Hi all, its been awhile. With parks being closed for most of 2020 and probably well into this year I decided to keep things quiet. Something has developed though that is important to me. In October of 2019 I was lucky enough to visit Evermore Park and did a write up about the trip here. I enjoyed my visit immensely and hoped the park would continue to grow and improve over the years. As I kept up with the park’s goings-on, signs of trouble began to appear. Currently fate of the park remains in question. In an attempt to ensure as much history of the park is documented as possible I will be putting up several entries dedicated to the subject. In this entry I have compiled the most notable updates over the past year that have led to where we are now. (If you are unfamiliar with Evermore Park I highly suggest clicking the link above to read about my trip which should serve as a primer to what the park is like.)
A major issue was of course was Covid-19, which has affected all walks of life including themed entertainment. The park was closed for what would have been its spring 2020 season and didn’t open until 4 months later with similar health restrictions we have seen in other parks. (limited park attendance, mask usage, etc.) I was able to find that during it’s closure Evermore had applied for one pandemic loan in April.
The second is an article from August of 2020 detailing the park’s financial struggles and legal battles after failing to pay its contractors for work in the park. When I had visited there was a large amount of visible projects yet to be finished, and when comparing it to photos of the park at the time of the article the construction was in the same state. This included a large, half-built church near the heart of Evermore’s fantasy village.
Not long after the article came out Evermore posted a GofundMe Campaign, which to date is still pinned to the top of their facebook page. The Gofundme was created to help keep operations afloat, as well as investing in several projects to help boost the park’s IP and visibility.
From the GoFundMe page:
“These funds will allow us to expand our efforts and team to work on our current projects:
– Construction of the church, Vander’s Keep restaurant, the water feature near Town Square , and many others, which will allow us to open more spaces in the park.
— Unique Parties
— Master Classes
— Fantasy themed events
– New Merchandise
— The continuation of our narrative card game, Evermore Realms
— Evermore-based 5e adventure modules and supplements
— Expanding our current merchandise with new designs and products
– New Expanded Experiences
— An official Evermore podcast to discuss behind the scenes information for both Evermore Park and the fictional story of Evermore.
— A mobile app to add to the Evermore experience and allow for guests to experience Evermore from a distance.
— Continued world building and opportunities to grow our brand and experience.
The more funds we get will directly allow us to do more of what you love.”
To date the campaign has raised just under $37,000 of their $100,000 goal. Of the listed goals one that came to fruition was the opening of Vander’s Keep, the norse/celtic themed restaurant attached to the park. The restaurant opened officially December 3rd 2020.
Evermore’s primary social circle operates via a facebook fan group called The Evermore Park Community – Everfolk , and on 1/15/21 a quickly deleted statement was made regarding the status of the park by the official Evermore account. Since no new statement from the park has been released. The original statement was copied before deletion and can be read as follows:
“To our amazing community–
We know so many of you are excited about the next season. We are so lucky to have you as fans! We wanted to let you know of some of the changes going forward.
After many hours of deliberation, we have made the decision that Evermore Park will not be opening for Vinterlume* this year. We will be looking to open back up in the summer with some events (private or public) in between. More information will be released when that happens.
We are looking at operations and we’re going to be making some changes moving forward. After looking at the Evermore Park experience, we will be going for a more general experience for our guests. Previous story, characters, and other theatrical elements may not continue. Each future season may feature some new activities, actors, and elements, however, they may look different from those that you are used to.
This decision does not come lightly. Many hours have been dedicated to figuring out exactly how to keep operating with such financial strain as introduced by COVID-19 and other situations. Hard decisions were made; one of which was to also part ways with many wonderful actors, creators, leaders, and friends in order to continue operating into the future. We want to say thank you to them for the countless hours of dedication and support that they have given. Amazing things were created and we hope you the best of luck and success in the future. Evermore Park wil lnow take time to look into our goals, operations, and future plans in order to best remain open as a company. Things will continue to be worked out as more information will be coming soon.
Let us be clear, Evermore Park will not be closed entirely, however, when we open next, the experiences in Evermore Park will be slightly different from what you (our diehard fans) are used to. Vanders Keep is still open and operational even when the park is not.
Thank you all for your support and love and we hope we all see you in evermore park again soon!”
*Vinterlume was a proposed winter story season in the park.
The following day a local fox affiliate posted an article about the state of the park.
Following the fox article CEO of Evermore Ken Bretschneider tweeted out this on January 17th, 2021:
“Evermore is not out of business, but 2020 (Covid) made for a very hard year. We do care despite the few that are saying otherwise. We had to deal with real financial issues and continue to put our heart and soul and everything we have into this dream. Hoping for a better 2021.”- @CEOEvermore
So this is where we’re at as of today. In regards to the other projects listed in the gofundme, it is assumed with the park cutting the actors and interactive aspects projects such as the dungeons and dragons module and podcast have been scrapped with the current focus on the restaurant which is still in operation.
Understandably the local community who make up the majority of Evermore’s fanbase and attendance are devastated, which can be seen in a myriad of posts in the community facebook group. It also appears that due to the nature of non-disclosure agreements signed by staff more details regarding the behind the scenes of this decision may not come out for some time.