“Buy now! Before it’s too late!” Many salespeople use some variation of this pitch to get buyers to bite. But this sales spiel takes on heightened new meaning when the item being hawked is a home built for riding out the apocalypse.
Years of natural disasters, war, and economic turmoil, combined with various theories about the coming of the rapture and the end of times, have brought back Cold War-level interest in products meant for surviving the end of the world (as we know it). A couple years ago, for instance, a California-based company introduced a new line of affordable doomsday bunkers starting under $10,000. Meanwhile, the National Geographic Channel reality TV show “Doomsday Preppers” has been chronicling how groups of survivalists are preparing for terrorist attacks, uprisings, government takeovers, economic collapse, natural disasters, old-fashioned nuclear war, zombie invasions, and almost any other imaginable world-shaking events.
While many survivalists build their own underground bunkers, those with the money—and the desire to live through the apocalypse in comfort—might be interested in 3970 Spencer Street in Las Vegas. As the Las Vegas Sun recently reported, “It has a four-hole putting green, a swimming pool, two jacuzzis, a sauna, a dance floor with a small stage, a bar, a barbecue and huge murals of rural, tranquil settings.” The murals are situated in spots where windows would normally go—because the place is 26 feet underground, directly underneath what looks like a standard two-story suburban home.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal first reported on the property in June. While the home was on the market for $8 million as recently as 2001, it was listed at $1.7 million over the summer. Kingly Properties, the realty company handling sale of the home, just dropped the asking price to $1.6 million. “It’s probably worth it,” one Vegas-area architect told the Sun, “if you like living underground.” (The “Zestimate” from Zillow, the home valuation site, indicates the home is worth just over $1 million.)
The vintage ’70s-era underground home in Vegas may be unusual for its design and extravagance, but it’s hardly the only property being promoted as a spot for surviving end times in luxury and style. On September 11, the New York Daily News highlighted how Vivos, the California operation that launched $10,000 bunkers a couple of years ago, is building an underground shelter in an old mine in Kansas that’s two million square feet, with space for 5,000 people. The Vevos website promises “4 Star Comfort & Décor,” and the Kansas facility’s planned amenities include a gym, spa, movie theater, and wine bar.
Another operation in Kansas converted an abandoned nuclear missile test silo into luxury underground condos complete with walk-in closets and Jacuzzi tubs in each residence, plus a spa, a pool, a rock climbing wall, and a bar for the complex. Alas, CNET reported that the condos, priced at upwards of $2 million, have already sold out.
Even so, it’s not too late. The company’s website, SurvivalCondo.com, states that another missile silo has been purchased, construction on more condos will begin soon, and “we fully expect to sell ALL units in our next silo fast.”