The trend setters out in Hollywood have decided on their next toy. Luxury bug-out bunkers. See, they seem to think that since the presidential choices are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and that there is a good chance that the seas will rise due to global warming and sooner or later we’re going to have a nuclear war based on any or all of the above, that they need a place to go. Should the earth become uninhabitable for some reason, and they need to act as – get this – Adam and Eve.
Based on the same principle as the prepper bunker made of plain building materials, the Hollywood version of the Vivos luxury bug out bunker is just as ostentatious as the mansions the rich and wacko liberals build on the surface.
Rising S Bunkers installed a 37-room, 9,000-square-foot complex in Napa Valley for an Academy Award-winning client that rang in at $10.28 million, with a bowling alley, sauna, jacuzzi, shooting range and an ultra-large home theater. Swimming pools, greenhouses, game rooms and gyms are other amenities offered. This year, on another Napa Valley property, the company constructed a $9 million, 7,600-square-foot compound with horse stables and accommodations for 12, along with four escape tunnels leading to outlets on the estate, multiple hidden rooms — in case “you let someone in whom you do not fully trust,” says Lynch — and an aboveground safe house “disguised as a horse barn.” The company also is designing a $3 million bunker for “a major sports figure from Southern California.”
If celebrities with lots of money want to spend it that way, who are the little people who get paid to build the man-made caves to argue.
One provider of these bunkers, Gary Lynch, GM at Rising S Bunkers, a Texas-based company, claims that the high end market in the Los Angeles area is seeing a 700% increase in interest from politicians, athletes, and other celebrities.
Adds Mike Peters, owner of Utah-based Ultimate Bunker, which builds high-end versions in California, Texas and Minnesota: “People are going for luxury [to] live underground because they see the future is going to be rough. Everyone I’ve talked to thinks we are doomed, no matter who is elected.” Robert Vicino, founder of Del Mar, Calif.-based Vivos, which constructs upscale community bunkers in Indiana (he believes coastal flooding scenarios preclude bunkers being safely built west of the Rockies), says, “Bill Gates has huge shelters under every one of his homes, in Rancho Santa Fe and Washington. His 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.”
Insurance for an apocalypse that may never happen, and probably won’t, but there’s no telling the wackadoodles that.
The units constructed are all self sustaining with power generators, water and air filtration, etc. The most popular are just over $100,000, are about 500 square feet and can accommodate four or five, supposedly. With advances in battery pack type energy and the shelf life of food (25 years?) it is hoped that people could live underground indefinitely.
This is pretty much standard fare in the prepper world, but in Hollywood, the people who live and work in make-believe take the fantasy of being a survivor to the next level.
When it comes to the details of secret passageways and hidden doors, many in Hollywood turn to Arizona-based Creative Home Engineering. “We’ve seen year-over-year growth of about 20 percent, but perhaps more telling is an increasing percentage of clientele who need their secret door to employ high-security features,” notes president Steve Humble, who says before, 60 percent of secret doors in cigar rooms, home theaters, children’s bedrooms and the like were for novelty value. “Nowadays, 80 percent are used for security. In the past year, I have performed installations inside two nuclear-protected complexes with more than 10 secret doors each, one in the L.A. area owned by a plastic surgeon.”
Film fantasies play a part in the choice of secret entrances. “Many of my clients come to me knowing what movie secret door they would like duplicated,” says Humble, who cites as top inspirations Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Batman and James Bond franchises, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Goonies, on which a popular access control device that “requires that a certain sequence of notes be played on the piano to get the door to open” is based. There’s also Get Smart: “At this moment, we are converting a phone booth [inside a private residence] so that when the user dials the correct number, the back panel opens to grant access to a secure area.” He adds: “I can tell you that we’ve built secret doors for many of the most recognizable and highly awarded directors and celebrities in Hollywood. There are a lot of Oscars and Emmys tucked away safely behind my secret doors.”
These people have seen entirely too many James Bond movies.