Since 1985 - Our History
Your club has been on the internet since 2007 but was established 20+ years prior. The history below has been compiled from many sources over the years and will continue to be updated as needed.
The Early Days - before 2004
Foothills started in 1985 as a gathering of friends at house parties in Georgia. The premise of good friends having fun together in a no pressure situation was key. As a result the parties grew and a more accommodating place needed to be found.
The party was moved to a hotel in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as local Georgia laws were too strict. A no drugs policy was adopted for obvious reasons, and no nudity in the ballroom policy was put in to effect to make newer couples to the lifestyle a lot more comfortable. As it turns out it also follows South Carolina Law perfectly.
The hotel was reluctant at first but warmed up to the group immediately. As a result they had to come up with a name, and because the ballroom was named the Palmetto Room, the Palmetto Society was born. After several ownership changes, and a few name changes at the hotel it was determined that a change in venue was required.
It was at this point the name Palmetto Socials was adopted with a move to a hotel (Days Inn) in Greenville, South Carolina. The parties grew, however, with the failing health of the original owner, some of the luster seemed to leave, and a small core of older generation members were left to support the club.
After his eventual death, his wife and daughter continued to run the club. By then the club seemed to be settled into that core group of older couples. Soon after, the daughter was left to run things, and she decided to fold the club. At this time, three individuals got together and decided to take over the club and Foothills Connections was born.
After an initial period of learning, it was apparent that committee could not run the club and Dexter stepped up and took charge. Soon the club started to boom again. The club has since kept Foothills in the name, and is still referred to as Foothills. The club stayed in Greenville, South Carolina until 2004, when the deterioration of the hotel (Days Inn) necessitated a move.
As luck would have it the hotel where the club initially started (Heron Circle) was available. The first party was held in the main building using three small ballrooms, including the Palmetto Room. As anyone at that party could tell you we needed more room. So it was decided to use the extremely large ballroom across the parking lot. All of a sudden the motel was sold, and things were looking up.
A week before the annual pool party it was found out that another hotel had to be found as the remodeling process was not going smooth, and only a handful of rooms would be available. In less than a week a new hotel (Country Hearth) was located just up the road. It was a slightly confusing time, but the club was intact.
May - 2007. The Foothills Club website is born
Since the beginning the club has had its ups and downs, but continued to grow. Taking into account the wishes of it’s members, and the ability to bring it to fruition has kept The Foothills Club a friendly no pressure place to meet new couples and have fun with people who become longtime friends.
The Foothills Club wrote the final chapter of its book with its Spartanburg hotel (Country Hearth) as we turned the lights out one last time. For over 3 years, parties had been held on a monthly basis and initially, management seemed intent on making improvements to the hotel. However, things took a turn for the worse as it appeared the hotel was being neglected in many ways. With sell out crowds, the hotel could no longer support the group and a new location was secured. In September 2008, the club moved its monthly events to a larger and more luxurious hotel just minutes away. (Radisson)
Due to issues with the new location's management, the club moved back to the Country Hearth, its location prior to August. Under new management, the hotel promised to undergo many exciting changes in 2009. We anticipated things to being very different.
New Year's Eve 2008-2009
Forced to host the NYE party in the Atrium of the Country Hearth, the club made the best of the situation and hosted its largest party ever at this location. The Atrium was packed and the party went on well into 2009. The club that had forced the move into the Atrium soon closed its doors after its free NYE party gimmick fizzled like wet fireworks. (1/2007 until 1/2009)
The passing of Dexter caught us all by surprise, but his wish was for the club to continue on. The September party went on as usual in celebration of his life.
New Year's Eve 2009
A long term contract was signed with a 3-star hotel (Radisson) for 2010, offering our members the same hotel rate as was currently being paid for a huge improvement in amenities. Still in the Spartanburg area, the club continued to grow with many new couples visiting each and every month. The Foothills Club continues to be A Lifestyle Tradition. This change was necessitated by the continued downward spiral of the hotel and management. The New Years's Eve party was on the verge of being cancelled due to the power being cut off for non-payment. With the writing on the wall, it was time to make a move.
With an economy that just wasn't getting any better, and with the host hotel (Radisson to Clarion) suffering the loss of it's franchise name, the club was forced to locate another venue. Feeling it to be very important to find a location convenient to everyone in the upstate and have an owner/manager who is willing to do what it takes not only to earn the club's business but keep it too, few locations really qualified. As luck would have it, the club moved into a new location in Clinton, just off of I-26. Convenient to Columbia and the Greenville/Spartanburg area, this location is one that can continue to make The Foothills Club the party place to visit. As a side note, the host hotel (Clarion) in Spartanburg soon shuttered its doors, only to re-open under a new flag but to later close after a 36 million dollar lawsuit.
After over 10 years of hosting events, Marcina (wife of the late Dexter) decided it was time for her to personally move in a different direction. It was a hard and emotional decision for her, and the reins were turned over to two couples who had been a part of staff and operations of the club for quite some time. The July 9th party marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new attitude for a club that has been around longer than any other club in the upstate. We look forward to many more years to come!
Ownership is different, and the club continues to do what Foothills has done over the years, make changes as society, laws and the lifestyle change. With our initial party, we introduced brand new state of the art lighting and sound equipment, custom built stripper pole, more decorations, more excitement and more fun than what many thought possible.
Going back to what made the club successful with meet and greets on Friday night and Saturday afternoon with food, snacks and more throughout the afternoon and evening. A new tagline was introduced, 'The Foothills Club....more than a club, it's a lifestyle'. This is a reflection of who the club really is. It's not a sex club, it's a club where lifetime members soon become lifelong friends. Many members associate outside club events including camping, bike rides, vacations and even family activities.
New website and club logo are introduced representing a new attitude, vision and goal to make The Foothills Club the premiere club in the Carolina's once again.
Expansion into the Anderson area. Club members from all over the Southeast continued to attend parties in Clinton but many indicated a desire for something closer to them. After surveying the area, looking at hotels from the NC/SC line on I-85 and I-26, looking at options in the Greenville/Spartanburg area as well as points to the south, it was decided to concentrate efforts in the southern part of the state - Anderson.
Locating a hotel with a ballroom is the first challenge, the second one being hotel management accepting a group of our nature. After a lot of research, a hotel that satisfied many of our requirements was located. With over 100 rooms available and 2 ballrooms, we couldn't have asked for better. Plus, convenient to shopping, restaurants and I-85, this location offered it all.
Parties were held from February through April and all were successful, however it was clear that changes needed to be made on our part and management's part in order to make this the successful location we believed this could be. This would require some time to work out and the club was forced to move its Memorial Day party to Clinton.
An official agreement was hammered out and parties once again began hosting July 2012.
2012-2013 New Year's Eve
This 2 night event carried on the tradition of Foothills NYE events in the past but updated to 2012. A complementary bar was provided both nights, but NYE couldn't have been any better. With over 300 people attending the 2-night event, over 20 feet of Times Square Coverage, champagne toast, and a balloon drop with over 500 balloons, 2012 was ushered out with smiles, laughter and tears. 2013 was brought in like not other with the hope and promise of new beginning based on Foothills traditions.
May 2013 The Clinton Hotel is sold
We had known for quite some time that the Howard Johnson/Clinton Hotel was in financial trouble and it was just a matter of time before a new owner would emerge. Unfortunately, the new owner had no intentions of keeping the property as a hotel, instead had plans that included a QT gas station among other retail possibilities. The current hotel management and staff were informed that the property was to be vacated on or before July 10, 2013 making our last party, a Grand Finale party for June.
We were then told the hotel would officially close May 30, 2013, making our last party in May the Grande Finale.
Parties continue monthly in Anderson as we continue to look for an additional venue to host lifestyle events.