Russia scrambles to get hotels ready for Games
Large crates of equipment stand unopened outside the entrance to the plush new Swissotel above Sochi as it scrambles to be ready for the start of the Winter Olympics. A bricklayer in a woolen hat puts the finishing touches to a nearby wall, workers in white helmets fix cables and others clear snow with shovels. Inside the hotel, new chairs are piled on top of each other in the lobby. Russian officials have declared Sochi ready for the Games, on which President Vladimir Putin has staked his and his country's reputation. But days before they open on Friday, the organizers acknowledge that not all the new hotels are ready, despite the Games' $50-billion price tag.