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We're just about halfway the games, but we already have some estimates of how much Pyeongchang 2018 has costed. $12.9 billion dollars. Still a farcry to the infamous $50 billion of Sochi, and it's almost on pair with the $13.1 billion of Rio 2016. Still though, it is a shame the costs increased because of transport (that train from Seoul to Gangneung along added a lot of money to the budget)

https://www.cbssports.com/olympics/news/2018-winter-olympics-pyeongchang-games-reportedly-cost-4b-more-than-expected/

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2018 Winter Olympics: Pyeongchang Games reportedly cost $4B more than expected

Some people were rather upset with how 2018 Winter Olympics organizers handled the dangerous South Korea winds that impacted -- and later postponed -- weekend skiing, suggesting money held a higher priority than safety.

After you see the price tag for the Pyeongchang Games, you might understand why.

As reported by the Associated Press in mid-December and reiterated by Money Talks News this week, it cost about $12.9 billion for the South Korean county, located just about 100 miles from Seoul, to host this year's Winter Olympics.

And if that sounds high, that's because it is -- even to Olympic organizers. As those reports noted, original estimates for Pyeongchang's costs ranged between $7 and $8 billion, meaning the 2018 events required at least $4 billion more than was anticipated when the area won the bid for the Games in 2011.

A good chunk of those funds, per Money Talks News, went toward transportation from the capital to Pyeongchang:

The money was spent on building six new venues and refurbishing six others in the area, according to Curbed. To get athletes and spectators to the area, there is a brand new $3.7 billion express train running from Seoul to Pyeongchang.

Time will tell, but the early indications are that the big bucks may be paying off. Just this week, Shaun White's gold-medal run at one of Pyeongchang's venues became the second most-watched event in NBC's Winter Games history.

 

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41 minutes ago, Ikarus360 said:

We're just about halfway the games, but we already have some estimates of how much Pyeongchang 2018 has costed. $12.9 billion dollars. Still a farcry to the infamous $50 billion of Sochi, and it's almost on pair with the $13.1 billion of Rio 2016. Still though, it is a shame the costs increased because of transport (that train from Seoul to Gangneung along added a lot of money to the budget)

https://www.cbssports.com/olympics/news/2018-winter-olympics-pyeongchang-games-reportedly-cost-4b-more-than-expected/

 

I'm hoping this train doesn't turn out like Sochi's, which now only runs a few times a day and usually travels underpopulated. There is much more of a demand though from Pyeongchang to Seoul than the mountain areas of southern Russia to Sochi, so hopefully it pays off. Transport can almost always be a very positive thing for Olympic cities and I'm hoping Pyeongchang reaps those same benefits. Especially if the tourist boom to the area they're hoping for does come, the train may prove successful. 

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On 16/02/2018 at 1:55 AM, anthonyliberatori said:

I'm hoping this train doesn't turn out like Sochi's, which now only runs a few times a day and usually travels underpopulated. There is much more of a demand though from Pyeongchang to Seoul than the mountain areas of southern Russia to Sochi, so hopefully it pays off. Transport can almost always be a very positive thing for Olympic cities and I'm hoping Pyeongchang reaps those same benefits. Especially if the tourist boom to the area they're hoping for does come, the train may prove successful. 

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http://english.eurobuildcee.com/?page=news&id=23645

Occupancy rates in Sochi edging up

Occupancy in mountain hotels increased for the third year in a row, this time by 5 ppt over 2016, and climbed up to 59 pct.

“2017 has been the first year in Krasnaya Polyana when not a single hotel closed for the ‘off-season’. Hoteliers in the Sochi mountain cluster, utilising the cold summer effect and quoting lower prices, have managed to redirect and capture some of the tourist traffic that habitually goes to the sea. We believe this was additionally aided by an increased range of entertainment options, such as a casino in Gorky Gorod which has been operating profitably for a whole year, as well as a busy event calendar,” said Tatiana Veller, the head of the hotels and hospitality group at JLL.

 

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43 minutes ago, JMarkSnow2012 said:

 

Your article doesn't say anything about the train. It just says the area has benefited from more tourism than the hotels near the sea over the past few years, and the article credits it mostly to an increase in casinos and a busy event calendar. Again I say, the demand for a train from a smaller city mixed with a seasonal tourist destination, to the country's largest city, that's also the capital, is going to be much larger than the demand from a somewhat season tourist destination to another not so seasonal tourist destination. 

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4 hours ago, anthonyliberatori said:

Your article doesn't say anything about the train. It just says the area has benefited from more tourism than the hotels near the sea over the past few years, and the article credits it mostly to an increase in casinos and a busy event calendar. Again I say, the demand for a train from a smaller city mixed with a seasonal tourist destination, to the country's largest city, that's also the capital, is going to be much larger than the demand from a somewhat season tourist destination to another not so seasonal tourist destination. 

The significant thing from the article I quoted was the continuing growth of year-round tourism. Provided the rail services are reasonably effective in getting tourists up to the mountains (and given that Adler airport is only about two and a half hours from Moscow) then there should, over time, be a virtuous spiral, in which everything including the railway gets more use.

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15 minutes ago, JMarkSnow2012 said:

The significant thing from the article I quoted was the continuing growth of year-round tourism. Provided the rail services are reasonably effective in getting tourists up to the mountains (and given that Adler airport is only about two and a half hours from Moscow) then there should, over time, be a virtuous spiral, in which everything including the railway gets more use.

That is true. The installation of the train is very good for the area to grow its tourism and further develop the region. However, tourism markets change constantly. What if the Russians are suddenly drawn to a different ski resort in Russia, or in Kazakhstan, or somewhere else in the Balkans or Alps? What if Russians start to prefer beach holidays along the south Turkish coast again? The Sochi Olympics were great in the sense of developing a local area for tourism, and I'm glad to see that the area is growing their numbers, and Pyeongchang had a similar concept in that regard. However, back to the train in particular, Sochi's train will serve tourists whose markets will change every single year. Pyeongchang's train will serve people yearround, a mix of tourists, commuters, bussinesspeople, etc. I'm not trying to devalue the entirety of Sochi's train and its importance to the area's legacy, but I am pointing out that Pyeongchang's train will likely have a much greater economic outcome. Hence why the large amount of money spent on the train was justifiable. 

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60% occupancy rate at Sochi's hotels is actually pretty solid. IIRC that is roughly the breakeven point for most chain hotels.

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3 hours ago, Nacre said:

60% occupancy rate at Sochi's hotels is actually pretty solid. IIRC that is roughly the breakeven point for most chain hotels.

I would imagine so, it's the main beach resort of the entire country in the summer. It developed itself as a winter sports destination now as well, so that's no surprise. That's not in in question. What is is the economic benefit of a train that runs a Secondary-Secondary route vs a train that runs a Secondary-Hub route

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That is one of the most difficult things about people discussing Olympic costs. You have one side of the argument that acts like the infrastructure built for the Games is going to evaporate as soon as the Games are over and the other side acts like those costs are meaningless. I think it is somewhere in between. if the Games spur infrastructure investment that is a benefit to host, that cost shouldn't carry as much weight as over-zealous infrastructure building that amounts to very little. The rail line that Korea built will be well used after the Games and spur development in the county. So including the 4 billion dollar development investment is a little suspect. 

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Sochi is problematic. For all its status as an Olympic Bête Noire now, there’s a lot of less deserved hyperbole about it too.

For all that the 50 billion plus cost is just accepted truth now, that was a likely inflated, unsubstantiated claim in the lead up to the games. It’s fed into and driven a lot of the anti-games fever of the past few years, but the real figure was never really that high. Not that it matters now - as I said, it’s too far a “truth” that’s universally acknowledged now to be successfully refuted. 

And since the games, Sochi has been quite successful as a tourism destination for Russia and as an ongoing venue for major events like the Grand Prix, the Confederations Cup and this year’s World Cup. I’d think the Oligarchy would be quite happy as to how it’s developed and placed itself on the tourism and sports map.

Not that I want to be an apologist for Sochi. Yeah, the oft-quoted cost may be inflated, but it was still obscene if you’re trying to convince other cities and countries on the economic merits of staging a games. And much of that cost was swallowed up in corruption and kick-backs. And then, of course, there’s the whole dark doping saga that now hangs over that games and the “integrity”, or rather lack of it, of the Russian sporting and political administration. Abd lets never forget that even while they were still celebrating their games, the Kremlin was putting into pace their little adventure in the Ukraine. There’s no real white-washing that can be done about the damage Sochi has ultimately cost the Olympic movement. But to be fair, a lot of he mud thrown at it is also a tad exaggerated, to be honest.

Edited by Sir Rols

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In terms of what a host city has to do to stage a "successful" Olympics, Sochi did a lot. The venues have been kept up and used, the Games turned over a profit, infrastructure was brought to the area, tourism/international recognition has increased, etc. Sochi had an amazing Opening Ceremony full of Russian history that many still remember, and the Games had many memorable athletic feats as well. All in all, Sochi was a "successful" host city.

 

But as stated, the discrepancies come in when you go to talk about legacy. Sochi severely tarnished the idea that Olympic host cities need to break their entire economies and backs in order to put on the most extravagant show for the entire world to see. It started in Beijing, started to get forgotten after the successes of Vancouver and London, but Sochi rebirthed and fortified the idea that the Olympics are to only be held by those willing to go above and beyond. The political corruption that coincided with the Games, such as the Ukraine invasion and the pocketing of much of the Olympic costs by the government did not help host cities who were avidly looking at 2022, leaving the IOC with just-as-extravagant-minded China and unfamiliar-strict-law Kazakhstan. To make things even worse, the doping scandal has now tarnished the Russian athletics and Olympic credibility. 

 

So, was Sochi successful as a host city? Yes, tourism has increased, and given its smart conception to now become labeled as both a summer and winter destination, it is becoming Russia's own concept of Vegas or Orlando, and it will serve them nicely in the future. But was Sochi successful for the Olympic movement as a whole? No, and it has put one of the largest holes in the movement of any host city IMO. 20 years from now, Sochi will be remembered as the Olympics that put their city on the map, while almost tearing the entire Olympic movement off of it in the process.  Now we just have to hope that Compact-But-Effective Pyeongchang and Cheap-But-Extravagant Beijing can help secure some legacy host or host countries for 2026 and 2030.

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1 hour ago, anthonyliberatori said:

The political corruption that coincided with the Games

There was no coincidence. Russia has consciously set an example of conspicuous corruption and bullying as a viable political system.

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The people here tell me that Gangwon was a relatively undeveloped area of Korea, particularly due to the closeness of the border. The line has been created ex nihilo, it is not replacing a former slower route. Gangneung and Alpensia will benefit the most, since they are serviced by KTX stations. 

For the Games as a transportation mean is is relatively cheap (not free, in Sochi the train was free) and fast (17 mn between both Olympic areas) with trains every 20 min or so. Far better that taxis and busses on the congested highway.

i concur that the benefit ratio/cost of this line seems higher that the railway line in Sochi.

Edited by hektor
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