New Surfside Beach spa working to overcome location's illegal history

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Its signs are different. Its staff is different. Its services are different.

Yet customers who came to the Palm Plaza's old massage parlor are still showing up for more than the new business will provide.

"I had one gentleman come in one time and he just took a look and said, 'Oh, I think I'm in the wrong place,'" Carol Roselli, owner of Massage Wellness, recalled, "And I said, 'If you're looking for more than a massage, you're in the wrong place.' And he said, 'I'm in the wrong place.'"

Roselli owns the Palm Plaza, and watched as police raided the Palm Massage, the previous tenant, two different times to make arrests for prostitution.

After the business closed for good, she decided to follow her life-long dream and open a massage parlor and spa of her own.

In addition to massages, she has expanded the location's offerings to include facials, waxing, and other skin-caring activities. She's considering adding makeup services for weddings and special events.

"We're trying to build something great here, we're trying to do a good service, a good family oriented, faith-based service," esthetician Amanda Duncan explained.

Roselli says she's turned as many as three would-be customers away in a single day because they were looking for more than the parlor advertises.

Others say they aren't comfortable with Roselli's only current masseuse, a man, although she says she wants to hire a woman as well.

Now, clients have to fill out an information form and speak to Roselli and her staff before they're led past the waiting room.

"This is going to be the front line," Roselli said, pointing at the front desk. "And I am here. Nobody's getting to the back until they get through me."

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