As the Covid-19 epidemic has raged throughout the US since early March, executives at a Silicon Valley company contacted shelter manufacturer Rising S Co. He wants to know how to unlock a secret door in a basement deeper than 3m underground, worth millions of dollars, in his New Zealand. Currently, the businessman runs a company in the Bay Area but lives in New York – the US outbreak.
According to Gary Lynch, general manager of RiSing S Co., the technology CEO never used the bunker and couldn’t remember how to open the door. Lynch said: “He also wanted to know how to use the water heater and asked if there should be an additional water or air purifier.”
Lynch added: “He came to New Zealand to run away from what is happening. As far as I know he is still in that basement.” He refused to share information about this businessman because the customer list is always confidential.
Americans pulled together to avoid the epidemic
For many years, New Zealand has been a prominent destination in the apocalyptic survival plan for the American rich. They worry that the deadly pathogen will paralyze the world. Isolated on the fringes of the earth, about 1,600 km south of Australia’s southern coast, New Zealand has more than 4.9 million people. This green, clean, and beautiful island nation is famous for its impressive scenery, political comfort and top medical facilities.
In recent weeks, the country has received much praise for its response to a pandemic. The New Zealand government issued quarantine orders early and the number of recovering cases is now higher than the number of new infections. Currently, the country only records 12 deaths, while the number in the US is 50 times higher.
In the United States, Vivos underground safety shelter construction company has installed a bunker with a capacity of 300 people on South Island (USA), according to Robert Vicino – founder of the California-based company. . Over the past week, he has received two calls from potential customers, who expect the company to build more shelters in the area.
Currently, more than 20 American families have moved to the Vivos bunker, which holds 5,000 people in South Dakota, about three-quarters the size of Manhattan (New York). Meanwhile, the company has also built a shelter for 80 people in Indiana and is developing another 1,000 people in Germany.
A shelter is being teamed by Rising S Co. build.
Rising S Co. Over the past few years, 10 private bunkers have been built in New Zealand. The average cost of each 150 ton tunnel is $ 3 million, but can be increased to $ 8 million when designing additional facilities such as high-end bathrooms, game rooms, shooting ranges, gyms, cinemas film and hospital bed.
Since the outbreak in the US, some people in Silicon Valley have moved to shelter in New Zealand. On March 12, Mihai Dinulescu, 34, decided to suspend his crypto start-up activity to escape the epidemic. He said: “My fear is now or never. I’m afraid the border will be closed. I feel very anxious that we have to leave.”
Dinulescu packed the luggage, leaving the furniture, TV, paintings and other items to some friends. He bought the latest flight ticket within 12 hours, with his wife on the flight at 7 am to Auckland. Harvard University alumni said, in San Francisco, “the entire international lobby area is empty, most aircraft are empty, except for a trip to New Zealand.”
Accept billions of dollars of investment to get a New Zealand visa
Four days later, New Zealand closed the border with people from abroad. Dinulescu said he had contacted about 10 people in New Zealand, afraid they would not be able to make it before the country closed. However, after the measure was announced, local media reported that the number of private aircraft to the country had increased slightly.
Dinulescu is currently working at Ao Air – start-up designing an air filter mask that competes with the N95. The company’s co-founder, Dan Bowden, of New Zealand, said there were more than 10 potential partners who asked to cooperate, but he was still wary.
“Some people are afraid and contact me just because they want a visa,” Bowden said. He added that an investor in the US even asked if he would qualify for residency in New Zealand if he increased his investment in the start-up. It is worth noting that New Zealand will issue investor visas with an investment value of about 6 million USD for 3 years.
New Zealand’s travel restraining order also has another requirement, passed in 2018, which prohibits foreigners from buying Kiwi houses – in part to cope with the growing American investment in real estate. luxury property here. Graham Wall, a luxury real estate developer, said he has received about six calls in recent weeks from the US, hoping to buy houses on the island.
A balcony at Dinulescu’s apartment for rent on Waiheke Island.
Although he does not live in a mansion, Dinulescu has no plans to return to Silicon Valley until the end of the pandemic. Currently, he and his wife are hiding on Waiheke Island in a 2-storey, 3-bedroom house with sea view, priced at 2,400 USD / month. This is lower than the price of their 2-room apartment in San Francisco.
Perrin Molloy – a local builder, said Waiheke is “a playground of billionaires”. He is often contacted to repair large villas on the island, most of which are vacant year-round. He said these mansions were for billionaires to flee from what is happening to the rest of the world.
Usually, builders are unaware of the owner of the villa and the renovation of “apocalyptic” houses is quite frequent. He shared that one of his colleagues built a $ 12 million house in a private bay with a basement that could accommodate four people. Molloy said: “This is obviously an emergency tunnel.”
The epidemic seems to have strongly promoted the development of the disaster prevention industry in New Zealand. Vivos founder Vicino said: “It is clear that Covid-19 made people realize how vulnerable we are, but what they care about is its remnants.”
He has the view that the rich are worried about the collapse or economic recession that could cause a revolt against the top 1% of the world. Vicino said: “They don’t want to protect their homes when gangs or bandits appear.”
Refer to Bloomberg