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Reasons Americans stay away from expensive Sochi (general)

posted by bibleprobe(R) Homepage, Mass., 01.31.2014

Reasons Americans stay away from expensive Sochi

You would need a $300 Visa, travel 18 hours; and most games have been sold out to Russians already...

Reasons Americans stay away from expensive Sochi
By Alanna Petroff @AlannaPetroff January 31, 2014

Many American winter sports fans will stay away from next month's Sochi Games, put off by the eye-watering cost and hassle of traveling to the Russian resort.

It's a long haul from the U.S. east coast to the Sochi Games. Average travel time is nearly 18 hours and costs have soared.

Tour operators say the Winter Olympics, which begin next week, will be the most sparsely attended by U.S. citizens in decades.

Little wonder when the bill for attending Sochi -- pegged at $7,000 to $14,000 per person for a week-long stay -- is prohibitively expensive for most.

Terrorism threats and anti-gay rhetoric have also put people off.

Last-minute travelers will pay about $3,000 for flights, which on average take about 18 hours from New York. Even if you booked early or found a great deal, the flights alone would still cost about $1,000, according to data compiled by travel firm

Once there, visitors face hugely inflated rates for hotel rooms.

Protravel International's Rob Rosenbluth says many hotels are charging tourists roughly $1,000 per room per night. Families of Olympians will pay $750 per night.

A shortage of rooms means even a mid-range hotel can charge top dollar. Anbritt Stengele, founder of sports tourism agency Sports Traveler, says she booked rooms in a three-star hotel for roughly $700 per night.



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