Construction set to begin on San Diego man's doomsday shelter and resort

Shelter located in Atchison, Kansas

DEL MAR, Calif. - Taking shape -- about 130 feet below the surface -- is a San Diego man's dream of surviving a doomsday nightmare.

Robert Vicino, a successful entrepreneur, is about to break ground underground.

"It's 3/4 miles-by-half-a-mile wide," said Vicino.

Vicino is talking about what's expected to be the largest private shelter in the world, nestled in the limestone caves of Atchison, Kan., just north of Kansas City.

If doomsday comes calling, be it an asteroid, nuclear war or global pandemic, paid members of the Vivos shelter can ride it out for at least a year in safety.

Vicino said the shelter's blast doors can survive a nuclear blast as close as five miles.

"So do you want to be living in a hell-on-earth society or do you want to be comfortable in an underground shelter?" said Vicino.

Think of that shelter as an RV campground with a bit of doomsday chic. If you have a 20-foot RV and a family of four, membership will cost $26,000, including food.

Before Armageddon arrives, members will be able to enjoy it as a resort, including a golf course, spa, bowling alley and even a brewery.

The bunker will also operate as a self-contained town, from dental offices and hair salon, to hydroponics for growing food.

"Some would say you're an alarmist; that you're capitalizing on peoples' fears. How do you respond to that?" asked 10News reporter Michael Chen.

"I'm not capitalizing on fears. I'm resolving them," said Vicino.

Vicino, who's sold 10 percent of the 5,000 member capacity in just a few months, has built a handful of other bunkers in the past few years, and he said he's just hoping to break even in the ventures.

He said this is not about making a profit, but building a form of life insurance.

"Vivos is life assurance. It's assurance if you get there, before all this stuff happens, you will survive," said Vicino.

Vicino said he's had a surge in interest since the tensions in Syria began.

He's rejected 30 percent of applications, and he said one red flag is a lack of tolerance and willingness to live with children, pets, or people of diverse backgrounds.

 

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