Paranoid Businessman Built A Lavish Shelter In The Strangest Place As The Cold War Escalated

What would you do if the world was about to end? Most of us would probably just cross our fingers and hope for the best, but there are a few individuals out there who have gone to extreme measures to prepare.

When one entrepreneur thought the apocalypse was imminent, he decided to not only survive but to thrive in style. From the outside, it might seem like nothing much, but once the door is opened it will take your breath away…

John Hay had it all. He was the co-founder of popular tea brand Celestial Seasonings and owned lucrative real estate all over the country. Still, there was one lingering fear that kept him up at night…

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Nuclear annihilation. After a period of de-escalation, tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union shot back up in the early 1980s. Both sides were stockpiling weapons and mobilizing troops all over the globe.

Courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration

However, Hay was sure the Soviets were poised to strike first, and that the entire world would soon turn a bright shade of red. America couldn’t protect him from this threat.

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

But Hay could protect himself. He was a born self-starter. A former marine, Hay built Celestial from the ground-up by picking herbs in the Rocky Mountains and stuffing them into hand-sewn bags.

In 1983, Hay turned his attention to the tranquil Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. He purchased 240 acres of empty land for a mere $146,000. So how would this keep him safe?

Flickr / super*dave

Well, Hay wasn’t so much interested in the woods as he was in the gigantic limestone cave that ran beneath them. He believed it had the potential to house the ultimate fallout shelter. Construction began immediately.

Flickr / Dan

However, relations between America and the USSR soon improved, and it became increasingly unlikely that any nuclear war would take place. What could Hay do with his half-built bunker?

Hay, a shrewd businessman as always, knew how to adapt under changing circumstances. Maybe his underground abode could be used not just for survival, but for recreation. He drew up a new plan.

After a few more years of intense construction and furnishing, the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge was born. What was once a bomb shelter was now a subterranean, high-end hotel.

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Hay naturally felt quite pleased with its transformation. “I didn’t want to come through the war like Tina Turner in Mad Max,” he said, “so I created Tinseltown.” 

To stay in one of the cave’s four bedrooms, guests have to shell out as much as $1,600 per night. Although the rate is as steep as the mountains surrounding the hotel, the price is worth it! 

Each morning you can take a hot shower that will wash away the problems and worries that you brought from above ground. That’s right, you can stay clean even when you’re living in a cave.

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You can relax and watch a movie on the 75-inch LED television mounted on the limestone walls. The lodge’s thermal heating will keep you nice and cozy even in the dead of winter.

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Later on, you could head over to the state-of-the-art kitchen to enjoy a classy dinner and good company. Unlike most bomb shelters, the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge has way more than just canned goods.

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Of course, guests aren’t confined to the indoors. You can hike around the Ozarks and, if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of the region’s majestic wildlife.

Facebook / Beckham Creek Cave Lodge

There’s plenty of nature still present inside the hotel too. The lodge preserved some of the original cave features, like the stalactites hanging from the ceiling, as well as this waterfall.

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And the Beckham’s guests never have to be afraid. Should the danger of a nuclear attack ever resurface, the hotel can seal all the openings in the cave with concrete blocks.

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Like any eccentric millionaire worth his salt, Hay also installed a helipad. That could really come in handy for all those instances when the average Joe travels by helicopter.

If you dream of making this luxurious cave your own, you are in luck. The property recently went on sale for the sum of $2.75 million. One lucky person can make the Beckham Creek Cave Lodge their own private retreat.

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Just imagine sitting by the fire on the front deck, with nobody around for miles and miles. You could sip a mug of herbal tea and be grateful that John Hay’s paranoia created such a special place.

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The Beckham Creek Cave Lodge is without a doubt one of the most pleasant places to wait out a nuclear apocalypse.

Share this article with your friends so you can plan your trip out to the Ozarks!

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