A growing number of the world’s super rich are preparing for the apocalypse by purchasing ‘doomsday bunkers’.
But don’t expect the one per cent to slum it out in drab, concrete dwellings as they survive the end of the world – these bunkers feature some of the most lavish layouts imaginable that are designed for the more modern survivalist.
‘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.’
Vivos is one of the world’s leaders in bunker construction. The company’s latest offering, the XPoint, is advertised as the largest ‘prepper’ community on Earth.
Dotted across nine square miles fields of southwest South Dakota – far from nuclear targets, according to Vivos – are 575 bomb-resistant bunkers that can comfortably sleep 10 to 20 people each.
The bunkers are about 26 feet wide and up to 80 feet long, and have enough room to keep enough supplies for 12 months.
But with the security comes a hefty price tag.
The bunkers go for $25,000 for a 99-year lease, plus $1,000 annual maintenance fees.
And those who buy a bunker will still have to pay to install their own plumbing, electrical and air filtration systems.
After those extra costs are factored in, the total price can explode to as much as $200,000.
Vivos is planning to build a school, church, shooting range and garden on the nine-acre property. It also plans to offer a full-time staff.
The bunkers were originally used by the Army in 1942 and built with super reinforced concrete and steel walls and doors just in case the bombs they stored blew up. The bunkers can withstand a 500,000-ton blast.
Vivos bought the property last year and the first bunkers will be ready for move-in next summer.
Another prominent bunker builder is Rising S Company, a Texas-based corporation that said business is booming in recent months.
Gary Lynch, Rising S’ general manager, told CNN overall sales have increased by 300 per cent since the presidential election last November.
Lynch added overall sales in 2016 of the company’s high-end bunkers shot up by a staggering 700 per cent when compared to 2015.
Another of the most well-known American bunkers are the ‘Survival Condos’ in Kansas.
Larry Hall is the brainchild behind the developments, which were originally built by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s during the Cold War for the Atlas F missile, and there were 72 of them around the country.
It was revealed last month that all the apartments in the first complex sold out, and people now have the option to buy a flat in the second silo.
The Survival Condo Project is a luxury complex housed 15 stories below ground in a former missile silo near Concordia, Kansas.
A full-floor apartment, spanning 1,800 square feet, will set buyers back $3million, while a 900-square-foot, half-floor unit is $1.5million. Penthouse variants are available for $4.5million.
It is designed to comfortably survive any apocalyptic disaster such as global health pandemics, cataclysmic weather and terror attacks, including a nuclear one.
The windows are designed to simulate normal patterns of sunrise and sunset, and display views appropriate to their angles to simulate the feeling of being above ground.
The walls of the silo, constructed out of epoxy-hardened concrete, are nine feet thick and designed to survive a direct nuclear strike.
The dome structure that covers the silo cap can withstand winds in excess of 500 mph.
The survival condos are designed to hold up to 70 people and have enough resources to keep them alive for years.
This includes air and water filtration systems, a range of energy sources (including wind power), and the capacity to grow plants and breed fish for food supplies. Armed guards patrol the entrance.
There are many other special features too, such as a cinema, swimming pool, surgery, golf range, and even a rock climbing wall.
And while the sales booms across all bunkers may suggest cashed-up Liberals are trying to escape a ‘Trump-pocalypse’, Vicino said people are moving in from all across the political spectrum.
The facilities also aren’t only available in the US.
In fact, the Czech Republic is home to what has been dubbed ‘the largest billionaire bunker in the world’ – known as ‘The Oppidum’.
The massive 77,500 square foot underground bunker in the heart of the European country has been specifically built with the end of the world as we know it in mind.
Designed for just one owner, it is it the largest private shelter in the world and features a private helipad, luxury underground living rooms and a secret corridor connecting the buildings above with those below, allowing its residents to quickly access safety when they feel threatened.
Even its location was strategically chosen in central Europe, in an undisclosed rural area close to Prague and less than two hours from both London and Moscow by private jet.
From the surface it is unimposing – but below ground it is colossal, a mansion carved deep into rock.
Luxury living areas including children’s bedrooms are safely tucked away behind a blast door, along with a bathroom with jacuzzi, cinema room, games room, swimming pool, gym, spa and a bar.
It even features an underground garden which comes complete with simulated natural light.
The Oppidum also has its own private vaults ‘for your most valuable assets’.
Its security features look like something out a spy film, complete with fingerprint technology, iris recognition and state-of-the-art video surveillance.
Former Czech intelligence chief and security expert Andor Sandor said: ‘The uniqueness of the bunker lies in the fact it combines state-of-the-art security with luxury and comfort.
‘It is the largest known such facility on earth.’
Construction on the secret facility began in 1984, at the height of the Cold War, as a joint venture between the governments of what were then Czechoslovakia and The Soviet Union.
The team behind the massive bunker claim 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.
They claim in cases of less catastrophic situations, the bunker will allow the inhabitants to survive natural or man-made disasters, or long-term power outages for up to 10 years.
And while some may question whether luxury is needed in a post-apocalyptic world where surely survival is more important than the finer things, Vicino explained why he believes style still matter – even after the nukes have fallen.
‘These shelters are long-term, a year or more,’ he told CNN. ‘It had better be comfortable.’