Marcus Threats is still looking for the high school guidance counselor who dismissed his college aspirations, suggesting he instead learn a trade. With six college degrees under his belt, it’s safe to say Threats proved her wrong.
“It really just comes from never giving up,” Threats said. “And knowing that nothing is impossible.”
It certainly wasn’t easy for Threats growing up at a time when African-Americans weren’t allowed to work or visit the Strip. Still, the young Las Vegas native dreamt of running a casino.
“The hotel-casino industry always fascinated me,” he said. “I looked at the Kirk Kerkorians and the Steve Wynns of the world, and thought, ‘Why not me?’”
Education was the answer for Threats, who earned two associate degrees from community college and then a bachelor’s degree from the Hotel School at UNLV. But a call from the U.S. Navy pilot program temporarily steered Threats away from his hospitality career to pursue another childhood dream.
“When I got selected for flight training, it was an opportunity I couldn’t say no to,” said the former lieutenant, who went on to complete 187 carrier landings throughout his seven-year military stint.
Following his service, Threats continued to defy the naysayers by earning an MBA and two law degrees, eventually finding his career niche in hotel development.
“You can do anything if you set your mind to it and just follow your dreams,” Threats said.
If anything, his string of life successes highlight one truth: Sometimes high school guidance counselors get it wrong.