An underground shelter for the rich. Image source: Vivos
The rich and famous are investing millions of dollars to build elaborate underground bunkers and safe houses in what has become a booming industry for the contractors that specialize in luxury survival accommodations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Bill Gates has huge shelters under every one of his homes, in Rancho Santa Fe and Washington,” Robert Vicino, the founder of bunker company Vivos, revealed. The Microsoft founder and philanthropist is considered the world’s richest man.
“His head of security visited with us a couple years ago, and for these multibillionaires, a few million is nothing,” Vicino said. “It’s really just the newest form of insurance.”
Gates is not alone, as movie stars, financiers, athletes and other wealthy celebrities are all so worried about the future that they’re investing millions in bunkers and safe houses, The Reporter discovered. The wealthy’s worries include terrorist attacks, riots, World War III, class warfare, economic collapse and political chaos stemming from the election.
“People are going for luxury [to] live underground because they see the future is going to be rough,” Mike Peters of Ultimate Bunker told The Reporter. “Everyone I’ve talked to thinks we are doomed, no matter who is elected.”
Sales at one upscale bunker maker, Rising S Bunkers, have increased by 150 percent in 2016, according to a Reporter article, and sales to upscale clients by 700 percent.
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Survival is the latest fad in Hollywood, with wealthy celebrities going to incredible lengths to preserve their lavish lifestyles. The bunkers that companies like Rising S build construct are a far cry from the air raid shelters of the 1940s and 50s.
Bunkers of the Rich and Famous
Some of the lavish survival precautions the wealthy are taking include:
- A 37-room, 9,000-square-foot bunker in California’s Napa Valley wine country that cost an “unidentified Academy Award winner” $10.28 million. The bunker’s amenities include a bowling alley, sauna, home theater, Jacuzzi and shooting range.
- A $9 million, 7,600-square-foot compound in Napa Valley that features hidden safe rooms, four escape tunnels and a safe house disguised as a horse barn.
- A $3 million bunker for a “major sports figure” who lives in Southern California.
- A 10-by-50-foot bunker that costs $112,000 and features its own power and water sources and air filtration systems. Rising S Bunkers reported those bunkers are being installed in homes throughout Los Angeles.
- A $10 million complex, located a few hours north of Minneapolis, that contains two 1,000-square-foot bunkers and 300 feet of tunnels. The same property has three guesthouses — each of which has its own $200,000 bunker.
- A $100 million subterranean residence for a venture capitalist that features a pizzeria and a day spa. That bunker’s builder, Al Corbi of Strategically Armored & Fortified Environments (SAFE), claims it can withstand a nuclear holocaust, electromagnetic pulse, solar flare and pandemic, among other threats.
Another company, Creative Home Engineering, specializes in building secret doors and panels. When company president Steve Humble started, most of his installations were novelties created for entertainment.
“Nowadays, 80 percent are used for security,” Humble revealed. “In the past year, I have performed installations inside two nuclear-protected complexes with more than 10 secret doors each, one in the L.A. area owned by a plastic surgeon.”
Humble added, “I can tell you that we’ve built secret doors for many of the most recognizable and highly awarded directors and celebrities in Hollywood. There are a lot of Oscars and Emmys tucked away safely behind my secret doors.”
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