Luckless link

Gamblers are an interesting bunch; they like to spend big and live large, and they make good business for airlines. las-vegas-airport-address.jpgThe city of Las Vegas has one of the busiest airports in the nation because of the gaming business, and the desert city’s magnetic pull on gamers has made the resort blossom. So one would think that flights to Las Vegas from almost anywhere would be profitable, as indeed they have proven to be for an airline such as Allegiant, which links Las Vegas with obscure spots such as Rapid City, SD. But when it comes to linking Las Vegas with another gamblers’ destination, things haven’t worked out that well. A non-stop route between Las Vegas, out in the Nevada desert, and Atlantic City, on the New Jersey coast, just didn’t pan out for Spirit Airlines, and the Miramar, Florida-based carrier is ending its non-stop flights between the two.
For Spirit, DSC01253.jpgthis is significant, because the airline was founded as a charter carrier to fly gamblers from wintry Detroit to places like Atlantic City. But the two casino centres are very different markets, with Las Vegas having the brand name to draw flyers from around the world, while Atlantic City, where gaming began only in 1978, has developed a following in the east. The Atlantic City gambler tends to spend little less, which is a good thing because AC’s customer is likely to be a little less affluent than the high-rollers of LV. But the city on the Atlantic Ocean is doing all right on its own. Its airport traffic is up by almost one fourth and the airport should handle about one million people for all for 2007; Las Vegas should have handled about 48 million passengers for the year, up abut 4%. But some how the two don’t have that many travellers in common. After all, how many people fly between one ski resort and another? Or between one beach resort and another?

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