Here Mer Noire (a blogger in French) has a post about Adjara, a region of Georgia which has a legal autonomy within Georgia, which flourished illegally until 2005 when Saakashvili brought it back into the fold.
These days it is trying to revive tourism, building hotels in Batumi on the Black Sea. According to an architect friend of mine, there are plans for a funicular and also a pier. The president is often seen in Batumi and his latest visit was to announce plans for a new Opera House (must be the modern example of "let them eat cake"). For a similar view (Madness or the Art of Thinking Big) see here:
Thousands of people want your resignation and have blocked traffic on two major streets in the capital and threaten to block the country's major highway too. What do you do?
If you are Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, then you go to your Black Sea city of Batumi and announce the construction of "Europe's best opera house."
Another view is presented in the Mer Noire. Adjara as a flourishing autonomous region within Georgia was a good example for how those other regions, Abkhazia (which also had autonomous status) and South Ossetia (which didn't), might have developed in a united Georgia. Abkhazia already had a deserved reputation for tourism and simply needed to be developed, especially after the civil war in the 90s. And its proximity to Sochi meant that it would have benefited in the long run from tourism developed from the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2012.
But these regions apparently seriously believed they were big enough to stand alone. Now the reality is that they will not get development money from Russia (the result of the financial crisis) and they will not get independence, as they already have Russian troops on their internal border with Georgia proper.
The August war has been a loser for Adjara as well, where development is stopping.
Zaza Gogotchvili, l'un des 18 élus du Parlement de Batoumi, l'avoue : «Il n'y a plus de nécessité à notre autonomie.» Dans la guerre d'août 2008, c'est aussi l'exemple de l'Adjarie qui est mort.
My rough translation: Zaza Gogochvili, one of the 18 elected members of the Batumi Parliament states: "It is no longer necessary to have autonomy". With the August war, the example of Adjara (for development with autonomy) is not longer working, it's dead.
We'll be able to see for ourselves next week, when we meet the banks there.