‘A part of the community’: Owner of the Foothills Event Center discusses its sale
Mardie Caldwell, owner of the Foothills Event Center in Grass Valley, said phone calls began pouring in from community members expressing sympathy and best wishes after she announced earlier this week that the event center will be transferred to new owners this summer.
The space at 400 Idaho Maryland Drive in Grass Valley will no longer be an event center.
Caldwell said the center would have no issue going forward with clients’ events through July, and that other upcoming clients had been contacted and offered refunds — or, in the case of some of the clients planning weddings at the center, shifted their plans to Caldwell’s outdoor venue, Rough & Ready Vineyards.
“Most people have been understanding, not a problem at all,” said Caldwell on client reception to news of the event center’s closure.
The sale was preceded by a difficult period of over a year, as the venue ceased to operate due to the pandemic, and then did not receive assistance it sought through various grant programs.
Caldwell emphasized that it takes a great deal of resources to run a venue like this one, explaining that, in addition to continuing to pay for insurance and other expenses, the event center held onto its staff throughout the pandemic without income.
“It was important to me to honor our employees,” she said.
Throughout this period, according to Caldwell, the venue lost tens of thousands of dollars.
“When the offer came in for the building, I really couldn’t turn it down,” said Caldwell.
According to Caldwell, that offer came from another local business, Ag Natural — a garden center located at 403 Idaho Maryland Road in Grass Valley.
Ag Natural owner Roy Harris said Wednesday that the sale was still in the escrow stage, adding he would not comment further on the deal until it was completed.
Concerning Rough & Ready Vineyards, at 17860 Cattle Drive in Rough and Ready, Caldwell said business there “is going really well, really healthy” as clients continue to book the venue for their weddings.
Rough & Ready Vineyards will also have wine coming out for sale in August and September, said Caldwell, and those interested can visit the vineyards’ website — roughandreadyvineyards.com — in order to sign up for its mailing list.
Caldwell said she will miss the concerts and other events which have been held at the Foothills Event Center, which she described as having been a great asset for the community during the last eight years.
“We’re really going to miss being a part of the community on that part.”
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com
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