The billionaires' bunkers where the world's richest will outlive the rest of us
As our future on this planet looks increasingly uncertain, many of us have come to accept that the apocalypse could be just around the corner. In fact, just this week Iran stated that if the US launches an attack against them, Israel’s lifespan will be reduced to 30 minutes.
While most of us continue to plod around life just as we did before, the world’s best and brightest (and richest) are proactively preparing for the end of days. However, the average backyard bunker has got nothing on the subterranean megastructures the world’s billionaires are building.
"Your father or grandfather's bunker was not very comfortable," says Robert Vicino, a real estate entrepreneur and CEO of Vivos, a company he founded that builds and manages high-end shelters around the world. "They were gray. They were metal, like a ship or something military. And the truth is mankind cannot survive long-term in such a Spartan, bleak environment."
From cinema rooms to walk-in wardrobes, all home comforts can be expected from these underground luxury abodes. The most luxurious even feature “outdoor” swimming pools (hydroponic gardens come complete with artificial sunlight and carefully crafted sky-like ceilings).
As international tensions rise, so too do the profits of companies like Vivos. And with the public increasingly concerned about mankind’s future, businesses such as Rising S Company are stepping in to expand the market.
Their plate steel bunkers hold one year's worth of food per resident and withstand earthquakes and, according to general manager Gary Lynch, 2016 sales of their custom-made high-end bunkers grew by 700 per cent compared to the previous year. Sales have grown 300 per cent since Trump was voted into the White House. "These shelters are long-term, a year or more," Vicino says. "It had better be comfortable."
"Most of these people have high-end yachts, so they already have the relationship and they know the taste, fit, and finish that they want," explains Vicino, who suggests one should employ the same people who design and construct your yachts to build your bunker. "We have all the comforts of home, but also the comforts that you expect when you leave your home."
Scaremongering, it seems, is good for business. On a webpage of the Vivos website entitled “A Race Against Time”, the company discusses various predictions and prophecies. It states: “We are in a pivotal time, that coincides with the prophecies of the Bible, but also Christianity, Judaism, Freemasonry, the Hopi Indians, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and many ancient cultures separated by thousands of miles, all predicting a coming apocalyptic catastrophe. Many predict there will either be a series of Earth devastating disasters, a spiritual transformation, the biblical apocalypse, and even the end of the world as we know it.”
If you’re into communal living, there are a number of options which often take advantage of disused military bunkers and missile silos built by the United States or Soviet governments. Designed to withstand nuclear fallout, they come complete with water purification systems, independent power systems, blast valves and Nuclear-Biological-Chemical (NBC) air filtration.
Economically, it makes far more sense to exploit these existing structures than build one from scratch. The long term plan for such facilities is to create a community, complete with doctors and teachers, which is as self-sufficient as possible.
"Our clients are sold on the unique advantage of having a luxury second home that also happens to be a nuclear hardened bunker," says developer Larry Hall, whose survival Condo in Kansas incorporates two 1960s missile silos. "This aspect allows our clients to invest in an appreciating asset as opposed to an expense."
Meanwhile, the Oppidum in the Czech Republic is being marketed as the largest billionaire bunker in the world. “Construction on the secret facility began in 1984,” explains the passcode-locked website. “Its purpose was listed as ‘Classified’. It was built between 1984 and 1994, at a time when global instability and the possibility of weapons of mass destruction were entirely real, just as they are today. The Oppidum has never been more relevant.”
“Because the construction of the facility occurred at a time of heightened world tension, the enormous level of resources used to develop it would be all but impossible to match today,” the website explains. “It is extremely unlikely that any government would approve a non-military structure of this size to be built today.”
Though the election of Donald Trump clearly marked the beginning of a period of increased existential concern, according to Vicino, it is both liberals and conservatives investing in these bunkers. Furthermore, Vivos is now completely sold out of spaces in its community shelters.
Whether it’s nuclear war or the complete breakdown of civilisation (climate experts believe this may happen by 2050), it seems that the end of the world as we know it may not be too far away. Gladly, though, you can rest assured that the world’s billionaires will be tucked away in underground palaces out of harm’s way.