I have mentioned before that one of the things I love about Georgia is the country’s general willingness to try new things and follow through on crazy ideas , but, but, but the recent New York Times article on the new city of Lazika raises some of the major problems that this can also cause.  There is such a thing as a project that is just too rushed.  I’m not opposed to the development of new cities on the Black Sea Coast–they’re potentially a great way to increase tourism in Georgia and bring some revenue into the country–but in building a city there’s a bit of background research that needs to be done first, and the criticisms of the Lazika project are totally reasonable.  How will the city stand in a swamp?  Who’s going to live there?  What will be the environmental impact?  I love the can-do attitude in Georgia, but I think it’s important to keep some realism about what you reasonably can do, and adjust plans accordingly.

View from a still incomplete fancy hotel at Anaklia in Summer 2010.

I’m particularly interested in the Lazika issue because I got to visit the (now) resort

Incomplete hotel in Anaklia, summer 2010. Note also the livestock on the beach.

town of Anaklia as part of some research on the Georgian tourism industry in Summer 2010.  Now, I hear, Anaklia is a lovely resort.  At the time, there was one mostly-completed hotel, one half-built hotel, and cows on the beach.  At the time, I was really impressed with Anaklia’s potential; it really seemed like an ideal resort: beautiful and relaxing.  I suspect, though, that part of what I loved about Anaklia was the solitude.  Now that it’s developed, I imagine the feel of the town (well, last time I was there it was truly a village) is quite different.