I’ve noticed that all the major highways I’ve driven up to WI have, right across the border, cheese shops, firework shops, and porn shops. The reasons for the first two are obvious (local specialty and illegal in IL, respectively).
But why the sketchy XXX shops? It’s not like that content isn’t available easily in Illinois. Is there something about WI that makes it better for selling smut, or do they just assume, “hey, tourists will probably want to porn to go with those Black Cats and aged cheddar?”
But what sort of volume would you need to be buying such that it makes enough difference?
My only real guesses are a) there used to be restrictions in IL that are no longer in place but helped the WI shops get established and they do enough business to stay, or b) they’re just trying to appeal to truckers or out-of-towners and chose to build on existing visible “offramp” sites.
It might also be a county-by-county thing, not a state-by-state thing. Whatever Illinois county that is might also have such shops set up across the other county lines, too, but those aren’t as noticeable.
I never knew those were unique to Wisconsin. Well, then two things about them. First off all, they’re open 24 hours and are really designed to cater to truckers and other people ‘on the road’. There’s also some motels nearby that probably do a lot of business with sales people from out of the area that are visiting Milwaukee/Madison/Chicago/Green Bay. (Though as a friend of mine said, “I’d hate to see who shops there at, say, 4am”) and second, there are two colleges nearby (UW-Parkside and Carthage) and at least one of those porn shops (Superb Video) is also a head shop. If you wanted to get a new bong at 1:30 in the morning, that’s where you went. Hell, if you wanted to get a new bong at 1:30 in the afternoon, that’s where you went. It’s the only place that I know of in the area that had paraphernalia. And a huge selection at that. That shop is at least half bongs and other paraphernalia. We used to go there when we were bored just to look at all the glass.
As for why it’s right there, it’s probably because of the motels. That area really isn’t very populated with residents, so, like I said, I’d imagine most of their business is people just pulling off the road looking for a place to crash for the night and a lot of them might be ‘lonely’ after being away from home for a few days.
I drive up I-94 / I-43 from suburban Chicago to Green Bay every Christmas morning, to visit my family. I’ve always been amazed that those adult bookstores are not only open at 8 a.m. on Christmas morning, and wondered about who’s shopping there at that time (because there’s always cars in the parking lot at that time).
I always wondered about that Lion’s Den billboard when I passed thru to go to the Oshkosh Airshow. I didn’t get it 12 years ago when we first started going, and assumed that it had something to do with the Lion King.
It’s not so much that you couldn’t buy p0rn in downtown Chicago, but along the North Shore and Lake County.
Conversely, my favorite was the place just south of the line that advertised in big neon letters the easy availability of O L E O M A R G A R I N E. Though, now that I think of it, that may have also been related to the nearby motels.
Wow, my grandmother (or possibly mother) mentioned that sign once to me, I believe in reference to the drive up to Door County. I thought it was incredibly esoteric to remember; apparently, she’s not the only one.
My Ex-FIL talks about going across the Illinois border when he was a kid to with his parents to buy Margarine. I believe when it first came out it may not have been legal to sell it in Wisconsin, being the dairy state and all. I do know that even if you could buy it in Wisconsin, it couldn’t be sold yellow, it came with a little dye packet that you would mix in on your own so consumers wouldn’t mistake it as butter.
There are also a number of fireworks stores along that route over the WI border (although some tend to be seasonal, appearing in June/July.) That’s because IL fireworks laws are tougher, right? I’ve always assumed that there are more lenient porn laws in Wisconsin as well. I mean, I haven’t seen any porn shops as such in Illinois… ?