The Beaver Valley Arena received some timely upgrades fit for a Western Canadian championship team.
The Beaver Valley Nitehawks will be skating on even better ice at the B.V. Arena this coming season thanks to the addition of a new Zamboni and a dehumidifier.
“We have a reputation, thanks to my operators here, of having some of the best ice in the West Kootenay, and that’s coming from players and coaches, so that says a lot about the product and keeping up with that you need to have the right equipment,” said Mark Daines, Manager of Facilities and Recreation at the Regional District.
The $115,000 ice resurfacer boasts a larger snow capacity, tighter turning radius, and a compact Chevy four-cylinder engine to ensure greater performance during heavy ice shaving and easier maintenance access. It is expected to last about 10 years before a replacement Zamboni is sought.
“5,000 hours is kind of the cap on it, and that’s when you have to think about trading it in,” said Daines. “That’s when we start to see a lot of repairs on it when we hit the 5,000 mark. You want to avoid break down, and if you have break down you have to shut down your ice and everything else.”
B.V. Arena’s former Zamboni was decommissioned after about 10 years, and was sold to an Edmonton equipment broker who will likely re-build and sell it. But the staff at the B.V. Arena takes exceptional care of the new equipment, ensuring it’s in perfect running condition over its relatively brief tenure.
“We take good care of them,” said veteran refrigeration operator Randy Grayson. “If you don’t take care of your Zam, you don’t have ice, and what are we selling here, we’re selling ice, so you’ve got to have that.”
The new addition to the B.V. Arena is currently running in its iconic blue, but Daines says he is hoping a sponsor will step up and dress it up.
The facilities manager would like to see a local company outfit the machine with one complete decal package for the 10-year life of the Zamboni, rather than a myriad of sponsors’ logos.
“We’d like to have one major sponsor on there,” said Daines. “It’s a clean slate and it’s up for grabs, if any sponsor or corporate business wants to put one big decal on it, we’re open to offers.”
The original ice groomer was invented by Frank Zamboni 65 years ago in Paramount, Calif. and has evolved into built-to-order machines that range in price from $10,000 to $200,000.
The eponymous Zamboni is now the go-to ice cleaner in North America, an indication of its popularity and efficiency on the ice.
“What they’ve done is take recommendations from operators and actually included them in the newer models to make them more user-friendly,” said Daines.
The Arena also received a new dehumidifier that was installed on the roof last week, and a roof over the wheel-chair access ramp.
The new Zamboni will be making the rounds when the ice goes in on Aug. 26 for the Nitehawks training camp.