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Inside the Survival Condo: The luxury doomsday bunker built for the end of days

You may think you'd have to ride out the apocalypse in a shack in the woods. But in this Kansas bunker, protecting yourself doesn't mean sacrificing comfort.

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Claire Reilly
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1 of 31 Andrew Altman/CNET

The Survival Condo

In the middle of Kansas, surrounded by fields, the Survival Condo is offering the world's rich and powerful a way to ride out the apocalypse in style. The Survival Condo might not look like much from the outside, but this high-tech compound offers deluxe living quarters on par with high-end apartments across the world. Plus, there's a pool, climbing wall and cinema, so you'll never be bored. 

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24-hour security

The location of the Survival Condo is a secret. At the end of an unsealed road more than two hours out of Wichita, it sits behind a barbed-wire fence, guarded by 24-hour security. 

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Constant surveillance

Surveillance cameras send direct video feed of the bunker's surroundings to the main security room, 24/7. 

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Hidden underground

Underground fuel stores provide a backup in case of emergency.

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Sixteen tonnes of steel between us and them

The Survival Condo is guarded by eight-ton steel doors. 

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Under construction

The Condo was built into the shell of an Atlas Missile Silo, which was itself built during the early 1960s. Engineered to survive the launch of a nuclear missile (with nine-foot-thick walls of steel-reinforced concrete), these silos housed the United States' nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. The silo in Kansas was reinforced with additional concrete before it was fitted out with all the mod cons guests enjoy today. 

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A relic from the Cold War

A photo of President John F. Kennedy meeting members of the 389th Strategic Missile Wing launch crew hangs inside the converted missile silo. 

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Fifteen levels underground

An elevator features a light-up map of the Condo's layout, spread across 15 floors and extending 200 feet underground. At the top, above ground and set into the hill outside, a dome houses communal facilities including a pet park, arcade, swimming pool and climbing wall. Underneath are the mechanical level, medical bay and food stores, with luxury living quarters spread across the next seven floors. At the bottom, four floors house a classroom and library, cinema and bar and a gym.

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Room for the ATV

Every condo comes with its own interior car parking space, protected from the elements. 

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Camo and supplies

The Survival Condo features emergency supply rooms that stock the standard survivalist equipment: camo gear, helmets and, of course, duct tape. 

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Emergency medicine

Alongside the medical bay, the Survival Condo has a registered pharmacy as well as storage to hold up to seven years' worth of medication for each resident.

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...and a gun room

The Survival Condo is loaded with firearms for security, as well as a fully functioning gun range. Condo owner Larry Hall says many residents who buy units in the complex want to learn how to shoot. 

"You can come down here and shoot everything from handguns up to ... sniper rifles," he says. 

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Fend for your shelf

The Survival Condo's food stores include everything from freeze-dried blackberries to shelf-stable scrambled eggs, all rated to last up to 35 years. 

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Paradise underground

Perhaps the most staggering part of the Survival Condo is the full-sized pool, which features a system that automatically refills and sterilizes the water. Of course, the water slide adds a final touch.

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The climbing wall

No long-stay in a nuclear bunker would be complete without a climbing wall.

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The living quarters

On the residential levels, full-floor and half-floor units give residents all the conveniences of a modern condo, buried multiple floors underground. The kitchens feature brand-new appliances and fully automated light and heat, controlled by touch panels.

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Room with a view

TVs throughout the living quarters give a view of the outside world (thanks to the external security cameras). Condo owner Larry Hall says the illusion of a view would be vital for maintaining mental health. 

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Room for the whole family

The living room inside one of the Condo's full-floor units.

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The living room

The lounge room -- complete with a TV window -- ready for residents to move in at a moment's notice

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The cinema

At the very bottom of the Survival Condo, a cinema offers residents a place to relax, complete with a selection of 2,000 films stored in a database. 

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The library

The common levels at the base of the bunker include a library and classroom. 

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The control room

Inside the control room, all the surveillance cameras feed back to a central console, giving security a view of all public areas and the bunker's exterior. 

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In case of fire

The bunker's smoke control system monitors every level of the Survival Condo. If there's a fire, security can isolate the problem and recirculate harmful air out of the building. 

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Bunker No. 2

Down the road from the Survival Condo, owner Larry Hall has secured a second Atlas Missile Silo to convert into another condo complex. From the outside, the silo is nothing more than a wooden door. 

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Into the silo

But inside, the silo is virtually unchanged from its original structure. Hall and his team built new concrete floors to separate the silo into different stories, with a new steel staircase to connect them all. 

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The elevator shaft

Hall and his team left space for an elevator shaft, which offers a terrifying view all the way to the bottom of the silo. 

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Signs from another era

There are still small details that show its former life as a missile silo. 

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The blast doors

Jutting off the side of one of the silo levels, blast doors lead the way to the former control room for the missile silo. These blast doors were designed to withstand the launch of a nuclear missile. 

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Doorway to the past

The passageway behind the blast doors leads to the control room. 

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The control room

Not much remains of the living quarters and control room, but this area housed six missile engineers at a time, working in two-week shifts to make sure the missile facility was staffed at all times. 

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Up for air

Small details remind you that there's nothing quite as airtight as a reinforced concrete tube buried 200 feet underground.

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