August 7, 2017 8:00 am
Updated: August 8, 2017 6:14 am

Billionaire bunkers: A look inside the world’s largest doomsday shelters

The company Vivos makes high-end bunkers for billionaires who wish to survive a catastrophic event but still remain the life of luxury.

Vivos Europa One
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A spacious lounge area, a swimming pool and a movie theatre — these aren’t the usual items found in a doomsday bunker. But some millionaires are going all out and creating lavish shelters, just in case the end is near.

Whether it’s a zombie apocalypse or nuclear warfare, there are a number of luxurious shelters around the world that cater to those who wish to remain safe (and pampered) during any disaster.

Reid Huffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, told The New Yorker he believes more than 50 per cent of billionaires in the Californian tech hub are preparing for the worst.

WATCH: Canada’s largest underground survival shelter

“I’ve heard this theme from a bunch of people,” Hoffman told the magazine.

“Is the country going to turn against the wealthy? Is it going to turn against technological innovation? Is it going to turn into civil disorder?”

One American bunker manufacturer, Rising S Company, has seen a 200 per cent increase in sales this year compared to 2016, according to general manager, Gary Lynch. He said the rising concern of North Korea using ballistic missiles could be a reason for this.

READ MORE: North Korea’s missile could hit Canada, and we might not be protected: experts


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“The threat of war with Iran or North Korea is more realistic today than at any time in the past,” he said. “North Korea has a very irrational leader that must not be allowed to have ICBMs that will reach mainland U.S.A. or our allies. This is a major concern for those already within his reach capabilities.”

Prepping for the worst

The company Vivos builds a number of high-end shelters that can withstand a “substantial close range nuclear blast,” according to the website. One of the company’s most popular shelters, Indiana, is “like a very comfortable four-star hotel” equipped with a theatre area, exercise equipment, geothermal heating and a year’s supply of fuel.

Vivos’ Europa One was once a bunker used by the Soviet Union military during the Cold War. It’s now privately owned and has been turned into a luxury shelter with 34 private living quarters in the compound, each with a 2,500-square-foot floor area.

READ MORE: Battle underway over Canada’s largest private bunker

It’s equipped with a movie theatre, swimming pool, gym and deluxe bathrooms.

The Survival Condo Project is another wealthy complex located 15 storeys below the ground in Kansas. The fortified shelters are built to withstand catastrophic events like a viral epidemic and nuclear war, according to the website.

READ MORE: North Korea warns of nuclear attack on U.S. if provoked, state media says

It has a full-floor apartment that’s around 1,800 square feet and costs around $3 million. The penthouse option is available for $4.5 million. There is a waterslide, medical centre, dog park, gym, lounge area and a shooting range.

The Safe House in Warsaw, Poland, is a villa by day and fortress by night. The house provides maximum security within its two-storey movable walls. All windows are protected by movable shutters while one of the walls of the home features a roll-down gate, which also doubles as a projection screen. It also has a pool pavilion that you can access by an electronic drawbridge.

READ MORE: ‘Doomsday’ vault, built to withstand disaster, breached by water due to climate change

Are bunkers necessary?

Bob Black, president of Black Shield Preparedness Solutions, said there are better, and more cost-effective ways, to prepare for a disaster.

“These are the same people who buy $500,000 cars,” he said. “When you have that much money, you got to find something to spend it on.”

READ MORE: Locked in time: Get a look inside Nelson’s Diefenbunker

“I give a lot of presentations on disaster preparedness, but I am not about to go digging a hole in my backyard.”

He said it’s always good to be over-prepared for a disaster or emergency, but constructing a bunker or shelter is probably not necessary for the vast majority of Canadians.

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