“People thought we were crazy because they never believed anything like this could happen,” Vivos CEO Robert Vicino, who operates an international doomsday bunker company, recently told The Verge, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a global economic collapse. “Now, they see it. Everybody is a believer.“
Vicino operates several apocalypse bunker communities, in particular, The Verge visited xPoint, an abandoned military facility-turned-survivalist town at the base of the Black Hills in Fall River County, South Dakota. He said, “demand for doomsday bunkers is at an all-time high,” due mostly to the virus pandemic.
Apocalypse bunkers were once for fringe preppers, now have become mainstream, and to some bunker buyers, it has become their vacation home. Vicino said sales are booming:
“We’re selling almost one a day right now,” he said, adding that his company recently brought in a million dollars in sales one day, and following that day, another $500,000.
xPoint’s website says there are “575 private military-built, concrete and steel, all-risk bunkers, is now repurposed and affordably priced – ready to provide life-saving shelter for your entire family or group.”
The history behind the site is that it was originally constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers as a bomb storing facility, from the 1940s through late 1960, when the base was retired. The Army then sold the property to the City of Edgemont, which in turn sold it to local farmers. Since then, Vivos bought the land with reporupose in mind.
The website goes on to say that each bunker “provides enough floor area, with attic potential, to comfortably accommodate 10 to 24 people and their needed supplies, for a year or more, of autonomous shelterization without needing to emerge outside. The compressive elliptical-shaped concrete bunker includes a massive front bulkhead wall, with a solid concrete and steel blast door entrance.”
Each bunker is priced at a “one-time upfront payment of $35,000, plus an ongoing annual ground rent of $1,000 per bunker,” the site said.
Bunker floor plan
Competely outfitted bunker
For the low-cost, bottom barrel bunker setup, mainly for paranoid hipsters. The company offers “bunker glamping” that can be outfitted in the space for an additional $25,000.
Low-cost bunker setup
The Verge spoke Tom and Mary, a pair of full-time residents at xPoint, who moved into their apocalypse bunker after the virus pandemic consumed the US earlier this year. The bunker was going to be their home base after retirement, but after they saw food shortages at supermarkets and the economy plunged — they decided it was the right time to move.
“We recognized that if we did have a full-on collapse of society as we know it, that we would be very vulnerable in our home west of Atlanta,” Tom said.
Both were inspired to purchase the bunker last year after they read Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, which is a best-seller among prepper communities. In short, the book is about the economic collapse of the US. Tom said, “It opened my eyes to the level of vulnerability that most people have if something happens and food can’t be delivered to the store for whatever reason.”
Here’s their setup, including a camper and bunker at xPoint.
For those seeking “luxury doomsday bunkers” — we noted in April, New Zealand has become the mecca of pandemic escape in the world.