PLEASANT GROVE (News4Utah) – An ambitious entrepreneur is transforming part of Utah County into a mythical town from medieval Europe.
It’s a construction site like no other: 12 acres of Pleasant Grove is turning into a Victorian village straight out of a fantasy book. It’s an interactive theme park called Evermore.
“It’s going to be a park really very different than anything else in the entire world,” Evermore’s Founder & CEO Ken Bretschneider told News4Utah. “It’s going to be this living immersive theatrical experience.”
There won’t be rides. Instead the thrills will come from engaging in quests that take you through the meandering pathways, forests, gardens and graveyards.
“Evermore is like a giant stage or a giant set,” Bretschneider said. “So when you think of the park it is really a massive stage that has a half a mile of walking pathways. It has about 160,000 square feet of vertical buildings that we do immersive theatrical productions so you get to live a story. You get to step into a story.”
Bretschneider says authenticity is key. He recently traveled through Europe buying ancient architectural pieces like statues and gravestones.
“These columns are like a thousand years old,” he said pointing to four pillars on the north side of the park. “They’re 11th century and they’re original.”
“We bought doors and we bought window dressings and we bought columns and pillars and different types of architectural details to really make these buildings be real in that sense,” Bretschneider said. “So we’re transplanting a big piece of Europe to Utah.”
Meanwhile inside a Lindon warehouse a team of special effects wizards are creating a cast of characters that will inhabit Evermore.
“As you walk in the park you’ll be greeted by actors and other people ‘Oh what brings you to Evermore here?’,” Theatrical Producer and Horticulturist Lucas Proctor said. “You know and you hear about all these different things and everybody’s in costume and all of the details make it feel like you’re a part of this movie or this video game this immersive experience and you get to walk through the story.”
Bretschneider says he’s imagined a place like Evermore since he was 5 or 6 years old.
“My wife and I have traveled all over Europe. We love old European villages and just kind of fell in love with the whole like Gothic era anything from Medieval to Victorian so we’re creating that here at Evermore,” he said. “I get to create this old European village and deliver these layers and layers of production to create these incredible immersive shows. It’s kind of fulfilling a lifelong dream for me.
Evermore is scheduled to open to the public on Monday, September 3rd with timed tickets like a movie or a play.