We don’t have to tell how many people are afraid of terrorism. A threat you cannot escape from. If you’re not living in an actual war zone, you maybe don’t have to be afraid, but catastrophes are there is Hollywood as even most buildings are catching up with the needs of mother nature, some people just want to be sure. There is the 0.01% of society, who reportedly buys underground bunkers to escape civil unrest and natural disasters. These are reportedly Hollywood stars, pro athletes and billionaires.
Bunkers represent something as a new form of “insurance” for the richest and most famous. And we say it with reason, since those underground shelters aren’t just a room with enough water and Doritos for a week. In fact, those look like most rooms of high class hotels. Constructed up to 10 feet below ground and said to cost between $39,000 (£30,000) and $100 million (£76m). And believe it or not, at this price, they are said to be booming.
Some of the most commonly sold bunkers in Los Angeles were smaller – measuring 10 by 50 feet and costing little more than $100,000 (£76,000) to fit a family of four. West Hollywood-based firm, S.A.F.E., was said to be working on two different $100 million (£76m) subterranean residences featuring facilities such as a pizzeria and day spa for a venture capitalist and a developer.
It is a well-known secret that hidden chambers in Germany and the US are being seen as the world’s best safe spots if crisis strikes, according to the bunker-promoters. True they are, but is it that necessary? I mean it’s ok to be prepared for a disaster, or the zombie apocalypse, and experts say more and more of the wealthy are installing ‘safe rooms’ in their apartments – or at least fortifying rooms. But see, rooms, not underground mansions! If the apocalypse will come, it will start in New York anyway, as we know it from the movies, and it will be in not less than a 100 years. In 100 years, you can also build a pyramid by yourself. That will protect you and if you do it with old technologies, you don’t even have to buy heavy tools. Yeah, it will take a while, but hey, you have a 100 years at least!
According to owner Vivos, a bunker-retail company, CEO Robert Vicino, “customers are encouraged to decorate their ‘chamber’ like they would their yachts…” Well, I won’t comment it…
They somehow encourage them to buy those places. In their commercial, they say: “People are sensing that a global life-changing event is just ahead… Millions of people believe that we are living in the “end times.” And they even tell in statement to MailOnline that: “We are clearly living in dangerous and changing times that the uninformed will never understand until the threats are evident. We cannot predict, but we can prepare.” Who are those people? Paranoia-factory workers?!
The secretive facilities include features such as bowling alleys, secret hidden rooms, doors and passageways, gyms, escape tunnels, games rooms and greenhouses while being served with separate power, air and water sources, swimming pools, cinemas, bars and meeting rooms to the “elite” community who can survive underground for one year according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Even though Hollywood can dream big, the biggest facility is in Germany, and it also has a name, the “Europa One.” It is “one of the most fortified and massive underground survival shelters on Earth, deep below a limestone mountain and safely secured from the general public, behind sealed and secured walls, gates and blast doors”.
Journalist Lynn Parramore wrote about another big one in Indiana, US that the gigantic bunker was like walking into a hotel, it was like the “Ritz Carlton of doomsday shelters”.
The state of the art facilities also includes a hospital, and armed guards on duty to keep the 99 per cent from breaking into the hideaway. And since the Stanford university experiments, we all know how psychology is everywhere, so they also thought of avoiding a Lord of the Flies scenario. The designers implemented a handbook that outlines by laws for the bunkered community. How thoughtful!
There are also aboveground safe houses that are popular to be disguised as a horse barn while clients also referenced different movies to replicate a particularly secret door design such as those in Indiana Jones or Batman.
To tell the whole truth, the movement started, when implication of Donald Trump came in picture. The fear of what will happen if Trump actually becomes president has been dubbed the “Trumpocalypse”. A Utah-based group, Ultimate Bunker, claimed to the be doubled its members during a year after the Trumpocalipse started, said the Hollywood Reporterbusiness. Everyone wanted a place to escape.
Texas-based Rising S Bunkers claimed its sales at the top of the market to athletes, actors and politicians have increased 700% during a year, while overall sales had risen 150%. These include a 37-room bunker spanning 9,000 square feet in Napa Valley, California, for an Oscar winner featuring a sauna, Jacuzzi, shooting range, massive home theatre and bowling alley. And all that underground fun time was said to cost $10.28m (£7.8m).
Marketing director Brad Roberson told the magazine: “Any time there is a turbulent political landscape, we see a spike in our sales.” The website reports that the same company was also building a $3m (£2.3m) facility for “a major sports figure from Southern California.”
In Del Mar, California, Robert Vicino reportedly told the Hollywood Reporter: “Bill Gates… head of security visited with us a couple years ago, and for these multibillionaires, a few million is nothing. It’s really just the newest form of insurance.”
Arizona-based Creative Home Engineering boss Steve Humble reportedly claimed sales growth of 20% annually, with a trend towards security rather than novelty value.
“I can tell you that we’ve built secret doors for many of the most recognizable and highly awarded directors and celebrities in Hollywood,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “There are a lot of Oscars and Emmys tucked away safely behind my secret doors.”
As you saw, hiding is not always an escape plan. For some, it’s more like arriving.