UPDATE (October 12): As Pasco County awaits the results of an engineering firm's assessment of the depression, nearby businesses continue to watch it closely.

It opened alongside the Varsity Club of Trinity, but the restaurant also shares a plaza with several doctor's offices. Representatives with the offices of Dr. Sheilah M. Drevon and the Children's Lung, Asthma, and Sleep Specialists are located across the plaza from the depression. They said it hasn't impacted their operations, but some patients have reached out to make sure they're still open.

“We come in every morning, checking to see if it’s getting any bigger, if it’s heading back our way. We’re just keeping an eye on it right now, hoping that it’s a depression and not a sinkhole," said Tammy Kenny, office manager with Dr. Drevon's offices.

The Varsity Club also remained open. One lunch customer told us he's concerned for employees.

“It’s one of my favorite places, actually, so I was glad they were only closed one day. It doesn’t disrupt any of the business, especially for the employees that county on the money, especially with the COVID-19 going on," customer Harold Misener said.

University of South Florida researchers created a digital map of the opening using 3D laser scanning. It can detect changes the human eye might miss.

"How it's changing, how it's actually developing is something that we're interested in from a research perspective," said Dr. Lori Collins, a research associate professor with USF Libraries. "We just provide the data that we're collecting for research. We provide it to the county, and they can have that to use as they need."

Pasco County expects the results of the engineering assessment this Tuesday or Wednesday.

UPDATE (October 9): One lane of Little Rd near SR 54 will be closed until further notice near the depression site in New Port Richey. The hole has grown throughout the day.



UPDATE (October 8): Pasco County Emergency Management said Thursday the hole remains "active," after growing to 38 feet wide since Wednesday. It's estimated to be about 70 feet deep, at this point.

Spring Haven Boulevard in New Port Richey is still closed along with the Varsity Club Sports Bar.

It has settled down right now, so we’re praying and hoping it doesn’t get bigger. And, if it stays stationary, they’ll be able to assess how to fix it and fill it. And if it stays stationary, there’s a good chance we can open,” the bar’s owner, David Berlo, said.

Crews have put up a chain link fence around the depression to keep people from falling in. Everyone is being urged to stay away from the area until further notice.

UPDATE (October 7): The depression now stretches 30 feet across after growing about 9 feet overnight. 

Spring Haven Boulevard is still closed along with the Varsity Club restaurant. 

People are being asked to avoid the area.

According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, the depression is on private property and both affected owners have hired engineering firms to assess the situation.


NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - One sports bar business manager is frustrated and nervous after walking into work Tuesday morning to find a five-foot depression grow to 25 feet in just 24 hours.

Jorge Alejandro said, “If it keeps coming towards the restaurant then it’s going to destroy the foundation and we gotta close after we just got reopening up from the pandemic and everything.”

Shocked, Alejandro said he’s never seen this before. Pasco Emergency Management Director Andy Fossa said he is not sure what caused the depression but said this is a rapid growth.

“We actually sat out here yesterday and watched it as it continued to grow. It has slowed down dramatically but it’s still growing,” Fossa said.

At this point it’s just a waiting game to see if it will continue to grow. “This property is on private property,” Fossa continued, “so we’re working with the HOA of Spring Haven and working with them on getting a geologist out here, engineering firm. Unfortunately we cannot mitigate this problem, they have to do it because it’s private property.”

Officials did have to cut out part of the fence leading into the Walmart parking lot next door for residents to drive in and out safely. 

Alejandro said with another big weekend coming up, he will be missing out on sales.

“With the cool weather all last week, we actually had the back patio nice and full almost every single night due to the sports and everything. And then now were getting ready to head into the weekend when we got sports all week now we can’t seat the patio.”

Restaurants were recently given the ability to go to 100 percent capacity. Alejandro said now they will have to go down to 65 percent because they cannot seat anyone in the back patio.