LOL: I was on a call with an Ice Technician the other day. He deadpanned it, saying he was always going in circles. That was my little chuckle for the day.
Later that day, I read a story in the Cape Breton Post that an arena in Dominion, Nova Scotia was finally upgrading their ice re-surfacer to a new model. It’s time to retire their 22-year old propane-powered Olympia, the article stated.
“Twenty-two years old!”, I thought to myself. “That’s a nice life for a resurfacer.” I went hunting for life span of different ice resurfacers and found that many organizations figure on a 10-15 year span — but I know of many arenas with resurfacers much older than that. The Trenton Minor Sports Community Centre in Trenton, NS, for example, recently replaced its 18-year-old Zamboni with a new model.
And then I looked at the picture that accompanied the Cape Breton Post article. I couldn’t believe that a machine that old could look so good. So I contacted John Wadden, the Dominion Arena’s manager, to ask him about it.
“It is 22-years old, but I’ve taken care of it,” Wadden admits. “I’m mechanically inclined, so I’ve been able to make sure it’s running properly all the time.” The Dominion Arena is a single pad that runs six-and-a-half months each year, but during the hockey season you’d be hard pressed to find an hour of prime-time ice in the schedule. And forget about weekend ice. The schedule is full up.
The truth is it’s because of the age of the Olympia, not because it’s in poor repair, that the Dominion Arena’s non-profit board is slapping down $100,000 for the new machine. The machine, by the way, should roll into tis town on the sea-bound coast near the end of March.
“We don’t want to be in a position where we desperately need a replacement and nothing is in sight,” Wadden explains.
So what’s the secret to keeping a ice resurfacer looking as good as this one in Dominion?
“Just take good care of it like you would take care of your own equipment,” Wadden says. Having one main master also helps, since Wadden has been behind the wheel of this machine ever since it set studded grips on the ice at their arena. Wadden is the only full-time employee at the rink; there are three seasonal workers employed while the ice is in.
I ask him if they’ll keep their old Olympia as a backup.
He says “no”.
I ask him if they’ll try to sell it.
He says “yes”.
He asks me if I know anyone in the market.
I say “No, but I’ll ask around.”
At last count, the Olympia had 5,936 hours on it. Wadden says that everything works just fine — maybe the next owner will want to put a new conditioner on it, which he figures could cost $10K or more.
“But it could blow up tomorrow, don’t get me wrong,” he says.
If you’re interested in a well-used but fully functional 22-year-old Olympia, give me a call. I’ll hook you up with John.