When Potanin's Interros holding company first committed to the games, "we had no idea what exactly would be required from us," Bachin said. Now delivering everything on time has become "a matter of honor," he said. Still, looking back, Bachin said Roza Khutor should not have been so compliant.
"When we were asked to build this or that, we were probably too yielding in taking up those requests," he said.
Potanin was the first to raise his voice. Last year he said he expected the Russian government to compensate him for at least the $500 million he is spending doing work that he said should have been the government's responsibility.
Roza Khutor has asked the government to create a special economic zone in the Sochi area. Tax rebates would allow the resort to be "operationally sound" and help it repay loans to the state-owned VEB bank more quickly, Bachin said.
The frustrations have been shared by Deripaska's Basic Element, which is suing Olimpstroi for about $50 million, the amount it had to fork out when Olimpstroi questioned the quality of the gravel used to protect the coast at the sea port. Deripaska's company also complained that the sea port it built is receiving only 20 percent of the cargo load that had been promised by the government, leaving revenues far lower than expected.
"It's pretty frustrating," Elinson said. "But we think it's curable if the government takes certain responsibly for those actions and comes up with a solution that would allow the project and the investor to recover."
He said at this stage all investors are concerned about the additional costs they have faced in Sochi.
Last month, Basic Element, Interros, Gazprom and state-owned Sberbank asked the government for help in covering some of their losses. Although there has not been an official response to the plea, the government has said in the past that investors bear full responsibility for any losses.
"Those are the risks of those who made the decision," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who is overseeing the Sochi preparation, said in response to complaints last year.
In contrast to the Boris Yeltsin-era oligarchs like Deripaska and Potanin who are involved in capital-consuming projects with uncertain commercial prospects, the new generation of billionaires with close ties to Putin seems actually to be making money in Sochi.
One man who stands to profit from the games is Arkady Rotenberg, who has known Putin since he was 12.
Through a majority-owned subsidiary, Rotenberg holds nearly 39 percent of the Mostotrest company, which has amassed a dozen Olympics-related state contracts to build nearly all of the highways in the area. Its projects include a $1.6 billion bypass for Sochi, as well as tunnels, bridges and railroads for a total of at least $3.4 billion.
"Those who became billionaires before Putin's rise to power now have to pay the price, and that's why they're being forced to invest and build," Kasyanov said. "Those of Putin's generation are out there to make money. They use public funds. They don't invest their own money but simply work on state contracts."
One Russian businessman in charge of an Olympic project was publicly disgraced when he failed to deliver. On a tour of Olympic sites in February, Putin harshly scolded officials for the huge delays and cost overruns in building the ski jump, a project run by real estate developer Akhmed Bilalov, who had once owned 90 percent of it. The state-controlled Sberbank had taken a controlling stake in 2012 when it was clear the project was in trouble, and Bilalov's younger brother handed over the remaining 40 percent stake after Putin's televised dressing down.
Bilalov was immediately stripped of his position as a vice president of the Russian Olympic Committee, but Putin still was not done with him. In April, prosecutors charged Bilalov with abuse of office in relation to his work as chairman of a state company that is building ski resorts elsewhere in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia. Facing up to four years in prison if convicted, Bilalov left Russia.