Major clubs at Mulwala and Barooga were forced to watch patrons walk out the door hours before they brought in the new year.
Mulwala Water Ski Club chief executive Peter Duncan revealed the venue's accommodation bookings went from 100 per cent to 6 per cent as the Victorian government announced it would shut its border entirely to NSW on New Year's Eve.
"It's been devastating," Mr Duncan said.
"For businesses in Mulwala, this is our peak time and it's where you make all your money for the rest of the year.
"I was in the club on New Year's Eve and groups of people put their drinks down and walked out.
"To top that off, we had a good last three months and we came off JobKeeper on January 4, so the support that was there when you really needed it is no longer."
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Mr Duncan said bar sales in 2021 had already dropped by 80 per cent and gaming profits plummeted by 55 per cent, highlighted by the fact more than three-quarters of the club's patrons are Victorians, with the majority from Melbourne.
"Last time when we had the (border) bubble, we still managed around 50 per cent of trade, but this time it hasn't come back," he said.
Barooga Sporties chief executive Bobby Brooks described the impact of the border closure as "falling off a cliff" with a 60 per cent downturn from the last five days of 2020 compared to the first five days of 2021.
"Our accommodation has gone from 100 per cent to 30 per cent and we've virtually lost everything for the rest of this month," Mr Brooks said.
"We've chopped about 600 hours a week out of our roster, that's equivalent to 16 full-time jobs for us."
Mr Brooks said more than 300 bookings had been taken for New Year's Eve, but the kitchen put out just 64 meals following the mass exodus from the Murray River town.
"Every part of our venue was booked and it ended up being one of the quietest New Year's Eves in our 40-year history," he added.
Barooga Sporties could temporarily close if border restrictions are in place for a significant amount of time.