My book Apocalypse Any Day Now came out in 2019. It’s about preppers and also different aspects of “apocalypse culture.” Working on the book is something I’ve thought about a lot while stuck inside sitting on my couch in this last pandemic year. One particularly memorable adventure while working on the book was taking an epic road trip out to Kansas with my friend Paul Kjelland to take a tour of the Luxury Survival Condos, a high end doomsday bunker built underground in a former Atlas F missile silo. After some back and forth emailing the condo developer, Larry Hall, he agreed to spare us some time to show us around in September 2017.
In this week’s Tea’s Weird Week podcast episode, I tell the story of the tour, some new perspective on the facility a year into the pandemic, and share some audio clips from the 3 hour plus tour we took. To pair with that audio, I thought I’d share some pictures– a few of these were featured in Apocalypse Any Day Now, but several haven’t been seen before. All these pictures were taken by Paul.
Literally middle America– Larry told us the Luxury Survival Condos, located in the middle of a corn field in Kansas, is about dead center of the continental United States if you were measuring west to east coast, northern to southern border.
After we were admitted through a barbed wired perimeter by a security guard, we entered through the condo’s blast doors– each door weighs eight tons of armored steel filled with concrete,
There’s a ramp that leads from the blast door area into the main condo complex and the hall is decorated with photos showing the construction process. Pointing one of these out is condo developer Larry Hall.
The swimming pool– not a typical doomsday bunker amenity. The facility has three 25,000 gallon tanks and a heavy filtration system.
Here I am taking advantage of the photo op after the waterfalls were activated. You can hear audio of this exact moment in the Tea’s Weird Week podcast this week: Episode 9: Doomsday Bunkers of the Rich and Famous (Revisited).
The lowest level of the structure, Level 15, has the movie theater, a $250, 000 room which has a state of the art projector (and a popcorn machine). We watched a clip of The Avengers down here. It was as high a quality (and maybe even better) than your typical movie experience. I haven’t been to a movie theater in over a year, by the way, and I really miss it.
I also really miss hanging out at bars– next door to the movie theater is the Flying Ace Lounge. We did not do shots down there– there was no booze stocked.
I thought this market level was one of the most interesting features of the survival condo. Instead of a simple food storage room, it’s set up as a miniature grocery store, complete with shopping carts so people can leave their units and have the experience of walking around, socializing and “shopping,” a sense of normalcy.
Another shot of a row of canned food in “Ship’s Store.”
Some of the tanks that will be used to breed tilapia and other fish in the giant hydroponics room, located in the former missile command center.
More tanks in the hydroponics room for growing plants.
In another rec area, we were shown this dog park, a place to take Fido when they have to go– the astroturf filters pee and the toilet in the background is for solid waste.
Another park of this rec area has a rock climbing wall, ping pong, foosball, and video games.
Part of the gym level.
Here’s half of a level that’s a library/reading lounge. The other half is a small classroom area that could accomodate maybe a dozen or so students at a time. As you can see, there wasn’t too much on the shelves when we visited. I did noticed Frank Herbert’s entire Dune saga was there, so that’s something.
This is inside one of the actual condo unit’s bedroom, 8 floors underground. Note the LED fake window next to Larry, designed to trick the brain that it is seeing outside on ground level.
The security control room, with monitors in all the common areas as well as the perimeter.
This room, the armory (or as I call it, the “fuck around and find out room”), unlike the library or bar, was well stocked. There’s a gun for every occasion in here as well as a stockpile of ammo and non lethal weapons.
This is how thick the silo’s walls are.
The different levels were a mix of “space hotel” clashing with “dystopian industrial.”
This is a lounge area with TVs, games, and a small kitchen. We sat down here to do an interview after the tour. You can find out how that went in Apocalypse Any Now and/or in the Tea’s Weird Week podcast!
Tea’s Weird Week podcast episode 09: Hear more of my thoughts on the Luxury Survival Condo experience, as well as some audio clips from the tour. Then me and Heidi discuss strange news including reports of Irish fae folk, glow-in-the-dark sharks, a catnip dispensary, a noise music confrontation, superpower reward money, and a bathroom mirror opens a portal to a creepy hidden apartment. Plus your last chance to win at trivia and we close out with a track by Alaska’s Eternal Cowboys, “Used Dreams.”
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week episode 09: Doomsday Bunkers of the Rich and Famous (Revisited) (podbean.com)
Check out my books:
Apocalypse Any Day Now (there is a print, ebook, and audio version!): www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Any-Day-Now-Underground/dp/161373641X/ref=sr_1_1
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness: bookshop.org/books/american-madness-the-story-of-the-phantom-patriot-and-how-conspiracy-theories-hijacked-american-consciousness/9781627310963
Tea’s Weird Week: 2020 Review (e-book): https://www.amazon.com/Teas-Weird-Week-2020-Review-ebook/dp/B08SGL97YJ/ref=sr_1_1
“System is Normal.”