Pallas concentrates more on cross-country skiing than downhill, yet it boasts the second greatest vertical drop in Finland with a maximum 340m descent, which only Ylass of the other 120 centres can beat. The Finnish Tourist Association built a splendid functionalist style hotel in 1938. Aulis Hämäläinen designed this first fell hotel in the country and Alvar Aalto designed its furnishings. In the winter, reindeer brought tourists to the hotel.
During the war, from 1941 - 1944, the splendid hotel at Pallas was a holiday place for German soldiers until they blew it up in October 1944 during their retreat. The new Hotel Pallas, designed by Jouko Ylihannu, was opened in the spring 1948. There is a four-km climb from Hotel Pallas to the peak of the most majestic 807m high Taivaskero Fell. It was here that the Helsinki Olympic torch, symbolising the rays of the midnight sun, was lit on 6 July 1952. The torch was carried by 1,680 relay runners from Pallas to Helsinki - the number of runners tells you just how long the journey is. Paavo Nurmi lit the flame in the Helsinki Olympic Stadium thirteen days later.