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Sochi Newsletter- May 3

Sochi Newsletter- May 3 has been sent to subscribers.  Included are photos and details about May Day in Sochi and other recent developments in Sochi.  Please follow this link and sign up for the newsletter.  Next week, in the newsletter, we will include a summary of our survey of office and residential rental prices for central Sochi and Adler. We are currently working with outside groups on workforce accommodation.  It looks like the predicted rise in prices is happening already.  Prices in Adler for apartments with western standards in the best locations are eclipsing levels in central Sochi.  


Brian Burke, Hockey Legend and N.H.L. General Manager, Visits Sochi

Brian Burke, the President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and General Manager of the U.S. Hockey team, visited Sochi on Saturday, April 28.  Mr. Burke planned on arriving in Sochi on Friday, the 27th, but due to fog his flight was diverted to Krasnodar. He waited all evening in the Krasnodar airport until the flight was cancelled at about 10 p.m.  Because his schedule is demanding and time was short, Mr. Burke caught a taxi and persuaded the driver to make the 6 hour trip overnight on the serpentine Black Sea route to Sochi.  He arrived at about 5 a.m. After a quick shower and cup of coffee, I showed him central Sochi, Adler and the Olympic Park before he departed for Sweden. When I asked him about staying in a hotel in Krasnodar, instead of driving all night to Sochi, he told me there was no assurance he would have been able to fly here the next day. This may have required him to cancel Sochi.  He said it was important to him to see the environment where players would be living and competing and that he could not speak credibly about it and the issues they would face unless he had been here.  It is not hard to see how his attention to detail and work ethic has led to so much success, both in the NHL and for the U.S Hockey team.  

Brian Burke was born in Providence, Rhode Island into a family that eventually included 10 children.  When he was about 11, the family moved to Edina, Minnesota.  In Minnesota, he received a late introduction to hockey, the sport that would dominate his life as a player, agent and eventual General Manager of the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Ducks and currently, the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The Maple Leafs are one of the marquee franchises not only in hockey, but in all North American sports.  Remarkably, he is the first American-born G.M. of the Maple Leafs. Brian also was the General Manager of the U.S. men's hockey team that won a silver medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics.  He attended Providence College and Harvard Law, so his educational pedigree is as strong as his hockey background.  

Brian and I talked about the Olympic Park and the construction that Sochi is undergoing.  He noticed the numerous apartment buildings, road and street projects being constructed and we walked around the airport.  He told me that the Olympic Park and venues were "very impressive" and that the new airport is an excellent facility for an Olympic city.  He also told me that the overall changes that Sochi is undergoing are remarkable.  

The entrance to the Olympic stadium is only about 100 meters from the Black Sea, so we stopped there and took photos.




Gossip Opens In Sochi

Gossip, owned by Martial and Bastien Simonneau, has opened in Sochi at the Melodiya Shopping Center.  Gossip, which has great views of central Sochi and Kurortniy Prospekt, sports a cool and casual environment designed to appeal to the professional crowd in the heart of the city.  I tried sushi rolls (good) and the salad with Saint Marcellin cheese (excellent and the likes of which can not be found elsewhere in Sochi) and also their own mango and strawberry sorbet. Gossip has the right ambiance to draw a sophisticated foreign clientele as well as the hipster scene in Sochi.



Channel 5 Video In Sochi With Bruce Talley

Several weeks ago, I was featured in a video piece that Saint Petersburg's Channel 5 did on English langauge service in Sochi.  The video was shown nationwide in Russia.  Sochi has started a "word of the day" program to teach residents of Sochi basic English.  Each resident will be exposed to the word an average of 3 times per day.




Hotel, Restaurant and Cafe Expo

April 4- 7 saw an expo on the boardwalk at Lighthouse Beach.  About 100 exhibitors were there to sell products and services to the hotels, restaurants and cafes in Sochi.  We attended and took photos of the event. Sochi is adjusting to its changing market with new hotel providers such as Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton.  Radisson is adding another property.  New restuarants are opening to appeal to Sochi's increasingly international visitors. However, Sochi has a shortage of catering companies that can satisfy the demands of outside organizations for events. We are working with several companies that are expanding into Sochi and at least one restaurant with foreign ownership is planning to expand into catering to meet the demand.