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Secret Mojave bunker offers doomsday refuge

May 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The backyard bomb shelter may be a relic from the past: Think early 1960s, Cold War, Cuban Missile Crisis. One local man thinks it's time to bring it back. He's renting doomsday bunkers in what he calls an "underground survival condo" at a secret location in the Mojave Desert. Where would you go with just three days' notice that the world was going to end? That question is on the business card of a San Diego company that offers a suggestion: You'll find it in California's Mojave Desert.

"This door and the entire facility are designed and engineered to withstand a 50-megaton blast," said Robert Vicino, founder and president of Vivos.

In an underground bunker in the Mojave Desert, Vivos is renovating the three-story underground bunker built by the government during the Cold War.

"The wall space along these two walls here are bedrooms," said Vicino. "And there's about 10 along that wall and about four or five that way. And each bedroom accommodates about four people."

The existing power and air filter and pump for water will be modernized and made more efficient. How long could people exist here?

"This facility can maximum-store food for one year for 132 people," said Vicino. "It's $50,000 per adult, $25,000 per child, and pets are free."

Asked if he was raising paranoia, Vicino said, "No, no, not at all. We're creating peace of mind."

One of the first people to reserve a spot in the facility is Steve Kramer of San Pedro.

"It's prudent to be prepared, you know? You don't know what's coming down the pipe," said Kramer.


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