The SHOT Show always has a number of "official" hotels where their travel company has negotiated special rates for attendees and exhibitors. One of the pluses of staying at one of these on-the-Strip hotels is that there is shuttle bus service to the Sands Expo Center.
For those that are not aware of it, Question 1 on the ballot in Nevada is on universal background checks. It would criminalize the sale or transfer of a firearm between private individuals unless a background check was performed by a FFL. While there are limited exceptions to this, the first offense is a gross misdemeanor and the second offense is a Class C felony.
This initiative was proposed by Nevadans for Background Checks which is a front group for Michael Bloomberg and his Everytown Moms for Illegal Mayors. Tara Paone is a listed as a director of this group. As Jeff Knox notes, she is also the Treasurer for Everytown and was listed as a director in Washington State's I-594 universal background check initiative.
I am firmly of the belief that if this initiative passes that the SHOT Show, Safari Club International, and other firearms related organizations should forever move their trade shows and conventions out of that state. You don't reward states that don't respect your civil rights. The LGBTQ community is very good at this.
That got me to questioning who was financially supporting the initiative and who was funding the opposition. Here is where it gets interesting. There was the big money (over $100,000) donations from Everytown and from Seattle billionaire Nick Hanauer. Hanauer spent over $1 million in a successful effort to pass Washington's I-594 initiative. These type of donations were expected. What I would not have expected were substantial donations from a number of the casino and hotel companies.
- MGM Resorts International - $25,000 - 1/22/2016
- Caesar's Enterprise Services LLC - $25,000 - 12/29/2015
- Wynn Resorts Ltd. - $50,000 - 9/29/2015
MGM Resorts International
- Bellagio - Yes
- MGM Grand - Yes
- Skylofts at MGM Grand
- The Signature at MGM Grand
- Mandalay Bay
- Delano Las Vegas
- The Mirage - Yes
- Monte Carlo - Yes
- New York - New York - Yes
- Luxor - Yes
- Excalibur -Yes
- Circus Circus - Yes
- Anthology Suites & Villas
- Bally's - Yes
- Caesars Palace - Yes
- The Cromwell
- Flamingo - Yes
- Harrah's - Yes
- The LINQ - Yes
- Paris - Yes
- Planet Hollywood - Yes
*Caesar's Enterprise Services LLC is a spin-off from Caesars Entertainment. It was set up in 2014 to protect the company in case they had to declare bankruptcy.
- Wynn Las Vegas
So what does this leave in the way of official hotels whose owners have not donated to Bloomberg's universal background check initiative?
- The Ventian - owned by Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands
- The Palazzo - owned by Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands
- Elara - owned by Hilton
- Hilton Grand Vacations - owned by Hilton
- SLS Las Vegas - owned by Sam Nazarian's SBE Corp.
- Stratosphere - owned by American Casino & Entertainment Properties LLC
- The Cosmopolitan - owned by Blackstone Group (investment bankers)
- Treasure Island - privately owned by Phil Ruffin
- Tropicana - owned by Hilton
- Trump Las Vegas - owned by you know who
- Westin - owned by Marriott International
If you are staying in one of these hotels, you have a decent assumption that you are not subsidizing the anti-gun forces. It makes me glad we finally settled on the Westin instead of Bally's.
There are plenty of other hotels, motels, and casino properties where you can stay in Las Vegas that are not part of the cabal trying to steal your rights. You might want to go here to check on alternatives.
This leaves the opposition to the initiative. The NRA-ILA has been very active from what I have read but Bloomberg has bought most of the air time. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the NRA Nevadans for Freedom has spent about $140,000 on ads. This contrasts with the $800,000 spent by the Bloomberg group. I have read that the NSSF's #GunVote is doing some work against the initiative but I'm not sure what. I do have a question on various Nevada shooting forums asking about it.