In the American drama “Billionaires”, actor hedge fund tycoon Axe received a special birthday present – the billionaire’s doomsday “Ark” ticket. Transformed from a nuclear-proof fortress, this underground luxury shelter is equipped with medical facilities, ample food reserves and weapons to protect the super-rich from apocalyptic disasters.
Now, the plot of the play becomes a reality. As the outbreak of new coronary pneumonia continues to spread, to avoid the outbreak, the United States rich can be said to be all the way. On April 28th, according to media reports, the crisis-conscious Silicon Valley upstarts, many people choose to move their families to the huge investment to build a “sanctuary fortress”, and these reclusive sites are mostly located on the world map of the “end of the world” – New Zealand.
New Zealand is one of the Western countries that has better control of the outbreak. New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said the country was “overcoming” the outbreak, the BBC reported on April 27.
Reported that New Zealand since April 5 reported 89 new confirmed cases, the number of cases in the country continued to show a downward trend.
Located on the edge of the earth, with a population of just 4.9 million, its natural beauty, a stable political environment and state-of-the-art medical facilities, New Zealand has for many years been the first choice for the World Survival Program for the wealthy of the United States. The business became even more popular after the outbreak of new corona pneumonia.
Escape to New Zealand
After the outbreak, airports around the world were almost closed, leaving Queenstown Airport in New Zealand alone busier. Although the New Zealand government announced a ban on entry of non-citizens as early as March 20, it was unable to hold back the wealthy with dual citizenship. After the ban, some Silicon Valley billionaires arrived in New Zealand on private jets to escape the outbreak.
Also busy is Rising S Inc., a Texas-based bunker manufacturer. Every day, Bloomberg reports, the company receives numerous phone calls about how to use the secret new bunkers they buy.
As the largest new zealand shelter builder in the United States, Rising S has 38 doomsday bunkers in New Zealand. The bunkers are about 3.35 metres deep underground in New Zealand and come with luxurious bathrooms, games rooms, archery, gyms, cinemas and operating beds.
After the outbreak, a client from Silicon Valley asked Gary Lynch, the company’s general manager, how to open the multimillion-dollar bunker.
“He had never lived there before. This time he called me specifically to ask for the unlock code for the bunker. “He went to New Zealand to escape what was happening in New York right now. The client runs a technology company in Silicon Valley and usually lives in New York, which has become the epicentre of the U.S. outbreak.
In fact, many customers have never used bunkers after purchase, before leaving will have to call Lynch, asked in detail how to unlock the door, whether the water heater is installed water filtration system, electrical power and other trivial issues.
In addition, there are many phones that want to buy new bunkers.
Robert Vecchino, founder of California-based Vivos Survival Shelter, says the company has built a 300-person bunker north of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island. After the outbreak, he kept getting calls from customers asking about the shelter.
In fact, wealthy Americans have a long history of creating refuge bunkers in New Zealand. Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of PayPal, has been preparing for the world crisis, owning 477 acres of land and a $13.8 million mansion in the lakeside town of Wanaka, admiring the snow-capped mountains, buying $4.7 million worth of homes in Queenstown, New Zealand’s South Island, and building a multimillion-dollar secret shelter deep underground, the Daily Mail reported.
“New Zealand is already utopian,” Thiel told Business Insider. He believes that New Zealand is the last place in the world to settle, and he has spread his sense of crisis to other colleagues in the tech world.
Julian Robertson, a billionaire hedge fund owner, also owns a hotel in Queenstown overlooking Lake Wakatipu. Upta National Finance Chairman Bill Foley owns his home in the Wailalapa area north of Wellington. James Cameron, the director of Titanic and Avatar, bought a mansion near Lake Punui in New Zealand.
New Zealand news network Stuff says the construction of underground shelters in the country has become standard for many wealthy Americans.
Lynch’s company, for example, costs about $3 million for a regular underground shelter, which can soar to $8 million or even $15 million if it is equipped with recreational facilities. With the outbreak in the United States, the business of such companies has multiplied.
Molloy, a construction worker on New Zealand’s Rapids Island, says it’s a “billionaire’s playground.” Many of the island’s mansions, he says, are not occupied all year round, “just to give wealthy billionaires a safe haven to hide when things happen in other parts of the world”.
New Zealand luxury real estate agent Graham Wall also said he had recently received calls from wealthy Americans asking for real estate on the island. “They all say it looks safest in New Zealand right now. “
It is not known how many wealthy Americans have bought bunkers in New Zealand. These bunkers are hidden in remote corners, only GPS can be found.
According to the Guardian, the success of the business seems to stem from clever marketing. The concept of “crisis shelter” is a selling point among Silicon Valley executives in the United States, relying on the landscape, the sparse nature of the land and its unique geographical location, New Zealand, this “out-of-the-world peach source” just become a developer to cater to the “sanctuary” of the United States Silicon Valley executives.
The illusion of a world crisis is deeply rooted in American culture. Even in 2012, many Americans believed that the world was ended by the Mayan prophecy.
In recent years, nuclear leakage, virus spread, extreme disasters, economic crisis and other catastrophic events, so that many people worry about the world crisis.
The National Geographic Channel has released a reality show, Doomsday Preppers, that documents participants preparing for the end of the world. The show attracted more than 4 million viewers when the first episode aired, and by the end of the first season it was the channel’s most-watched show of all time.
Nearly 40 percent of Americans believe it is wiser to deal with a world crisis by stocking supplies and building bomb shelters than saving for old-age insurance, according to a National Geographic survey.
In addition, Mr. Trump’s inauguration has boosted the rich’s preparedness for the crisis. Within seven days of Mr. Trump’s election, Immigration New Zealand data showed that a total of 13,401 Americans registered to apply for immigration, a 17-fold increase from the usual figure, the Guardian reported. The New Zealand Herald even used the headline “Trump’s Doomsday” when it covered the influx.
What’s different from the average person is that Silicon Valley’s rich have enough money and resources to put detailed plans into action.
Steve Hoffman, CEO of Reddit, which has undergone eye laser surgery in response to the world’s crisis, estimates that about half of silicon Valley billionaires around the world have taken out some form of “insurance”. For the rich, he says, “buying this bunker is like buying a holiday villa”.
“Given the wealth that the rich already have, it makes perfect sense to hedge this risk with a small portion of the assets. Huang Yishan, who was the engineering director at Facebook, said.
Design companies around the world are also looking at this opportunity and starting to design disaster shelters. Not only are these shelters strong enough to withstand nuclear explosions and earthquakes, but they are also well-equipped and even more comfortable than some family homes, satisfying the “crisis complex” in the hearts of the rich.