Kalastajan Majatalo has its roots in the 1950s. At that time, a business by the name of Välimäen Baari catered for all the needs of both visitors and locals, providing food, accommodation, a sauna, a dance pavilion, various licences, bus tickets and transport, a telephone exchange, a bank and the services of an Esso petrol station.
Mr Välimäki, the proprietor, also worked as a police officer and a civil servant who took care of the villagers’ paperwork with regional and even national authorities.
“I’ll bloody have to lock you guys up if you don't calm down now," was Topi Välimäki's well-known catchphrase that had an impressively calming effect on his clientele.
His wife was a keen church-goer, a chatty woman and a hard worker. She kept her workforce in check, and also had some success in keeping her husband under control. He unfortunately had difficulty saying no, especially to women.
The Välimäki enterprise provided a living not only for the owners, but for their family and relatives, and also provided work for the locals. In this period, Välimäkis’ pigs roamed the village streets alongside reindeer. The former had a bad habit of escaping the confines of their pigsty behind the bar. The village children used to catch the pigs in return for sweets.
The dance pavilion was very busy in summertime. The dancers didn’t mind that the midges were also having a ball. In the winter, dancing took place in an old barracks that was literally swinging to the beat of the music. The floor was bouncing to the mellifluous waltz tunes, as was the needle of the record player, but this only added to the entertainment. People in Karigasniemi knew how to have fun, and this right to party has not been compromised since.
Välimäen Baari goes on, now under the name of Kalastajan Majatalo. The sun keeps on shining, with a varying rate of success, and life goes on in at least equally interesting forms as in the past.
Read more about the magical inn at www.saamivillage.fi/en/attractions/the-magical-inn.
The history of Kalastajan Majatalo
1988 Coffee house, on lease
1991 45-seater restaurant and bar, on lease
22.6.1995 Change from a limited partnership to a limited company, Hans Rasmus owns 100% of shares
8.10.1995 Hans Armas Rasmus buys the buildings and furnishings, as well as the plot of land used for the accommodation and catering business, from the estate of police sergeant Toivo Oskari Välimäki. The restaurant is extended and now seats 100.
20.12.1995 A liquor licence is obtained
1998 The accommodation premises are renovated and capacity increased
2000 New apartment buildings, 24 more beds
2001 Restaurant extension to 180 seats
2003 The post office house and plot are bought, K-Extra shop is leased
2006 Increase in staff to 10 permanent workers and four seasonal staff.
2007–2008 Building and renovation projects
2009 Building and renovation projects
2010 Building and renovation projects
2011 Certificate of Honour from the Kauppalehti newspaper for being ‘Achiever of 2011’
2012 Certificate of Honour from the Kauppalehti newspaper for being ‘Achiever of 2011’
2014 Changed into a family business. Managing Director Hans Rasmus’s two sons become partners
2016 Hotel completed
Milestones through the years
2007: Ready at last!
The following year, the accommodation was renovated and capacity increased.
External remodelling in spring 2006
The work was not complete, but at least the insides of the buildings were ready for the summer season.
1995: The drought ends
Kalastajan Majatalo obtained a liquor licence and Arja sells the bar’s first alcoholic drink, which was a vodka and cola, naturally.
1995: Under construction
Workmen were in overdrive, working day and night, and the restaurant did not miss one day of business.