From Virgil Abloh and the Jonas Brothers to Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, Purple has hobnobbed with every big star who comes to town. As the director of VIP relations for Groot Hospitality for the past 13 years, Purple is tasked with maintaining the scenes and status of nightclubs and restaurants like Liv, Swan, Komodo, Story, Papi Steak—and now The Goodtime Hotel. Purple, who got the moniker for his predilection for wearing purple T-shirts as the new kid in his elementary school, got his start guarding the velvet rope at Miami’s hottest venues like Mansion, Opium, Crobar, Oxygen, Dream and Dolce. After coming to the U.S. from Costa Rica with his family in 1994, he started throwing house parties in high school. “When I turned 21, I was able to go to South Beach and, as I got older, my crowd got older and moved to South Beach with me. There weren’t promoters at that point, so I was working at three clubs in one night.”
A meeting with David Grutman and Joe Lopez changed the trajectory of his career and he soon started working at Liv. “Dave is one of my biggest mentors and champions,” says Purple. “He’s brought me under his wing and is always teaching me how to grow and lead.” But, being Purple is a 24/7 job with very little time off or away from his phone. “I’m so used to it that it’s second nature by now,” he says. “If I’m not bothered by calls, I’m not doing my job.” His Instagram, which shows off behind-the-scenes aspects of his work and life, has garnered 244,000 followers.
“It happened super organically and it’s something I can do that’s special,” he says. “I can show a Miami that no one else sees.”
Purple is extremely health conscious (he maintains a vegan diet) and doesn’t party himself: he’s often found leaving the club at 4 A.M. and heading to a Barry’s Bootcamp class at 6 A.M. “I’ve always said that my health is my biggest wealth,” he says. “I was always was the sporty, healthy guy, never the party guy, and sports always helped me stay clear of bad influences. When everyone else was out drinking and doing drugs, I was running track and playing basketball.”
Click through the gallery above for a look at a few of Groot Hospitality’s hottest nightclubs and restaurants.