Modern Day Noah's Arks: Growing Demand for Expensive Bunkers in Uncertain Times
By Brittany Stepniak
When you're in the business of building bunkers, global disasters, terrorism, and even the threat of an apocolypse can cause your profits to surge. Certainly, this couldn't be more true at this very moment in time. A time when people fear the end is near.
There seems to be a fine line between sci-fi and real-life, and the line is thinning exponentially as 2012 approaches. Smart innovators are catching on, and capitalizing on the opportunity.
Tsunamis, 9.0 magnitude earthquakes, escalating violence and terrorist attacks, nuclear power plant exlposions, the energy crisis, and climate changes are all real issues making real people consider protecting themselves and their families in the wake of complete devastation.
In lieu of escalating complications and troubles of the past few decades, the end-of-world commentary isn't nearly as Hollywood-esque as it once was. As we continue through 2011 with disaster after disaster plaguing a worldwide community, some people are taking the ancient predicitions quite seriously. Those who take it seriously and are rich enough, are absolutely investing in building their own safey nets. Underground bunkers.
In Russia, Danila Andreyev, is well-known for his unique trade of selling "panic rooms" and "survival bunkers". Three years ago, Andreyev got into the business in response the public's heightened fears of terrorism and violence. Again, he is profiting from their intensifed fears that the world is going to end in 2012.
According to Bloomberg:
“I myself am not a believer in doomsday scenarios,” Andreyev, 31, whose Spetsgeoproekt company is completing 15 bunkers at hidden locations across Russia, said at his office in central Moscow. “But when you start hearing clients talking about the end of the world, it gets you thinking.”
Assuming the Mayans and Nostradamus are correct, how much would you have to pay to obtain one of his safety-bunkers? Up-to $400,000 for something like this:
A 35-year-old client, Alexei, ordered a shelter to accommodate eight people outside of Moscow for $150,000. He is confident in his decision with no regrets, asserting, "Something catastrophic will certainly happen next year...It all points to some shake-up on Dec. 21, 2012." He is talking about the predictions made by the Bulgarian mystic Baby Vanga, 16th centruy Frenchman Nostradamus, ancient Egyptians, plus NASA's prediction of a sharply increased number of sunspots and sunflares in 2012, and, of course, the wildly spoken-of Mayan calendar.
Back in 2008, ABC news interviewed Patrick Geryl-- then, a 51-year old who quit is job as a laboratory worker for a French oil company to prepare for the apocalyspse. He said he had saved just enough money to last him until December 2012. According to ABC News:
All this adds up, Geryl said, to unprecedented catastrophe... Shattering earthquakes, massive tidal waves and simultaneous volcanic eruptions will follow. Nuclear reactors will melt, buildings will crumble, and a cloud of volcanic dust will block out the sun for 40 years. Only the prepared will survive, Geryl said, and not even all of them.
Whether he's just a mad-man or not, his statements made three years ago sound frigtheningly familiar to what's going on right now in Japan -- massive tidal waves, earthquakes, melting reactors...
As thriving bunker-companies prove, Geryl and Alexei aren't the only ones who believe the end is near.
It's also not just one man in Russia providing products to alleviate people from such fear. There are articles all over the internet about the Norwegian goverment continuing to build more and more bunkers. The rural area of Scotland is a bunker hot-spot, as the U.K. government had a two-story bunker constructed there in 1990. In the United States, two very popular bunker building companies include Northwest Shelter Systems (based in Idaho) and The Vivos Gropu (based in California).
Vivos founder Robert Vicino said the his company's closest bunker is located in an undisclosed location in central Europe. The price-tag? $25,000 a head. He may not believe in the 2012 theory, but he says his company isn't about that, explaining to Bloomberg:
"Every person has a different belief of sense of what may be ahed for all of us," Vicino said. Vivos is not about 2012, but having a life assurance solution for our families for whenever disaster strikes."
The technology used to create the bunkers varies a bit from company to company. Andreyev's (Spetsgeoproekt) bunkers often replicate the Soviet military designs from the 1970s, with updated improvements, of course. Walls are like those in nuclear power stations with air systems similar those in submarines and spaceships. Doors are modeled after Swiss bank vaults.
Take a virtual tour of a Vivos underground vault:
Another man, Yevgeny Ubiyko, former Red Army engineer, is taking the bunker idea to another level by creating floating bunkers. His own personal mobile bunker is 32-square-meters and he's offering to build others for buyers willing to pay at least $80,000.
He too is confident that the market of safety-bunkers will thrive throughout the year saying, "People are starting to think about shelters, like Noah and his ark."
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