I live in the Kansas City area (not based at MCI, though) and I just don't see Vanguard as being a true, hometown airline. They have really failed to focus on a market base, and they have failed in their routing. While I think Adm Rocky Spane, their CEO, is a tremendous individual, their strategy is AFU.
Without a war chest of funds, you simply cannot take on NW in MSP, nor can you take on WN in MDW. How about Denver? They're up against United, and now Frontier. DFW--AA's pride and joy. PIT--US' pride and joy. Then there's Myrtle Beach--via Atlanta. Head to head with Spirit and a whole host of others. Unfortunately, Vanguard is trying to compete on those routes with a VERY apathetic and fickle base of customers. They can sell all the Boulevard Pale Ale they want, but it won't stop the customers from going to WN.
Lets also throw in some history. Airlines don't have a history in Kansas City and if they do, it's a bad one. TWA is a shell of what it once was here. Branniff (one and two) and Air One are in the history books. Eastern tried to hub here. Old Frontier is gone.
The two big players in MCI right now, go figure, are 180degrees out on their strategies but alike in the fact that they have a focus and stay out of competitive markets. Interesting how one of those carriers built up "Love" in its home city of Dallas. The other one focussed heavily on a very unflamboyant, but wealthy base in MKE and continues to exploit its identity there. What I find interesting is the fact that neither YX nor WN are expanding in MCI beyond focal point and min-hub status respectively. That shows a healthy respect for history, and a wariness for the tricky market here. Vanguard has neither.
If Vanguard can get a business strategy and focus together, it may make it. Right now, though, it's got a foot in the grave.