PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. -- About 100 miles west of St. Louis along Interstate 44, the billboards for Meramec Caverns and the Jesse James Wax Museum give way to something different.
"We are having big fun in Uranus."
"Family fun in Uranus."
"The best fudge is found in Uranus!"
Uranus isn't a town. Uranus is a tourist attraction.
It's kind of a strip mall gone delightfully, disgustingly wrong -- or right, if you have that sense of humor. It's just off exit 163, the Dixon exit. Route 66 enthusiasts, Lake of the Ozarks- and Branson-goers, students going to school in Rolla or soldiers going to training at Fort Leonard Wood can't miss it.
Because Uranus is growing.
"Uranus is expanding," say signs posted throughout the property. "Please excuse our mess."
Uranus wasn't always this big. The enterprise started in 2000 at Big Louie's Burlesque Saloon, a strip club on the grounds of the old Mark Twain hotel-turned RV sales lot. It grew to include the Chicken Bones Party Bar and Grill and Skin City Tattoo Studio.
It was only when owner Louie Keen grew impatient with the construction progress of an outdoor outpost that in July 2015, he decided to add a fudge factory and call it Uranus.