However, locals in Akshtyr village outside Sochi have complained about the effects all the building has had on their environment.
Alexander Koropov told CNN a train line built 20 yards from his fruit farm has left the produce rotting on the vine due to pollution at the construction sites.
"Every 10 minutes, he says, the high-speed train whizzes past his house, and it drives him crazy," reports CNN's Ivan Watson, who says other residents told him the government had failed to fulfill promises to provide centralized plumbing and heating.
"Alexander says this was a beautiful place before the Olympics. You can't imagine how many trees were destroyed here to build this."
Sochi's organizers, however, say they have undertaken extensive replanting programs to replace hundreds of thousands of trees in affected areas in the city and surrounding regions. Areas for endangered plant and animal species have been created, according to the Sochi 2014 Environmental Strategy .
The Mzymta river basin is also being restored, with millions of fish released into the waters, and Sochi's aim is a "Zero Waste" Games that have "minimal impact on the climate" in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, said the official policy statement.
Larkin, though, despairs at the impact of development on what was previously a relatively unspoiled mountain region.
"Most of the Russians, especially the politicians, don't get it. For a bad copy of what you've got in Switzerland, made in a couple of years, you're not going to impress people," he says.
President Putin's plan to enhance Russia's reputation as a major international player may have sacrificed some of the sprawling country's natural beauty but, some say, it is revitalizing a region that had fallen into neglect following the Soviet era.
"The Olympic torch is going to burn where I used to live," says Rima Seferyan, one of thousands of Sochi residents who had to relocate. "I'm very happy with my new house."
Bruce Talley -- the American fixer -- is excited about the business opportunities that lie ahead for the city, which will host Russia's first Formula One race in October and will provide one of the venues for soccer's 2018 World Cup.
"Sochi is kind of being reborn," says the 54-year-old, who publishes what he says is the only English-language information source in the city.
"They will be having lots of events for a long time here.
"We had the economic forum going on, one of the few largest business forums in Russia -- there's one in St. Petersburg and one in Sochi each year. Tens of thousands of people come here to make contacts."
Russia, as Bastien Simonneau also acknowledges, is not an easy place to do business. Through his ventures, the restaurant owner says they have been helped by its people's love of French culture.
"The biggest challenge is to find someone you trust. The second thing is to find and train the staff," he says, adding that most of his workers come from other parts of the country.
Spa owner Larkin says it might be even harder now for foreigners to set up business in Sochi.
"It's a question of the initial cost of it -- the price of land and construction materials has gone through the roof, it's more expensive than in Moscow," says the 58-year-old.
"The second problem is finding people. They have made all the foreigners move out, mainly people from countries like Tajikistan who've been doing work there.
"They've had to leave so it's more expensive to find people who can sink piles or lay bricks or things like that. Then you have all the other problems of getting your suppliers."
Despite the difficulties the Olympics have brought him, Larkin hopes international visitors will come to Sochi and experience life in Russia -- though they may have to escape the confines of the Olympic area to do so.
"I'm English but Russia is my home, I'm very fond of this country and the people here. They've got a lot of good things to offer," he says.
"The people are nice -- they're a bit harsh at first, a bit hostile but, inside, most of the Russians have a very warm heart and are quick to make friends with you.
"I've had situations where you've had a small car crash with somebody, they're shouting, swearing and getting angry -- after about 10 minutes they're inviting you home for dinner."