ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) – Irked by stories of unfinished hotels just days before the Sochi Olympics are due to start, the owners of one major complex took reporters on a three-hour tour on Wednesday to prove they were ready for visitors:
Even as the tour wound its way around the brand new paved streets and buildings of the Gorky Gorod complex in the mountains, workers were busily hammering, sanding, soldering wires in lamp posts and installing garbage bins.
“In principle all the work is done … the hotels are now preparing for the arrival of guests and that’s why you see people doing small jobs and cleaning up,” Stanislav Kuznetsov, deputy chairman of the board at Russian state lender Sberbank, told reporters.
“We want to show our guests what things are really like. We think it’s good, we are proud of what has been done.”
The giant bank took over the complex 18 months ago after the original managers ran badly behind schedule. Gorky Gorod, which consists of nine hotels and a series of apartment hotels, has provided 3,036 rooms to the Olympic organisers.
“I have been to all the recent Olympic Games and to be honest with you, in every Olympic town we came across the same thing – in the last few days people were trying to wrap up the final preparatory work … I don’t see anything bad in that,” said Kuznetsov.
“Given the huge amount of guests who’ll be coming here, there will obviously be some requests, complaints and comments. What matters is how prepared our team is to deal with them and how we can clear up mistakes.”