Timeshare at the End of the World

William Eckenberg/The New York Times

Prepping for the end? No need to go it alone.

Back in the 1960s through even much of the 1980s, there was the distinct possibility of nuclear war. That was all brought on of course by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Those that could afford them built bomb shelters in their back yards to survive the potential holocaust or nuclear winter that was predicted in the event of war. I remember in the ’80s going to a party once at a house that had one of those bomb shelters. A unique party spot indeed, but kind of creepy and cramped.

As students, we had drills to practice ‘protective measures’ from a nuclear war including, of all things, crouching under our desktops, as if that would protect us from an exploding hydrogen bomb. Those must have been some great desks! It was all kind of scary, and it got even scarier when Reagan got elected since Democrats and the media guaranteed that he would most certainly get us into a nuclear war. We waited for the inevitable sirens, but they never came, thankfully.

Best selling books like The Late Great Planet Earth, published in the 1970s predicted the second coming and times of tribulation. Survivalism sprang up and became a new “thing,” which continues to fly under the radar, flaring up occasionally, even through today. Reality television shows like ‘Doomsday Preppers’ popped up to document the life of those preparing to survive the end.

I recently read about an ‘end times’ concept that sounded a lot like a timeshare. We all know those hard sells when you agree to a free tour, so I can just imagine what a sales tour of the Fortitude Ranch must be like:

“Welcome to the Fortitude Ranch. We plan on having a total of 12 beautiful scenic locations (at least they will be before the apocalypse!). Currently we have one in Colorado and of course ‘wild and wonderful West (by God)’ Virginia, with plans for additional locations in Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Texas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Indiana, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We offer to you a wide range of fun-filled activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, campfires with roasted marshmallows and of course, lots of activities involving guns and other assorted weaponry, including crossbows. Our premier weapon for your use is our great big .50 caliber sniper rifle! We’re not just about fun, however; we want to educate you on key life skills like farming, ranching, and a variety of key survivalist tactics and training.”

I am not sure if they have any contingencies for zombies. Anyway, that’s how I sort of imagine the sales pitch going. A member becomes one of the survivalist community and has a place for recreation in the good times and to take refuge in in the end times. Like any good timeshare, there are membership levels ranging from Spartan (shared space, private locker) to Luxury (private space, room storage).

It all sounds interesting, but maybe it’s just best to go down with the ship.

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