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Scam AlertEach year we alert you to various hotel “deals” floating around Las Vegas, and each year we caution everyone planning to attend SHOT Show to keep a watchful eye out for these often seemingly legitimate offers.

I say “seemingly” because too many times someone signs up for these too-good-to-be true offers, then finds out their reservation mysteriously doesn’t exist upon arrival, and hears, “But, oh, we do have a room available, sir”—for as much as double what you thought you were going to pay. And then what are you going to do? You’ve gotten on a plane, flown hundreds of miles and you’re standing at the hotel’s registration desk. You also know there are two other shows or conventions in town and that finding another room that doesn’t require you to drive in from Reno is one tough proposition. You’ve been had.

For you doubting Thomases who think we make this up to hype those rooms we deliberately and specifically designate as official show rooms, here’s a post we ran across on Facebook recently promoting a “deal” on hotel rooms for another show related to our industry:

Do you want FREE EXTRAS when you come to the XYZ Convention? Send me an email and phone number. Right now for the low price of $XXX you get up to 4 days/3 nights' at a premium Vegas hotel (think Caesar’s or Wynn), complimentary show tickets for four to Jersey Boys or Blue Man Group, and a $200 dining card. And there’s more! We’ll also throw in a free 3 day/2 night getaway at one of more than 50 premium vacation destinations around the country, including 2 round-trip plane tickets. You need to be at least XX years of age and married, but all you and your spouse have to do is attend our two-hour presentation and bring your credit card. Message me now—it’s the best deal you’ll get!

Now, what if I told you the X’d-out price was under $500? Does that saying about “If it’s too good to be true” ring a bell? Sure, this could be legit—but I’d rather place my bet on the long shot at Churchill Downs.

NSSF, ConvExx and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority go to great lengths to make sure we have blocks of rooms in hotels across the city for which we have already secured the best prices. These rooms are available at hotels with prices to suit every budget level, from $38 a night at Excalibur to rooms in the low $300-a-night range for SHOT’s headquarter hotel, the Venetian/Palazzo. No, you won’t get a three-day weekend with airfare at a “premium vacation destination” as a bonus, and you’ll have to secure Jersey Boy tickets on your own, but when you book your rooms through our online partner onPeak or The Venetian & Palazzo Resorts your reservation will actually exist when you show up at the hotel registration desk, and it will be for the price at which you booked it—and that’s the surest bet you’ll ever make in Las Vegas.

Chris Dolnack is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisDolnack.