The second Hermitage opened in 1914, controlled and promoted by the then, Department of Tourist and Health Resorts. The Mount Cook Motor Company was keen to help expand the region as a destination, primarily to increase the visitor numbers to the Hermitage throughout winter. Due to growing demand for their services, eventually the company applied to lease the property, taking it over in 1921. The Hermitage was extended, camping facilities developed and package tours offered - for perhaps the first time in New Zealand. Further extensions came in 1924. In 1944 the lease expired and the Mount Cook and Southern Lakes Tourist Company, as it become known, returned the Hermitage to the Government.