Gas Station. Image: Nelson Kon
The banker Orozimbo Roxo Loureiro created the 500 Club in the early 1950s. It followed the lines of the former 200 Club, founded by President Washington Luís to bring together influential politicians and businessmen away from the spotlight of capital cities. The initial idea of a social club did not prosper, and Orozimbo decided to develop a commercial and tourist enterprise in the area, which is well positioned between the two largest Brazilian cities.