Evermore Park was a fantasy adventure theme park in Pleasant Grove, Utah.[3] Opened on September 29, 2018, the park allowed guests who visited to interact with trained actors who portrayed fantasy characters.[4][5] The only traditional ride was "The Evermore Express", a small train that traveled around the park.[6] Evermore has been compared to the fictional Westworld, renaissance fairs and Choose Your Own Adventure books.[7][8] The property's landlord declared the park permanently closed on April 8, 2024.[2]

Evermore Park
Location382 South Evermore Lane, Pleasant Grove, Utah, United States
Coordinates40°21′32″N 111°45′58″W / 40.359°N 111.766°W / 40.359; -111.766
StatusDefunct
OpenedSeptember 20, 2018 (2018-09-20)[1]
ClosedApril 8, 2024 (2024-04-08)[2]
OwnerKen Bretschneider
ThemeMedieval / fantasy
Operating seasonYear-round, with various breaks
Websitewww.evermore.com Edit this at Wikidata

History edit

Evermore Park was created by Ken Bretschneider, the founder of DigiCert. According to Bretschneider, the idea for Evermore partially arose from his tradition of elaborately decorating his home in Lindon, Utah for Halloween each year.[9] The concept for Evermore Park was debuted at Salt Lake ComicCon in 2014, with the park announced to be opened the next year.[10] Josh Shipley left Walt Disney Imagineering to become CCO of Evermore in 2017.[11] The park had its soft opening on September 20, 2018, before its grand opening on September 29, 2018. The park experienced financial difficulties, with some buildings and areas of the park remained unfinished throughout the park's life.[12][13] By June 2020, several lawsuits had been filed against Evermore by contractors who had not been paid in full for the construction of the park's buildings.[14] In 2021, many of the park's actors were laid off, and the land and buildings of the park were sold to Brandon Fugal, the chairman of Colliers International-Utah, a part of Colliers International, reportedly allowing the park to break even.[15][16]

One of the attraction ideas Bretschneider and visual effects artist Curtis Hickman had envisioned for the project, which would combine virtual reality with a physical environment, was spun off from Evermore into a separate business known as The Void, which also faced difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[17][18][19]

Features edit

Evermore did not have traditional rides. Instead, most of the guest experience revolved around interactions with actors in the park's fantasy setting, where guests were encouraged to roleplay for themselves and take part in the park's storyline. Visitors in the park were referred to as "World Walkers", and were permitted to come in costume.[3] Guests were able to join one of the park's guilds by completing tasks given to them by characters.[20]

The park also offered archery, axe throwing, and a themed train experience.[13] Vander's Keep, a themed building attached to the park, was a restaurant and bar, and later an events venue.[21]

The park was seasonal and only open on weekends. The first seasonal experience was called Lore, a Halloween-themed storyline during the fall. During the day, there was the Magical World of Lore, a family-friendly Halloween experience; at night, the park became the Cursed World of Lore, a haunted attraction.[13] The second seasonal experience was Aurora, a winter world loosely inspired by the works of Charles Dickens. The final seasonal experience was Mythos, lasting from spring into summer.[citation needed]

Taylor Swift litigation edit

Evermore entangled itself in legal proceedings with American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.[22][23] In February 2021, Evermore Park filed a lawsuit against Swift over the name of her 2020 album Evermore alleging trademark infringement.[24] Later that month, TAS Rights Management countersued the park on behalf of Swift, claiming that the park was playing Swift's songs "Love Story", "You Belong with Me" and "Bad Blood" without proper licensing.[25] In March, both parties agreed to drop their lawsuits.[26]

References edit

  1. ^ Tuttle, Brittani (September 10, 2018). "Evermore Park to host experience park's grand opening on Sept. 29". Attractions Magazine.
  2. ^ a b Jayswal, Palak (April 9, 2024). "Utah's fantasy-themed Evermore Park has closed permanently". sltrib.com. Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Evermore Park FAQ". Evermore.com. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  4. ^ Tuttle, Brittani (September 10, 2018). "Evermore Park to host experience park's grand opening on Sept. 29". Attractions Magazine. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  5. ^ Erickson, Courtnie (August 26, 2022). "Evermore Park In Utah Is The Stuff Of Childhood Dreams". OnlyInYourState. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  6. ^ "Evermore Park Mythos | Explore Utah Valley". www.utahvalley.com. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  7. ^ MacDonald, Brady (September 24, 2019). "Is Evermore the future of immersive theme park experiences?". Blooloop. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Martens, Todd (November 9, 2018). "Westworld, Ho! Inside Evermore, where the future of theme parks is not about rides but play". Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ "Interview - Ken Bretschneider and Josh Shipley | attractionsmanagement.com". www.attractionsmanagement.com/. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  10. ^ "The ambitious dream of Evermore Park on its way to reality in Utah". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  11. ^ Merlin, Lalla (June 12, 2018). "Evermore - how Utah's new smart park is imagineered for fantasy gaming". Blooloop. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  12. ^ Horwitz, Abel (September 25, 2019). "Evermore: A World Unto Itself". Medium. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  13. ^ a b c "Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove is Ever So Remarkable – Front Row Reviewers". Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  14. ^ Foreman, Kelsie (August 21, 2020). "Evermore faces financial ruin after failing to pay contractors". Utah Business. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  15. ^ "Evermore Park cancels winter production, dozens of employees laid off". FOX 13 News Utah (KSTU). January 17, 2021. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  16. ^ Alsever, Jennifer (May 16, 2022). "Evermore is not dead yet". Utah Business. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  17. ^ "Evermore Adventure Park concept evolves into 'The Void'". Deseret News. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  18. ^ "Welcome to The Void". Polygon. Vox Media. May 5, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  19. ^ Hollister, Sean (November 17, 2020). "The VR arcade that Disney crowned is teetering on the brink of extinction". The Verge. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  20. ^ Ockey, Natalie (January 3, 2021). "Evermore Park | Pleasant Grove". Utah's Adventure Family. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  21. ^ "Vanders Keep". www.vanderskeep.com. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  22. ^ Sollin, Stutz. "Taylor Swift Sued by Utah Theme Park Over 'Evermore' Album Title". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  23. ^ Bloom, Madison (February 4, 2021). "Taylor Swift Sued By Utah Theme Park Evermore Over Trademark". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 22, 2022.
  24. ^ The Salt Lake City Tribune - "Utah fantasy theme park Evermore sues Taylor Swift over alleged trademark infringement"
  25. ^ Rolling Stone - "Taylor Swift's Rights Management Company Countersues Evermore Theme Park"
  26. ^ Variety - "Taylor Swift and Evermore Park Drop Lawsuits Against One Another, With No Money Exchanged"

External links edit