Fantasy theme park hopes to be source of artistry for BYU

Evermore founder and CEO Ken Bretschneider cuts the ribbon at the entrance to Evermore, accompanied by his wife, Patrice. (Lauren Lethbridge)

Inside the doors of the fantasy theme park Evermore stands a huge animatronic creature called the Fey King. Visitors approach the king and interact with him. Typically the king will give those who approach a new name, usually relating to what the visitor is wearing or doing. After seeing the Fey King, patrons then step into the past to enter an authentic European village, according to marketing director Bradley Cornilles.

The Fey King personally interacts with anyone who approaches him inside Evermore Park. (Lauren Lethbridge)

Cornilles said the staff of Evermore hopes the park will become a source of artistry for BYU students by eventually opening internships that draw from BYU’s drama, art and makeup departments.

Cornilles said Evermore has been a longtime dream for founder and CEO Ken Bretschneider.

Bretschneider is the founder of The Void, an immersive virtual reality park, and founder and CEO of DigiCert, a Utah-based Internet security company.

The park allows visitors to step back in time through state-of-the-art effects, cutting-edge technology and talented staff, according to Evermore’s website.

Evermore visitors can walk through the tents and buildings, interacting with costumed actors. (Lauren Lethbridge)

Once inside Evermore, patrons enter an old-world European village complete with over 1,000 artifacts collected from Europe. Bretschneider and his team spent a year traveling across Europe and sent back 14 container ships carrying pieces like columns, girders and statues.  

“The park is amazing with the attention to detail with the buildings and the outfits. It’s still a little under construction so I’m hoping I can come back again when it’s completely finished, but even now I’m still blown away,” said park visitor Jonathan Kruyer.

Kruyer traveled with his mother and sister from Las Vegas to attend the soft opening of the park on Sept. 29. After following Evermore’s construction progress for several years, Kruyer said he was more than willing to make the drive out to see it.

(From left) AnnaLee, Tia and Jonathan Kruyer dressed up for their park visit, something that Evermore encourages visitors to do. (Lauren Lethbridge)

The park is currently offering a Halloween program called Lore, which is open from 6:30 – 11 p.m. until Nov. 3.

Over 100 costumed actors roam the park to give visitors an authentic and magical visit. Along with interacting with the actors, guests can purchase food and souvenirs, play games, take photos, get their faces painted, enjoy live animals and watch performances like sword fighting and fire dancing.

Cornilles said Evermore owners give local artists and actors the opportunity to share their talents.

“We are basically a conglomerate of artists,” Cornilles said.

Pleasant Grove Mayor Guy Fugal said Evermore is expected to bring revenue to the city and make Pleasant Grove a destination spot. Fugal has been closely following Evermore’s progress. 

Fugal and his wife Paula, lived briefly in Europe. They said the park does an amazing job creating an authentic European village and they felt like they were stepping back in time when they entered the park.

The park is currently about 60 percent complete, Bretschneider said. According to Cornilles, Evermore should be open from 11 a.m – 11 p.m by spring 2019. To learn more, visit Evermore’s website.

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