tour, showing how it may look for a family who came to Sochi for the Olympics, showing distances and travel times, and how it would look. Unfortunately I missed Putin’s speech, but I liked all Russian speeches that I saw – most of them are Olympic winners, and everyone had a personal story on how the Olympics had affected their lives, it was really great. The Koreans didn’t have anything like that (which, of course, doesn’t mean they don’t have Olympians whose lives were changed by their achievements in sports).

The bottom line is I don’t believe these presentations will change much, I think most IOC members already know who they’ll vote for. And of course you all know where my vote goes :)
Meanwhile, according to the news reports 30 000 “sochincev” (Sochi residents) are right now on the streets awaiting for the elections and the decision. Today was official day off work in Sochi…

Watch 2014 Olympics Host City Elections Online!

Olympics 2014, Sochi News July 3rd, 2007

Wednesday, 4 July 2007: A live webcast of the 2014 Candidate Cities’ presentations to the 119th IOC Session, as well as the announcement ceremony of the Host City for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, will be available at the official IOC website!

The short opening ceremony following by Sochi’s presentation will start at 9am local Guatemala time, that is 10 am US ST time.

Links to the live feeds of the events »

Sochi-2014 arriving to Guatemala