The Dunes at Kermit will be closed indefinitely, according to the parks social media pages.
Land owner Tony Underwood confirmed the news Wednesday afternoon saying the park has been sold. However, he would not say who purchased the dunes.
In a post published on the Dunes Facebook page he shared a goodbye publicly saying:
The dunes have been closed since November as water testing was being conducted throughout the property and the use of drilling equipment forced officials to close the park.
However, testing was expected to be completed by Nov. 30. That changed when officials announced on the social media page that testing would continue through December.
Now the park is being closed indefinitely and Underwood said their no trespassing policy will be “strongly enforced,” moving forward.
Local two met with Winkler County Sheriff Darin Mitchell who said the miles of West Texas sand will be missed.
“It’s private property, they owned it, and they can do what they want to with it, but it does effect the community out here also as far as the tax revenue because people spent money out here.”
Kermit native Kathy Odom said many people in the city are not happy with the decision to close the 1,300 acres of land to the public.
“It’s a sad situation because we need something to keep our young kids out of trouble, so yes i wish they would have kept it open, for the kids.”
After the land owners posted the news on the dunes Facebook page upset comments flooded the comment section of the original post.
Including this one from Jody Grigery: A lot of people spent a lot of money to go here, and at the dunes in Kermit. I think we deserve an explanation of what’s going on…”
Underwood said he doesn’t know who brought the land, but rumors are already spreading in the community.
“Rumor is going around Kermit is they sold the Sandhills to an oil company out of Austin.” said Odom.
A post on the dunes Facebook page warns trespassing will be strongly enforced, that means no more public riding.
Sheriff Mitchell said he will have Deputies patrolling the perimeter of the land to make sure no one enters.
“If they want a citation, or be arrested, go out there, otherwise stay away, we have to uphold the law and the land owners if that’s what their wish is that’s what we will have to do.”
Winkler’s County Clerk Shethelia Reed said the County’s records show there has not been a change of ownership filed at her office as of Wednesday evening.
We will continue to keep you updated as that information becomes public record.