Saturday, December 10, 2011

Doomsday Shelters: Buy Now, the End is Near

Living and working in the nation's bustling capital it's difficult to notice the Cold War relics being transformed into modern day catastrophe-hideaways, or brand new doomsday shelters being installed in the back yards of paranoid Chevy Chase residents. But the relative instability of the geopolitical climate, the impending 2012 reckoning, melting ice caps, and Justin Beiber's quick rise to pop-star-power all have sales and construction of bomb-shelters and the like on the rise around DC and across the nation. This impending doom is bad news for just about everyone but investors in companies that develop, construct, and/or market massive fallout shelters.

For several years now, Vivos
, a development group based out of Del Mar, California, has been planning a nationwide group of 20 fortified, underground shelters purporting to protect those inside for an entire year from a wide range of potential global or regional calamities: earthquake, terrorist attack, nuclear war, financial meltdown, the Rapture, you name it. But to muster the financial resources necessary to construct each new bunker, Vivos president Robert Vicino must recruit 200 owners to pay $50,000 a piece. Vicino insists that his marketing strategies are not thinly disguised scare tactics. His website even stresses that "Vivos is not about 2012." But just in case you are, they've provided several online videos to watch, informing any potential customers about the multitude of "viable threat scenarios." For those unaware, ancient Mayan calenders and renowned New York street corner thanatologists point to the year 2012 as the beginning of the end for life on earth.

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Vicino is currently undertaking the renovation of an unused Cold War bunker located in the remote desert outskirts of Barstow, CA. This is his only active project, but Vicino intends to have a shelter within 150 miles of every major metropolitan area. The map on his website shows a potential site somewhere on the southwestern border of Virginia and West Virginia. It's questionable whether a District resident could outrun a towering tsunami en route to such a distant safe-haven. When asked whether or not Vicino was taking financial advantage of people's fears, he responded: "You don't think of the person who sells you a fire extinguisher as taking advantage of your fear. The fact that you may never use that fire extinguisher doesn't make it a waste or bad." Thankfully, fire extinguishers don't cost fifty grand.

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The first high tech fallout shelter built by Vivos will not only be equipped with security devices, air and water purification systems, and enough frozen and canned food for a year, but also a library, movie theater, hospital, and even a dentist's office. It's certainly reasonable for survivors of a massive worldwide disaster to expect a clean, white smile when the coast clears and it comes time to repopulate the earth. "We designed it after a kind of cruise ship meets luxury yacht, because we figured if you're going to be down there for as much as a year, we're going to have to make it as comfortable as possible," said Vicino.

Vivos isn't the only company getting in on the underground real estate action. Texas-based Radius Engineering designs, engineers, and manufactures underground disaster shelter systems that are "based on a 31-year history of protecting The Best and The Brightest" (as advertised on their website). It may seem like a loony excuse for a business plan, but these pure-bred capitalists, fear-mongering or not, are taking advantage of an apparent market need. Walter McCarthy, president of Radius Engineering, claims his $23 million business has doubled sales every year for five years running. They also assert to have built over 350 shelters, ranging in price from $400,000 to a $41 million, based in and around Washington D.C. (they would not say exactly where, as you might imagine). Other disaster bunker manufacturers of note are Hardened Structures located in Colorado and Utah Shelter Systems, each reporting a recent spike in sales.

Dr. Strangelove's initial fictional idea to send citizens at a ratio of one man for every ten "highly stimulating" women deep into mine shafts in the event of nuclear attack coincided with the U.S. government to consider its own doomsday protection options. During the height of the Cold War the Federal government embarked on a project which aimed to forge an unbreakable chain of command for military and civilian leaders capable of weathering a 6-month war and sustained nuclear attack on Washington. In April of 1994, 11 years and eight billion dollars later, the government abandoned the project. And now private developers continue to pick up where the government left off. If all of these options sound out of reach for the average citizen, one alternative is to buddy up with Tom Cruise. The celebrity reportedly built a luxurious ten million dollar bunker for ten in Colorado. Or lobby Fannie Mae to get them to underwrite mortgages on bunkers.

Washington D.C. Real Estate Development News


Unknown on Aug 5, 2010, 11:28:00 AM said...

I ABSOLUTELY love you writing. You have a very interesting and subtle sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

On an interesting side note/ fun fact: Singapore, among some other Asian countries actually design bomb shelters into most all of their apartment buildings (or least they did up until more recent development). It's usually a fortified closet, and is completely invisible unless you start knocking about the walls of it.

Anonymous said...

I call dibs on Vault 101

Anonymous said...

A sustained nuclear attack on Washington?

I think they would only have to nuke it once before a new capital is required. Rebuilding isn't easy when your rubble glows in the dark.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the planet from a satelite, one can see all of the meteor srike marks on the planet. If you look at the geological layers of the earths crust, you will see that several times throughout history the unfathomable disasters have desolated our biosphere. If you research the polar icecap records, you will see that they have found trees, and evidence of the same. All of this information means that another disaster is not an improbable idea. It is a reality, and the unprepared will perish. The US government has the largest protection facility secretly hidden under the colorodo airport. If you research the records, the same amount of earth was moved on that project as there was to construct the hoover damb, and they wen over budget by billions. The government is leaving us in the dark. Protect your famimly, as the government is not designed to do that for you.

samsoknight said...

i enjoy how these shelters are right in the "hot spot" disaster territories..

sure, that's a nice scam and a half.. lmfao!

yeh, why not just build one inside an volcano? it's the same futility.

well.. rich folks are suckers and don't know how to utilize their money appropriately.


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