Our Hilltop story is sweet, and of course near and dear to our hearts. Grab a cup of tea and settle in, because it’s worth the read.
It all started in 1963 with my Grandfather Korny Hansen. He was living in Red Deer with my
Grandmother June and their children. An ad for a densely treed, 20 acre property with a
gorgeous view of Sylvan Lake caught his eye one day. After encouragement from friends and
much convincing of his wife, Korny loaded up the family and they moved out to the acreage
with no running water or many of the other amenities they had grown used to in the city.
After a couple of decades as a beloved hobby farm with horses, pigs, chickens, dogs and
treehouses, the decision was made by Korny to turn it into a 9 hole, golf course. And with grass greens, which was a luxury at the time! My father Brian, at 26 years of age, assisted with
clearing trees, seeding grass and other numerous landscaping projects to initiate the beautiful grounds that exist today.
It was in 1989, a few years after Top O’ The Hill Golf Course was well underway and thriving,
that Korny passed away. It was too much for my Grandma to run the golf course on her own,
so in 1991, the business and the land were bought by my parents, and the legacy continued.
My parents, Brian and Marlis, spent 25 years running the business and this required them to
wear many hats. Dad, the overseer of all outdoor maintenance and everything creative, always had a new project on the go and still does to this day at Hilltop. Mom looked after everything accounting, staff and clubhouse related. Together, they offered a catering service and spent countless summer evenings and weekends barbecuing steaks and serving fresh summer salads. If you were lucky enough to have a Top O’ The Hill catered meal, you were unlikely to forget it.
This allowed my sisters and I to grow up on the golf course, which was about as fun as it
sounds. Unfortunately, we are all still terrible golfers. But we did learn how to parallel park a
golf cart between trees! This place was our home. So when our parents had approached us
with selling the golf course just a couple of years ago, we were understandably devastated. But none of us had a passion to run a golf course, so selling seemed like the best option. Who knew that the land remaining unsold would actually be a blessing in disguise.
That’s when the idea hit that maybe it doesn’t have to be just a golf course. I was married to
my wonderfully supportive husband, Codi, on the property in 2014 and it was incredible. I couldn’t help but wonder if others would love to be married here as well.
Fast forward a few years and we are now operating Hilltop Wedding Center with the same family that has been caring for the property for the last five decades. Hilltop is more than just a business to us. It’s a beloved opportunity to continue to share this beautiful place with as many people as we can.