(Bloomberg) -- Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire included offices in glamorous locales in multiple countries—from a luxe office building in Chicago to exclusive residences in the Bahamas. And then there was a more off-beat spot that was popular with his employees: the Margaritaville Beach Resort.

Since FTX and its related entities filed for bankruptcy in November, questions have swirled about the exchange’s lax accounting practices and profligate spending. While the names of FTX Trading Ltd’s largest creditors have not yet been publicly disclosed, the Nassau-based resort popped up among those listed by Alameda Research. 

Margaritaville Beach Resort’s unsecured claim of $55,319 ranks behind debts owed to Amazon Web Services ($4.7 million), law firm Herbert Smith Freehills ($120,000) and Bloomberg Finance LP ($80,000). 

Waitstaff on shift at the Jimmy Buffett-themed resort over two days in December said employees working with FTX entities stayed at the hotel for several months in 2022. Staffers described them as nice, friendly, and generally pleasant.

The staff who asked to remain unnamed as they didn’t have permission to speak to the media, said the people affiliated with FTX stayed in One Particular Harbour, a high-end building next to the main resort. 

Per the resort employees, workers stayed for weeks or months at a time in roughly 20 different suites booked under Alameda’s name. On weekdays, a shuttle picked them up from the hotel in the morning and dropped them back off at the end of the workday, generally in the late afternoon or early evening, according to two staff members.  

These long stays led to cordial relationships with resort staff. One, who asked to remain anonymous, said they almost cried when the last of the employees left the resort, which they said occurred about a month ago. 

The resort’s operators might have less fond associations. As unsecured creditors, the Margaritaville ranks low on the priority list to recover funds in the bankruptcy case. Managers for the resort declined to comment, and the resort did not respond to an email seeking additional comment about the debt.

Why FTX would establish roots at the local Margaritaville is unclear. The resort is nearly 10 miles away from a stalled FTX campus, a five-acre plot purchased for $4.5 million in cash and set to house 1,000 employees. Construction never began—leaving behind an empty, overgrown plot encased by flimsy fencing. 

The Margaritaville is also 15 miles—or a more than a 30 minute drive away—from Albany, private residences where Bankman-Fried and close associates lived and worked. That penthouse overlooks a marina filled with dozens of boats, many of them multi-tiered yachts. Just across the street from their luxury dwelling, there’s pristine beach—white sands and gently lapping ocean.

  • Read more: Inside Sam Bankman-Fried’s Bahamian Penthouse After FTX’s Fall

By contrast, the Margaritaville Beach Resort sits between downtown Nassau’s bustling cruise hub and Arawak Cay, a strip of restaurants serving fish dishes and vendors selling straw goods. 

Still, the themed hotel has its perks. The Vacation Café serves up rum-laden cocktails like the “Bahama Mama” and the “5 O’Clock Somewhere,” and the bar features live music. Staff members say that like any other hotel guest, the workers would hang out around the resort and sometimes explore the town a bit.

“They were cool,” one employee at the resort told Bloomberg. “I never had a problem with any of them.”

Another employee said that they even had plans to go out on the town with their crypto friends and explore Nassau. Based on recent events, they never quite got the chance. 

--With assistance from Katanga Johnson.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.