Around Our Town...Business Spotlight
Hilltop Shopping Center
05/01/2005 - Around Our Town...Fifty Years and Counting
HILLTOP SHOPPING CENTER – Going and Growing
Anyone living in Casper will recognize Hilltop Shopping Center as a long standing landmark. Hilltop is the oldest shopping center in Casper. Our Town Casper is pleased to congratulate Hilltop Shopping Center on the celebration of over 50 years in business.
Locally owned and operated and with strong ties of loyalty to the Casper community, Hilltop is easily accessed (located at the corner of East 2nd and Country Club Dr.) with plenty of free parking.
Hilltop originated in 1954 with three units, having a parking area for 400 cars and room for expansion when the need arose. The first tenants were a service station, drug store, and the Casper Commissary. By 1955 there was the commissary, Standard Station, Drug Mart, liquor store, shoe repair, bakery, barber shop, beauty shop, and cleaning establishment.
When the 3rd anniversary rolled around, Hilltop had new additions and 23 active businesses. The commissary added a hardware store. By 1958, the ever expanding Hilltop added the bowling alley, now occupied by Hilltop Bingo. In 1959 the Terrace Building just west of the bowling alley was added, which now houses Hilltop Laundromat and The New Jim Stengel Insurance Agency. Hilltop had become the largest shopping center in Wyoming.
As the years progressed, the two story building which housed the Viking was added. Christina's Lingerie, Bridal and Formal Wear now occupies the building. Another new building north of the bowling alley was added. This included the barber shop, beauty shop, and post office. Currently it houses the Shopping Center office, Hilltop Barber, and Curves for Women. The lower level was occupied by Montgomery Ward Automotive and now is home to Skytop Automotive.
Hilltop National Bank, which now occupies its own building in the southeast portion of the Shopping Center was founded in 1964 as part of the Shopping Center.
Papa Murphy's Pizza, Blimpie Subs & Salads, Ralph's Books & Cards, Country Charm, Advance America, Hill Music, Image by Design, Dollar Man, World Wide Travel, Hi-Tech Wireless, Nate's Hilltop Flowers, Computer Logic, Western Divers, Wyoming Sewing Center, and Appliance and Furniture Rentall are all neighbors in the main lot of the center.
In 1961 Albertson's Grocery Store purchased the Casper Commissary, and in 1965 they purchased Hilltop Bakery. In May of 1996 Albertson's, after 3 complete remodels, built the new store...a very welcome addition to the shopping center. Many changes have taken place over the years. Extensions and remodeling continue to take place today. At the present time the shopping center contains 24 businesses.
Hilltop Inc. was started in 1954 by Thomas L. Sandison, who passed away in 1973. The shopping center was a dream come true for him. It is now managed by his son Jim Sandison, a third generation Casper businessman. Robert Sandison and Tom's wife, Jeanne Sandison still take an active part in the day to day operations of the Center.