It was a terrible, insane choice of routes and pricing.
I remember it vividly. In Houston, then CO management must have been on something or another. . . . . . .
I also remember talking with someone from CO's management who explained it all to me at a college career fair long ago. They were seeking a revenue analyst intern for CAL Lite. He thought it was brilliant at the time. I was unconvinced. Scary.
I mean CO Lite flew St. Louis to Dayton, New Orleans to Greenville - Spartanburg, and Boston to Baltimore, and they even had close to HOURLY frequencies between Greensboro and Cleveland. My father (retired CO captain) flew a BOS-BWI leg that had 5 people on it once. All this capacity dumped into thin markets. I'm not joking, these were real routes with multiple frequencies. They thought revenue and passengers would abound if they charged $50 each way or some other ridiculously low fare on these flights I listed above. I remember one day mid week in January of 95, CO had a systemwide load factor of 35%.
Morale was at an all time low at the time. CO had implememented the new globe logo while they were pulling out of New Zealand and Australia and adding numerous flights to nothing markets. CEO Bob Ferguson thought at the time that only by flying routes where you were the dominant player, it was then you were successful. They were going to serve all the small point to point markets the big guys were ignoring. I remember Ferguson mailed a video outlining the "bold" strategy to the homes of all CO employees. I watched Ferguson explain why it was so smart to enter St. Louis - Dayton, for example, with all guns blazing to dominate that market. I guess they thought it was untapped or underdeveloped or something.
The idea of a hub at GSO isn't bad (in my opinion), but it was bad at the time. They built it up over night commencing unproven routes with questionable revenue potential and CO had no extra cash around to sustain any drain on unprofitable operations that were just starting up. CO needed to bolster it's other hubs since they closed the Denver hub and the other hubs had the untapped potential.