Why rich people are panic-buying panic rooms

A whiff of danger — real or perceived — can lead to big-time safety spending.

The demand for panic rooms is booming in the Los Angeles area, per The Hollywood Reporter, with one business owner reporting a 1k%+ increase in inquiries over the last 3 months.

Prices typically start at $50k-$100k for a basic hideout, but can shoot up to $1m+.

Why are they so expensive?

For one, there’s a lot of steel involved. But they’re also getting fancier.

David Vranicar, managing partner at Miami-based Fortified & Ballistic Security, told Robb Report demand has jumped ~4x since 2020, while requests have become more elaborate.

We’re talking multipurpose suites with their own plumbing and HVAC systems and hidden escape tunnels.

The door alone can cost $2.5k to $190k, based on what it can withstand and how cool it is — like Creative Home Engineering’s secret bookcase entrance. (Look at this. You kinda want one, right?)

What’s causing the demand?

Los Angeles’ uptick in violent crime — despite conflicting data and overall lower crime rates across the last decade — apparently has those who can afford it prepping for The Purge.

But it’s not uncommon for danger, real or perceived, to spark these kinds of purchases. (We previously covered the also booming doomsday biz.)

Over the years, safe room companies across the US have attributed sale surges to the pandemic, news reports, fear of terrorism, and gun violence.

And interestingly, the owners who spoke to Robb Report noted only a handful of times their rooms were ever used in an emergency. The notion of safety, however, is perhaps priceless.

BTW: A previous THR story on rising crime from late 2021 mentioned increased demand for Rolex replicas. They still cost $2k-$3k, but buyers say that’s a fraction of the luxury watch’s $200k price tag. Oookay.

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