Bob Petty, left, and Cory Davidson are the new owners of the newly-renovated Okanagan Ice & Training Centre, the two-thirds sized rink at 1322 Stevens Rd. on the Westside. Inset, Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd trained at Okanagan Ice this summer.
"Hockey on small rinks is great," said Davidson of the two-thirds size Okanagan Ice & Training Centre he and Petty own at 1322 Stevens Rd. on the Westside.
"It's great training, you get lots of touch time with the puck and everyone from little kids to NHLers love it."
Speaking of NHLers, while in Kelowna this summer, Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd kept in shape at Okanagan Ice, as did Hayley Wickenheiser, the former captain of the Canadian womens' hockey team.
Petty and Davidson bought the 15-year-old rink in early July and have been busy renovating.
There's a new rink base and new ice, repaired boards, revamped Zamboni, refreshed dressing rooms and overall cleaning.
"This is an incredible facility with quite the following in Westside and Kelowna hockey circles," said Petty.
"But it got run down. We've put a lot of money and heavy lifting into it and have created a great businesss that we want to build up. It's much needed in the community."
With an ice surface measuring 120 feet by 55 feet, Okanagan Ice is two-thirds the size of a regular ice sheet.
But that makes it perfect for initiation and novice level minor hockey games for four, five and six year olds to play five a side and not be overwhelmed by the scope of the playing area.
For older kids and adults, the size is ideal for fast three-on-three games.
"We're looking at so many user groups," said Petty.
"West Kelowna Minor Hockey will be here for their five-on-five initiation and novice games, plus there's training groups for older kids. We'll rent to anyone that wants to use the ice and we're looking at getting men's, women's and co-ed leagues going, as well as some moms and tots and seniors skating, birthday parties and corporate events."
Hourly rental rates vary according to season and time of day, but all are touted as affordable by Petty and Davidson.
High season from now through March sees rates of $120 to $180 an hour, April thorugh June is $100 to $120 an hour and summer is $120 to $150 an hour.
There tends to be lots of bookings for the prime after-school and evening hours when minor hockey and league play is.
But the goal is also to fill up the underutilized daytime hours with programs for moms and tots, seniors, womens' league and mens lunch hour league.
Both Petty and Davidson have other jobs.
Petty is the chief financial officer for a property development group and Davidson is in sales and marketing.
According to their backgrounds, Petty will look after the rink's finances and Davidson the marketing.
They have kept the previous manager - Chad Costa - and there are two other employees to keep everything running smoothly.
Petty and Davidson both have two children in minor hockey who have played at the rink when it was under the previous ownership.
"We have a passion for hockey and have kids in minor hockey," said Petty.
"We saw the potential for this place. It's not something that's going to make a ton of money, but it will make some money and it will be fun and exciting and successful and offer something that the community needs."
In addition to the year-round ice surface, Okanagan Ice has a viewing balcony and indoor viewing area upstairs, four themed dressing rooms - Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers (Davidson's favourite team), Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins (Petty's favourite team) and dryland training area and gym upstairs.