Cold War Nuclear Missile Silo Listed as Rental on Airbnb

In this Nov. 2 photo, Matthew Fulkerson and his wife Leigh Ann pose at their Subterra Airbnb, located in a former underground missile silo base near Eskridge, Kan. (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)
In this Nov. 2 photo, Matthew Fulkerson and his wife Leigh Ann pose at their Subterra Airbnb, located in a former underground missile silo base near Eskridge, Kan. (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

In what is likely to be a unique vacation experience, travelers can now rent a Cold War-era missile silo to crash at during their visit to Kansas, a report said.

The Subterra Castle was previously the home of a nuclear warhead during the early-to-mid 1960's, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported. After it was left abandoned for decades, Ed and Dianna Peden reportedly bought the property in 1994 and reconstructed it into "an underground mansion."

But the idea to list the bunker on Airbnb, the online rental marketplace, was devised by their neighbor Matthew Fulkerson, the outlet said. He is the site's host and has reportedly known its owners for years.

Subterra, located in rural Wabaunsee County, opened for business six months ago, according to The Journal. It's the first and only Airbnb available that is a converted missile silo, Fulkerson said.

According to the Airbnb listing page, the bunker's decor has a "bohemian eclectic" vibe to its redesign and guests can see "the story of its transformation from a bunker into a home." The underground space is more than 18,000 square feet and sits on 33 acres of property that includes a pond, a stone circle and a grass airstrip, the site said.

The structure, built in 1959, was originally part of a ring of nine Air Force silos built around Topeka, The Journal said. The underground bases were reportedly constructed during the height of the Cold War and ran for four years before being shut down and abandoned.

The building stored "an intercontinental ballistic missile that had a nuclear warhead 32 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima," Fulkerson said. "The guys who lived here thought they would have to launch this missile at any moment."

The silo reportedly sat vacant for a number of years before the owners bought and transformed it into something habitable.

But Fulkerson told The Journal that he had a larger plan for the location and wanted it to become more than an overnight stay on people's way through the state.

"I see it as becoming a destination," he said.

In addition to a main-floor bedroom, Airbnb guests at Subterra will have a full kitchen, private bathroom, laundry services and a fireplace which gives a "nice, cozy feeling in the fall and winter months," Fulkerson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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