Miami nightclub owners are struggling with slumping sales after losing top-spending crypto clientele in wake of FTX implosion and crypto downfall, report says
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Club owners in Miami told the Financial Times that business is plummeting as the crypto industry takes a hit.
Crypto, tech and hedge fund leaders have flocked to the city en masse during the pandemic.
But in the wake of the FTX implosion, some of the city's top donors have disappeared.
Crypto leaders aren't the only ones feeling the pounding of the crater market and FTX's demise, as are Miami club owners who have benefited from regularly hosting some of the industry's top donors.
Requests for $50,000 tables and bottle service for premium liquor at the city's hottest spots are drying up, according to a new Financial Times report. The scene has gotten so grim that Andrea Vimercati, director of food and beverage at Moxy Hotel Group, told the outlet that high-profile crypto regulars are “completely gone.”
Miami became a hotbed for crypto enthusiasts, tech executives, and hedge fund managers early in the pandemic, prompting a mass exodus to the Florida city. Many said it had the potential to rival Silicon Valley, but with the crypto industry taking a hit, Miami's future as a major tech and financial center remains uncertain.
Vimercati told the FT that until recently, many clubs had become accustomed to catering to a new demographic of “95 percent males, young … with a kind of nerdy style” in reference to the burgeoning crypto scene.
"Out of the blue, all these kids came off Crypto and were spending a lot of money — like a crazy amount of money," he said.
Now, with the demise of companies like FTX, club owners and promoters aren't entirely sure the big donors will return as the value of cryptocurrencies takes a nosedive and big players like Sam Bankman-Fried bleed large amounts of their net worth.
Though FTX was based in the Bahamas — where Bankman-Fried and his close group of friends, lovers, and business associates lived together — the company also had a large presence in Miami. According to FT, FTX paid $135 million to secure 19-year naming rights to FTX Arena, home of the Miami Heat.
Gino LoPinto, operating partner of club E11even, told the FT that the company has raised just $10,000 over the past three months after raising more than $6 million last year - much of which came from crypto- Customers.
LoPinto told the outlet that the club began accepting cryptocurrency in 2021 and was once the host of an unnamed company that backed its sale at the venue with a 50-cent performance and "bathtubs of champagne" totaling $1 million. Dollar celebrated – all paid for in crypto.
"You wouldn't normally show your bank account, but people show their crypto wallets," he said. "I've seen more crypto wallets in a year than bank accounts in my entire life."
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