A trip back in time: Diefenbunker allows visitors to travel to 1969, and a world on verge of war

A trip back in time: Diefenbunker allows visitors to travel to 1969, and a world on verge of war

Imagine the unthinkable: the United States and the Soviet Union are at war. Nuclear missiles are hurtling toward their designated targets with deadly accuracy.It’s doomsday in 1969.Within the hour, cities will be vaporized and millions will be annihilated – unless you act fast to stop it all.That is the premise behind an escape room game now being developed inside a decommissioned nuclear fallout shelter – better known as a Diefenbunker – an hour’s drive north of Halifax in the sleepy, rural community of Debert.Story continues belowREAD MORE: Locked in time: Get a look inside Nelson’s Diefenbunker“The idea is that … the bombs are in the air,” says Tyler Fields, event manager for Enter the Bunker, the company transforming the two-storey, 64,000-square-foot underground complex into a cutting-edge entertainment venue.“It’s a matter of which nation can get their self-defence system up and running to save the nation … We’ll get you immersed in the experience.”Commissioned in 1959 by then-prime minister John Diefenbaker, the bunker was one of seven Cold War bomb shelters built across Canada. Each was designed to withstand a five-megaton nuclear blast from about two kilometres away.“A lot of work has been put into the bunker,” Fields says after completing a public tour of the Debert facility. “We’re on the tail-end of the construction phase … We have all kinds of space and lots of ideas.”Until late last year, public events at the historic bunker were generally low-key and somewhat sporadic.But Fields is gearing up for a busy season with state-of-the-art laser tag, movie nights and paintball tournaments.Regular tours started earlier this month.And plans are in the works to establish the site as an e-gaming arena, where participants can watch and compete in video game tournaments.The new “War Games” escape rooms are slated to open in March.WATCH: Extended: Take a tour of Nelson’s hidden nuclear bunker



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