Evermore Park to open its gates this month in Pleasant Grove

A concept image of Santa's Workshop, a featured part of the Aurora experience at Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove.

“It started when I was a little 5-year old kid,” Bretschneider said of the origins of Evermore. “I grew up in a really, really bad home situation where my father was very abusive, so it’s not all a happy story. But I had (a) wonderful situation happen.”

Bretschnieder told of a Dutch family who lived nearby with a father who looked just like Gepetto from Disney’s “Pinocchio.” A creative man, this father would create incredible things for his children and their friends, including Bretschneider. Through elaborate tree forts, submarines, mazes and more, this man created a safe space for imagination.

“That was so important for me as kid – I needed escapism,” he said. “I had to get out of that environment. It left such a huge impact my entire life that I kept being drawn to this idea of imagination and creativity, and how it’s so important for children and adults alike to be able to explore with their imagination and have an escape for a moment, to do something that’s not part of the everyday grind.”