When the apocalypse comes, it will be lonely in your bomb shelter. Or your neighbors will come knocking, and you’ll have to fight over the canned food. Basically, preparing for the end is a real hassle.
This, essentially, is the pitch of Vivos, a network of timeshare doomsday shelters now selling slots in its largest and most budget-conscious facility: A 60-acre former military bunker 130 feet below Atchinson, Kansas.
Which is true as long as when you hear "four star hotel" and "cruise ship" you picture an RV park in a cave.
Only RV-owners are allowed in the Atchinson shelter "and resort," paying $1,000 per RV-foot for membership, plus $1,500 a person for a year’s worth of food. (After that first year, you better hope Vivos’ advertised "hydroponic gardens" and "live farm animal area" can feed the anticipated population of 5,000.)
Once you’ve parked your RV underground and given Vicino thousands of dollars, your work is done, and you will be able to bask in the knowledge that after the end of the world you will be able to enjoy amenities including a wine bar, helipad, hair salon, meditation areas and "NBC (War Gas) filtration systems." So long as you can make it to Kansas in time.
Vicino has been chasing this doomsday dream since 1980, when he claims to have received a spiritual message that an "extinction event" was nigh, and he needed to build an underground shelter for 1,000 people. Since then, his mission has expanded to creating a network of shelters to protect a select few across the country, and potentially the world.
The recent movement of "preppers" and Mayan apocalypse believers have given the business a new impetus, which the Vivos website insists will outlast the 2012 Mayan apocalypse itself.
"While the Mayan date of December 21, 2012 was the impetus for completing Vivos, the envisioned catastrophic events can happen at any time, without notice, in 2013, 2019, 2029, 2036, or even 100 years from now. It’s not a question of if, but when!"
Lest you think 5,000 people is not enough to repopulate Earth, fear not. Taking the rhetoric of his "modern day ark" to its logical extreme, Vicino’s shelter will also include a Cryovault, promising to preserve eggs, semen, and animal DNA.
"Join us in the gene pool," is the tag line.