AUSTIN (KXAN) — A popular Texas state park will temporarily reopen to visitors this week ahead of its impending sale and permanent closure later this summer.

Fairfield Lake State Park, about 70 miles east of Waco, was closed to the public at the end of February, after almost 50 years in operation.

The land is not owned by the state. The current property owner, Vistra Energy, is in contract to sell the land to a Dallas-based developer, Todd Interests. That developer plans to turn the site into an exclusive gated community with multi-million dollar homes and a private golf course, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The Parks and Wildlife Department was given a 120-day termination of lease notice on Feb. 13, meaning the state would have to vacate the property by June 13. Lawmakers last week urged the TPWD to consider reopening the park in the meantime.

“I trust you guys know how much time you actually need to put the sign up and say the park is officially closed, but it just seems to me that we may have a bit more time for the public and Texans to enjoy this, to the economic benefit of Fairfield and Freestone County,” Rep. Ashby (R-Lufkin) said. Ashby is the chair of the Texas House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

In a statement Monday, TPWD announced it would reopen the park for day-use only beginning Tuesday, March 14. Entrance fees will be waived for all guests.

“Since closing the park in February, we have heard an outpouring from Texans who would love to visit their park,” said TPWD State Parks Director Rodney Franklin. “While we still stand committed to reaching a compromise that would save Fairfield Lake State Park for future use, our team will be working hard to keep this gem as accessible as possible for as long as possible.”

The park will open on a first-come, first-served basis until daily capacity is reached. Overnight stays are not available.

The park has seen an increase in visitors in recent years, with more than 80,000 visitors in Fiscal Year 2022, up from around 37,000 a decade ago.

“I look forward to continuing my conversation with Vistra and Todd Interests to preserve both the park and Fairfield Lake for future enjoyment, but for now I applaud our TPWD staff for their dedication, creativity and flexibility in keeping the gates open,” said TPWD Chairman Arch ‘Beaver’ Aplin. “Many Texans will benefit from the continued use of this cherished resource.”

Efforts are still underway to prevent the permanent closure of the park. Bills were recently filed in both the Texas House and Senate to allow the state to acquire the land through eminent domain.