In 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis was the topic of every news broadcast and the headline in every newspaper. Americans lived in fear of a potential missile strike. Even John F. Kennedy, the then-President of the United States, fell prey to the constant worry of an attack. The POTUS decided to take action, creating an underground bunker in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, with supplies and food for over 2,000 people to live in (relative) comfort for at least a month.
Having never served their intended purpose of an emergency shelter, the Grand Canyon Caverns have been turned into a tourist destination – 220 feet underground. There are organized tours throughout the day, but the Grand Canyon Caverns Underground Suite is also available to overnight visitors.
The cave motel room is said to be “one of the quietest places in the world,” thanks to its impenetrable stone walls. Managed by the Grand Canyon Caverns Motel, the suite includes many of the same comforts as a conventional hotel, like television, comfortable double beds, and even a library.
While the idea of sleeping underground may seem unnerving to some, there is one thing guests do not need to worry about: pests. Thanks to the caverns’ extreme depth, complete darkness, and low humidity, there are no other living creatures inside the caves.
At a cost of around $900 a night, guests have the privilege of sleeping mere feet away from JFK’s original stockpile of emergency supplies, which remain fully intact. For some, it is a small price to pay to take a step back into American history.