When the end came, it was just like Tom and Mary had imagined. Supply chains started to crumble. Millions of Americans lost their jobs. Grocery stores ran out of food. The nearly retired couple wasn’t going to wait for society to collapse. They hopped in their camper van and drove 19 hours to South Dakota. “To come here and experience it in person is like walking the Grand Canyon for the first time,” Tom says. But it’s not the Grand Canyon. It’s a doomsday bunker.
Tom and Mary are living at xPoint, an abandoned military facility-turned-survivalist community at the base of the Black Hills in Fall River County. Miles of plains stretch out in all directions, connected by 100 miles of private road. Along the skyline, steel doors tucked into grassy knolls indicate the openings to the bunkers. It looks like an abandoned ranch, which is more or less what it was until a real estate mogul purchased it for the price of $1.
The idea for Vivos, a global community of apocalypse bunkers, came to CEO Robert Vicino nearly four decades ago in a moment of inspiration that featured a “crystal clear” female voice in his head. It said, Robert, you need to build deep underground bunkers for people to survive something that is coming our way. He filed it away until 2008, (the year Obama was elected) when the time was finally right to start building.
Vivos has survival campuses in South Dakota, where Tom and Mary live, and Indiana. These are for the downmarket bunkers that cost roughly $35,000 each. Vivos Europe, in contrast, is marketed as “the ultimate life assurance solution for high net worth families.” Apartments there cost upwards of $2 million.