I received an invitation to an event called “Network Like a Billionaire!” from a good friend of mine, the wife of a colleague and fellow journalist in Las Vegas. We jumped at the opportunity to trade $10 each for a glimpse inside the 70’s swank home, including a guesthouse and pool, which was built completely underground.
My friends and I giggled with glee as we entered the staircase through the aboveground caretakers quarters and descended 30 feet below. Had we known an elevator that featured a window with a black light display show was an option for our entrance, we may have chosen the lazy, more scenic route.
Upon entering the 1978 Bomb Shelter People Terrarium, we were greeted by sprawling plush green carpet “grass,” pale blue painted “skies” and an abundance of plastic “leaves,” some of which were attached to a “tree trunk” that served as a ventilation route.
The underground compound was a massive 16,500-square ft., and us lucky golden ticket holders milled through room after room oohing and ahhing over various interior time capsule décor and faux exterior environment complete with lighting for sunset, day, night, and dusk.
We envied the pull-from-the-wall toasters in the pink kitchen; a room that appeared to be from a 1950’s television show set. We bathed ourselves in fun while touring an elaborate master bathroom complete with lit tub that was surrounded by mirrors and even had ourselves a mini photo shoot (fully-clothed of course!). We even walked on a suspended Flintstones-like bridge over the in-ground (well it is all in ground) pool to view two separate little hot tub nooks.
Mingling like a billionaire we did not as we chose to selfishly soak in the scene around us–myself taking in the beautiful disaster before me with each exposure I took. However, I insisted that we take a moment to speak with the current caretaker of the home so that we could fire off our questions that had come to mind while we became acquainted with the property. Not only did he tell us, among other fascinating facts, that the pool could be of use for bathing if need be during a nuclear attack, but he also said that he would probably get out of town and “ride it out first” if such a disaster would occur.
Side notes: The home that is located just east of the Strip in a residential area was built in 1978 by Avon founder Gerry Henderson and his wife Mary to reportedly withstand a nuclear blast. It was purchased for $1.15 million in 2014 by the Society for the Preservation of Near Extinct Species. The home is used for meeting and private events.