"I have to respectfully disagree. LAS is indeed a growing market and not
just for gamblers. Major conventions To follow this line of thinking, most SunBelt cities would be serviced by charters because of seasonality"
I agree, LAS is a growing market, and not just for gambling, but the percentage of travellers to LAS from western Canada who are gamblers is, from my perspective anyways, higher than passengers from in the US. I just don't see convention traffic as hugely significant from the prairie provincies, it's almost all holiday traffic.
As to the comment that "to follow this line of thinking most sunbelt cities would be serviced by charters" is actually quite correct. From Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, and even Saskatoon, Regina and Thunder Bay there are many sunbelt destinations served exactly the same way LAS is- by Royal, Canada3000 and AirTransat. Not just US cities, but into Mexico and the Carribean, but also to Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles, and several destinations in between.
As to LAS versus PHX as a hub, LAS is better placed, but psychologically getting business travellers around here to choose LAS as a connection might be tougher.
"I think Western Canada has more in common with the Western US than it
does with its sister provinces back East."
Canada is built on a strongly east-west axis, and I think that's going a bit far. In my view the extent to which north-south ties exist, however, make me wonder why AC doesn't fly into North Dakota, Minneapolis (not from the west, only from YYZ currently), or Montana, they're as far as having things in common are more strongly linked than the southern states.