2020 has been a kick in the gut to the themed entertainment industry. While there is hope that things could slowly return to some sort of normalcy for 2021, many operators are scrambling trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Some smaller attractions have already closed their doors. Many will need some sort of loan or government aid to stay afloat. Evermore Park in Utah is actually asking their loyal followers for $100,000 to help pay the bills.
Evermore is one of the more fascinating stories in theme park history. Originally billed as an immersive park that was supposed to have cutting edge rides and attractions, what eventually opened was a park that relies heavily on guest and character interactions. All the multi-million dollar rides were scrapped.
Evermore is located in Pleasant Grove, Utah, just down the road from Salt Lake City. It has relied heavily on building a seasonal story with a beginning, middle and end. Guests interact with key characters who create the narrative throughout the season.
As a result, Evermore has a very loyal following. There are online discussions and podcasts happening almost daily about the new storyline and things they have discovered. Unfortunately, the pandemic has slashed their overall park capacity as well as their daily attendance. Now they’re looking for money from the public to help keep their passion project alive.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Evermore as of yesterday. The park is looking to raise $100,000 to help cover losses. According to the description, the money raised will go towards payroll costs.
Where things get interesting, this money (if they raise it) will go towards a lot more than just keeping the lights on and their staff paid. They’re looking to help crowd fund future initiatives as well. These could include some items listed above like new infrastructure, new merchandise and even an app for the park.
As far as I know, this may be the only time a theme park has asked for crowd funding to help not only stay afloat, but to fund new ventures all in the same ask. While the pandemic is still going to cause quite a dent for attractions in the coming months, Evermore just might get this funded.
Their fan base is extremely dedicated and loyal. I don’t doubt that they can raise a decent amount of funds this way. Will this be the start of a trend? Will other small parks be asking for money from the public in order to stay afloat?
More importantly: what are your thoughts? Are you ok with just handing over money to a theme park to keep it alive? Would you rather buy advance tickets or gift cards instead? What about unique merchandise or even online opportunities that you could pay for? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
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