Cañon City Lanes is a 20-lane bowling alley in Cañon City, Colorado that first opened in 1960 and has been a “landmark entertainment location” ever since— especially after Rose and James Selko took full ownership in March 2019 after it closed down for a brief period.
“We moved to Cañon City when we retired in 2015,” Rose said. “We were in a bowling league, a club group that met twice a week. It’s a favorite activity of our kids and grandkids. Then all of a sudden there was an announcement that the bowling alley was going to close.’”
Since taking ownership, the business has become a full-blown family operation; the couple’s oldest daughter is the accountant, their older son is the main mechanic, and their younger son handles strategic planning.
After normal operations were shut down for eight months due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Selkos reopened the bowling alley just a few days before Christmas—the first day of winter break for Cañon City’s local schools—and were shocked at the community response.
“They were really excited to have the bowling alley reopened,” Rose said.
During those eight months after COVID hit, the Selkos managed to keep all of their employees and used the time to improve the bowling alley—cleaning, painting, organizing, evaluating inventory, and making other internal improvements. They started to address the solar project they had been thinking about after COVID slowed down.
“We got an understanding of our current and projected solar needs,” Rose said. “Then, as the solar incentives came about, we wanted to look at it in more depth. That’s when we really started searching for the company we wanted to perform the solar project.”
The couple landed on Apollo Energy and got to work securing funds for the project. That’s where CCEF came in.
“We really appreciated the working experience with CCEF,” Rose said. “Responses were quick—if not that day, the next day—and the project was completed in a quick time frame.”
The Selkos secured a Clean Conversion Loan through CCEF for a 140-panel (570w per panel) rooftop solar array system on their 17,000-square foot commercial space. The solar array will produce 110% of their current electricity usage and has projected bill savings of $18,703 in the first year of operation.
“The loan allows the opportunity for us to pay it down when we have the available funds, that way we can reduce our monthly payments. We can make as many deposits or additions to our payment schedule as we want through the year,” Rose said. “The whole project helped us meet our clean energy goals.”
The Selkos feel that clean energy is important for the Cañon City community—as is the bowling alley. With a sizable 20 lanes, the alley is often fully used and open every night; the local high school has PE class there once a week, they house league bowlers consistently, and there’s an adult population with special needs that are able to use adaptive devices to bowl.
“Our feeling is that anybody should be able to come into our bowling alley to bowl,” Rose said. “It’s here for the entire community.”
This is CCEF’s first project in Fremont County. For more information on our Clean Conversion Loan or other commercial loan products, click here.