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SLS Gets In On NFT Craze, With Digital Art Sold From Hotel Rooms During Miami's Art Basel Event

For one week every year, South Florida hosts Art Basel Miami Beach, a stateside incarnation of the famous contemporary art fair that originated in Basel, Switzerland.

Though the event is centered on an art show at the Miami Beach Convention Center, the fair stretches throughout the entire Miami area, with artists, vendors and jetsetting buyers filling hotels throughout the region. Ancillary businesses see the benefit too, with satellite art shows, events and dinners spilling into various venues, and companies of all stripes getting in on the action with partnerships and tie-ins to play on the excitement of the fair.

This year, with buzz around nonfungible tokens — digital artwork whose ownership is tracked on a blockchain — Miami's hospitality sector is upping its involvement in the event.

SLS South Beach and SLS Brickell will let guests buy NFTs directly from their rooms.

SLS Hotels is teaming up with NFT BAZL to showcase art and allow guests to purchase NFTs from their hotel rooms. NFT BAZL claims to be the “world’s first physical NFT gallery bridging the gap between traditional art and disruptive technology,” according to its website.

The company hosts gatherings — in Miami and Dubai so far — not unlike art openings, with digital art projected onto the wall or otherwise displayed, with NFTs potentially in the form of a song or audio file, or an element in a video game. At NFT BAZL events, NFT art can be bought with bitcoin or a credit card. 

NFT BAZL’s partnership with SLS Hotels & Residences will include a promotion at two SLS properties — SLS South Beach and SLS Brickell — during Art Basel Miami Beach.

For example, digital art will be displayed "on every TV in the room" at the two properties, "replacing the current screensaver," according to Raoul Milhado, CEO at Elitium, which has its own cryptocurrency and investment platform and is one of several partner companies that launched NFT BAZL.

"On the side, there is a QR code that a client can scan in order to go to the marketplace where he or she can purchase the (digital) piece of art," Milhado told Bisnow

Prices for the NFTs will start around $1K, according to Milhado. Some physical art pieces will also be for sale.

Buyers will also receive perks at SLS properties, such as access to events, hotel room upgrades and other special offers.

In typical Miami fashion, SLS South Beach is hosting a party to promote the partnership this week, featuring a performance by DJ Kasseus, a London-based mixed-media artist who will create artwork on the spot during an immersive sound and light show and make it available for purchase on the NFT marketplace directly afterward.

Known for its whimsical hospitality touches and collaborations with trendy, high-end designers and chefs, SLS has seven luxury properties under its brand umbrella in Beverly Hills, Miami, the Bahamas, Cancun and Dubai, with two more scheduled to open by 2023 in Argentina and Scottsdale, Arizona.

SLS is part of hospitality company Ennismore, which has 14 brands across 87 properties. In October, Ennismore joined forces with French hospitality giant Accor in a joint venture.