By Shane Trejo 3/24/2020
While ordinary Americans deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the many anxieties that accompany the unprecedented crisis, the super rich are retreating to state-of-the-art bunkers featuring bowling alleys, swimming pools, and other amenities.
The providers of these doomsday bunkers are reporting a drastic increase in business, with coronavirus hysteria causing at least one economic sector to boom.
“As unpopular as coronavirus is, it’s getting the publicity of a Backstreet Boys hit in the ‘90s,” said Gary Lynch, general manager of Texas-based Rising S Bunkers. “People have an infatuation with it.”
Business is good for Lynch and other bunker manufacturers, as the ultra rich scramble to use their remaining wealth to seclude themselves. There is no limit to the luxuries that can be provided in a modern bunker, with many of these bunker models resembling mansions.
“Movie theaters are common,” Lynch said. “We built one in California that has a shooting range, swimming pool and bowling alley.”
Lynch offers 24 different options for individuals wishing to purchase a bunker. The smallest model costs $39,500 and includes a custom air filtration system, bunk beds, a functioning toilet, and a kitchen counter. A more decadent set-up is the Fortress, which costs $1.009 million, including 15 private bedrooms, 42 bunk beds, a panic room, and a room to house guns.
The most garish model of all is the Aristocrat, which features a sauna, hot tub, swimming pool, gym, greenhouse, billiards room and garage. It costs an incredible $8.35 million to construct and is off limits to all but the super rich. Coronavirus is causing a run on these types of shelters, Lynch explains, as high-class Americans realize the necessity of extreme preparedness.
“In 2008, I talked to a guy for four-five months who was thinking about purchasing a shelter. I think he probably used the coronavirus to convince his wife, because he finally just bought one,” Lynch said. “That’s how most buyers are; they’re not in it for one single reason.”
The providers of these bunkers feel they are supplying a much-needed service in the market to alleviate the authentic fears of families in an increasingly topsy-turvy world.
“We don’t create fear. We resolve it. The true elite all have backdoor plans. They’re jumping on planes and flying to islands,” said Robert Vicino, who is CEO of the shelter-building company Vivos. “We give people the peace of mind that they have their own backdoor solution for when it’s time to take shelter.”
Vicino noted that his clientele has moved from middle class to upper class in recent months, as the wealthy no longer feel insulated from the rest of society from their gated neighborhoods. He reports that interest in his bunkers are up 1,000 percent year-over-year, and sales are up 400 percent, as doomsday fever sweeps throughout America.
“As long as time permits, we will continue to build bunkers. This world won’t be safer tomorrow,” he added.
For the Americans without the wealth to retreat from society, they will have to deal with a tumultuous and dangerous reality for their loved ones as the coronavirus pandemic continues without any sign of slowing.