WATCH: Jeffrey Soffer and Dave Grutman talk post-Covid concepts and branching into the Vegas market

Hospitality gurus discussed adjusting to the new environment at TRD’s South Florida Showcase & Forum, as the area’s tourism market heats up

Miami’s tourism market is booming after a brief lockdown, but restaurants, clubs, and hotels have struggled to navigate staffing shortages.

“When the government gave out big checks, people stayed home,” Jeffrey Soffer, chairman and CEO of Fontainebleau Development said. But he doesn’t anticipate that problem lingering. “The money is wearing off. The free ride is over.”

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Developers Soffer and David Grutman of GROOT Hospitality aren’t satisfied to just ride the hospitality recovery wave. Grutman’s group partnered with Pharrell Williams to open the Goodtime Hotel earlier this year, and has expanded his network of restaurants to seven dining spots in Miami. For Soffer, the time is finally here to branch back into Las Vegas, following through on a long-time plan.

Soffer and Grutman, who was once a bartender at a restaurant owned by Soffer’s father developer Donald Soffer, have worked together since the early days of LIV, when Soffer brought the younger upstart in to help manage his new club.

They sat down with The Real Deal’s Chairman and Publisher Amir Korangy at the South Florida Real Estate Showcase + Forum last month in Miami. Watch the panel above for more on their partnership and the state of the hospitality industry today.