-- Just days before the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games, Sochi
has a readiness problem. For the visitors, corporate sponsor executives,
journalists and sports fans pouring in from around the world to this resort
town on the shores of the Black Sea, there may be room at the inn -- but the
inn isn't ready for business.
The Sochi Organizing Committee admits only about 60 percent of the hotels set aside for international media in the mountain area, where the Olympic skiing and jumping events will take place, are fully operational.
visited one new hotel a stone's throw from the Fisht Olympic Stadium, closer to
the Black Sea coast, which wasn't ready for the planned ribbon cutting.
The problem has the International Olympic Committee worried, with Olympic executives putting pressure on Sochi organizers to step up the work before Russia's first-ever Winter Games get underway.
alerted them that a lot of people are coming in, and particularly of the
difficulty still in the mountains," the IOC's press commission chairman
Kevan Gosper told reporters over the weekend. "They are aware it's a
The Olympics aren't just the world's most celebrated sporting event, they can also serve to jump-start sustainable business and tourism investment for the cities that host them. The successful rejuvenation of Atlanta's downtown after the 1996 Summer Games is a strong case in point.
While the short-term headlines from Sochi about security concerns, Russia's controversial policies on gay rights and the reported $51 billion price tag present a challenge now, a spate of bad hospitality reviews could hurt Sochi's ability to transform from Olympic Host city, into a year-round tourism destination.
Filed by correspondent Alphonso Van Marsh, based in the CBS News London Bureau (on Twitter: @AlphonsoVM)