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For anyone following the saga of securing a hotel in Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympic games (less than 100 days to go now), November 1st may be a big turning point in the “let’s get a room” game. I have been told by multiple sources that November 1st is the date when un-needed rooms will be released by the IOC/Russian Government/Mafia/whatever and the hotels can then sell them to regular folks like you and me.
For almost the past year I have been saying my plan is to just wait and see on hotel rooms. I didn’t want a pre-paid reservation on a cruise ship, or similar, when an option I like better might come along if I am patient. I have my plane tickets, my event tickets, but I was willing to play a bit of a game of chicken with lodging. My bet that everything would work out could still go poorly as I still have nothing, but I think we might be close. Recently, my strategy has been to contact some hotels I would actually want to stay in directly to feel out the situation. Some are more tight-lipped than others, but I have been consistently told November 1st is the date that hotels get the ability to sell their rooms, and I have been told by at least one hotel group thus far that they are not currently anticipating high demand.
The hotels I have talked to all seem to have started waiting lists for when the rooms are released. I have no clue if they will really be working through those lists, or whether it will be first-come, first-served after November 1. I have put my name on a few waiting lists just to play it safe, and it would be great if one of those worked out. None of them required credit card numbers or deposits to be on the waiting lists, nor could I ever get an answer on how long (or short) the waiting lists are.
If you are in the same situation that I am, I recommend starting to pay close attention to the hotel situation now as rooms should be available soon for sale. Your guess is as good as mine on what that will end up looking like, or if any will even potentially be available on points, but we should start to have a better picture soon. On the flip side, if another week or two goes by and we aren’t seeing anything for sale that may be a good indication that it is time to get a bit more serious about finding a back-up plan. I think November is the month that hotels either start becoming available, or they aren’t going to really be available.
Ah the joys of an Olympics in a still-under-construction town in Russia!