As journalists arrive in Sochi to cover the Winter Olympics, which begin Thursday, they are finding their accomodations are more than unfinished.
Only six of nine media hotels are open for business. The others are still under construction. A German photographer told the Associated Press that his hotel had stray dogs and construction workers wandering around in it.
One hotel lobby had no floor installed. Another hotel has no lobby at all.
One accomodation has no working elevator. When a reporter used the stairs to reach his room, he found the fire door was locked.
“CNN booked 11 rooms in one @Sochi2014 media hotel five months ago. We have been here for a day and only one room is available,” tweeted CNN’s Harry Reekie.
Despite being the most expensive Olympics in history, Sochi appears largely unfinished. Some facilities ask that toilet paper not be flushed down the toilet. Others have warned guests not to drink the water in their hotel or use it on their faces.
Stacy St. Clair of the Tribune Olympic Bureau said a fire alarm in her hotel woke her up three times in three hours. When she decided to get up for the day, she discovered there was no running water.
When she asked the front desk, they told her the water would be back on in 40 minutes but warned, "When it comes back on, please do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous."
— Rosa Hwang (@RosaHwangCTV) February 3, 2014
— Kevin Bishop (@bishopk) February 4, 2014
People have asked me what surprised me the most here in Sochi. It's this. Without question ... it's ... THIS. pic.twitter.com/1jj05FNdCP
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 4, 2014
— Stacy St. Clair (@StacyStClair) February 4, 2014
One Michigan journalist warns that the hotels aren’t the most dangerous unfinished business in Sochi.
— Jo-Ann Barnas (@JoAnnBarnas) February 1, 2014